How modern medicine really gets practiced

We conduct digital health research trials almost exclusively in community health centers. These primary care settings are described as part of the nation’s “safety net,” but let’s be clear: for most of these patients, there is no catcher on the trapeze. Health centers are the primary, primary care option for our nation’s poor. Without them, we’d be certain to see [even more] rampant rates of suffering, poverty, and health care costs.

Health center docs are some of the most amazing physicians you’ll ever encounter. While I’m somewhat prone to hyperbole, I’m probably understating this particular point. Need evidence? This episode from David Plotz’s wonderful new podcast series aptly captures the amazing gifts that health center physicians provide to their patients [and our nation].

Media reaction to our maintain, don’t gain study

Here’s a collection of recent media responses to the release of our new study on the “maintain, don’t gain” obesity treatment approach.


NBC News: Study offers new way to diet: Just don’t gain

Duke Today: Maintain, Don’t Gain: A New Way To Fight Obesity

Medpage Today: Weight Control, Not Loss, Is Winning Strategy



Huffington Post: New Approach For Black Women’s Battle Against Obesity: ‘Maintain, Don’t Gain …

Fox News: Program may help black women avoid weight gain

Medscape: Behavioral Intervention Prevents Weight Gain in Black Women

LA Times: For black women, weight maintenance may be the best goal

U.S. News & World Report: Maintain, Don’t Gain’ May Work Best for Obese Black Women

The Grio: Focusing on weight loss may not be effective

Medical News Today: Weight control not weight loss strategy works better

Everyday Health: Maintain Weight Instead of Trying to Lose, Study of Black Women Suggests

WUNC: For African American Women, Maintaining Weight Is More Practical …

UPI: Researchers urge: ‘Maintain, don’t gain,’ weight

HHS HealthBeat: Maintain, don’t gain

BET: Should Black Women Focus on Maintaining Weight for Better Health?

Women’s Health Mag: The New Weight-Loss Strategy: Just Don’t Gain Weight

Reuters: Program may help black women avoid weight gain

Science Daily: Intervention Appears Effective to Prevent Weight Gain Among Disadvantaged Women

Healio: Shape Program effective for obese postmenopausal black women 







Webinar on implementation science, mHealth, and disparities

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I was really pleased to deliver a talk yesterday as part of the NCI Webinar Series on Advanced Topics for Implementation Science Research.  My presentation is based on a paper our team published last year, detailing our use of the RE-AIM framework to guide the development and evaluation of Be Fit, Be Well — a 2-year trial of a digital health intervention for weight loss and hypertension management in community health centers. The talk video will be up soon, but in the meantime, you can find the presentation slides here.

Obesity screening. Who’s got the time?

Finally, the Feds have clearly indicated that obese patients should be screened and treated. There’s a lot more to say about this (and I will), but for now, it’s worth noting the comment from Jeffrey Levi, from the Trust for America’s Health.

Few have the time or resources to provide obese patients with intensive counseling, he said.

He’s right. My physician colleagues are too busy and too stretched to take a primary role in coordinating obesity treatment. They have an important role to play, but relying on physicians to deliver weight loss counseling is inconsistent with the evidence, which doesn’t show particularly strong outcomes for physician-delivered weight loss treatment. Besides that, it ignores the fact that obesity treatment is optimally delivered by ancillary care providers (e.g., registered dietitians, psychologists, nurses) who have the requisite training, fewer capacity constraints, and are less costly than physicians. What we need are strategies like those used in the NHLBI-funded POWER trials, in which care is delivered by a broad range of providers — physicians and non-physicians alike.