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Research at the WELL Center

Obesity, sedentariness and eating disorders are among the most critical health issues facing our society. 70% of the country is now overweight or obese and 50% achieve so little physical activity they are considered sedentary. Obesity, poor diet and sedentariness are associated with severe health consequences such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Other forms of problematic eating such as binge eating disorder and bulimia are associated with a host of serious health conditions, and anorexia nervosa is the number one most deadly mental health condition. We are still a long way from understanding how to prevent and reverse obesity, sedentariness and eating disorders. This scientific endeavor is a national and global priority.

The research mission of the WELL Center is to identify the core risk and maintenance factors for eating disorders, obesity and sedentary behavior, and to develop, evaluate and disseminate new behavioral and technological solutions to these challenging-to-treat concerns.

The Center’s current projects include five NIH-funded intervention studies for obesity and eating disorders: Project DASH, INSPIRE, Mind Your Health, Project ENACT, and Project Impact.

We also have been funded by The Obesity Society to create a smartphone app designed to predict and prevent dietary lapses and by the National Eating Disorders Association to create an app to treat eating disorders. We are also working with Daylan Digital to create and evaluate an app for binge eating called iTakeControl (available through the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store).

These projects seek to examine whether acceptance-based treatment components or technological (e.g., smartphone-delivery, gamified training) innovations can enhance outcomes.

Research participation opportunities

If you are interested in being a research participant, review the studies described on the current projects page and follow the instructions under the project that most interests you.

Learn more about Current Projects at the WELL Center

Learn more about Completed Projects