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University of Colorado Denver

University of Colorado Denver


Faculty Profile


Department of Pediatrics & Medicine

University of Colorado Denver


Regulation of Energy Balance

Grants: 1) NIH R01 DK42549 "Diet and physical activity interactions in obesity"

                2) NIH U01 DK57151 Action for Health in Diabetes

                3) NIH DK048520 Colorado Clinical Nutrition Research Center

               4)  USDA America On the Move Family Program for Weight Gain Prevention

   5)  NIH HD057229 (Brink) The Impact of an Environmental and Curriculum Change on Children's

          Obesity Rates

Description of Research

   We study how diet and physical activity patterns prevent weight gain and prevent weight regain following weight loss.  In particular, we have hypothesized that small changes, on the order of 100 kcal/day, in energy intake and physical activity can prevent weight gain in most people who have not been obese.  Our research was used as the basis of a national weight gain prevention program, America on the Move.  We continue to conduct research to evaluate the impact of small behavior changes on body weight.  However, we have found in our studies of the National Weight Control Registry, that it requires far greater behavior changes to maintain a significant weight loss in those who have been obese.


     We are testing a family based intervention program, based on the small changes approach to prevent excessive weight gain in families.  This involves testing an internet delivery system with an online community.


     We are a clinical center in the Look AHEAD clinical trial.  This trial is evaluating the impact of weight loss and increased physical activity on progression of cardiovascular disease in obese individuals with type 2 diabetes.


   We conduct several clinical trials each year evaluating pharmacological and lifestyle treatment for obesity.


1-2 Most Significant Publications

1)      Hill, J.O., Wyatt, H.R., Reed, G.W. and Peters, J.C. Obesity and the environment: Where do we go from here?  Science 299:853-855, 2003.

2)      Hill, J.O.  Understanding and Addressing the Epidemic of Obesity: An Energy Balance Perspective.  Endocrine Reviews 27:750-761, 2007.


Primary Focus Area (if part of the obesity initiative)

·         Weight Management


Secondary Focus Areas (if part of the obesity initiative)

·         Obesity and metabolic dysregulation and co-morbities

·         Food intake


Access to Specialized Populations

·         National Weight Control Registry – individuals successful in long-term weight loss maintenance

·         America On the Move participants – individuals who have made small lifestyle changes and  continue tracking those changes


Benefit of CNRU

The major benefit of the CNRU for me has been the enhanced interaction and collaboration with other CNRU investigators. Additionally, the CNRU allows me to interact with junior investigators through the pilot project program and through the core laboratories.  The core laboratories of the CNRU are critical to my research success.  These laboratories provide services in a cost-effective manner than I could not develop in my own laboratory. 


CNRU Cores Used

Administrative, Energy Balance, Metabolic

Mass Spectrometry


CNRU Collaborations

Eckel, Byers, Johnson, Melanson, Wyatt, Polsky, Regensteiner, Catenacci, Van Dorsten, Sedjo, Schwartz, MacLean, Higgins, Bessesen, Cornier, Grunwald, Hamman, Horton, Ogden.

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