Digestive Health Center

  • Obesity and the Digestive System

    Lori J. Stark, PhD, ABPP
    Professor and Director of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
    Department of Pediatrics; Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
    Visit the Stark Lab

    Description of Research

    Dr. Stark has a longstanding interest in examining behavioral and environmental factors that contribute to nutritional health and eating disorders. She has had funding from the NIH to examine barriers and interventions to improve adherence to dietary treatment in cystic fibrosis (CF), to improve calcium intake in order to improve bone mass, and currently to develop innovative treatments for preschool obesity. Her studies in CF have found that achieving the dietary recommendations for optimal nutritional status is challenging as children with CF must exceed the recommended energy intake for same age children. In trying to achieve these dietary goals parents often resort to ineffective parenting strategies that not only do not work but have a negative effect on family functioning. She had designed effective behavioral interventions to increase caloric intake and reduce parent-child distress during meals. She has also applied this methodology to other nutritional problems most recently addressing obesity in preschool age children.

    Collaborations

    Dr. Stark works with with Dr. Powers on the evaluation of behavioral intervention to improve nutritional status of young children with cystic fibrosis. Anticipated Core use: Biostatistical service. 

 
  • Research image.

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    Research image.

    Change in BMI z-score for all children in LAUNCH (Learning about Activity and Understanding Nutrition for Child Health) and pediatrician counseling from baseline to month 6 and month 12 assessments. Figure from Obesity, 2011;19:134-141.