Month: October 2014

Blending Faith and Science to Combat Obesity

Science and religion may seem like uneasy partners at times, but when it comes to promoting healthy lifestyles, one UConn Health researcher has shown they can be an effective combination.

Judith Fifield, professor of family medicine and director of the Ethel Donaghue Center for Translating Research into Practice and Policy (TRIPP), has been examining ways that faith communities can promote weight loss among their members since the late 1990s.

Mental Health and Health Behavior Networking Luncheon

This year, CHIP has worked alongside the Psychiatry Department at UConn Health to fund a Seed Grant in Mental Health and Health Behavior Research. This Seed Grant aims to foster collaboration between researchers in Mental Health and Health Behavior at CHIP and the Department of Psychiatry at UConn Health. One Seed Grant of up to $50,000 will be awarded to teams of two PIs: one must be a CHIP affiliate, and the other must be from the Department of Psychiatry at UConn Health.

To facilitate researcher collaboration, CHIP and the UConn Health Department of Psychiatry are co-sponsoring a Mental Health and Health Behavior Networking Luncheon on November 12, from 11:30am to 1:30pm. This luncheon will be held in the Demo Room at UConn Health, located at 400 Farmington Avenue, Farmington CT.

Attendees are invited to give a two-minute presentation with a single slide on their research interests, expertise, and what they are looking for in a potential research partner. Lunch will be served.
If you are planning to attend this event, please register at the link:

For more information on this seed grant opportunity, please visit:

If you have questions about this event or seed grant opportunity, please email Kelsey Barton-Henry at

Doctors Must Examine Own Weight Bias Before Treating Patients, Researcher Says

In the war on obesity, the medical profession is needed on the front lines. Yet there is mounting concern that some practitioners harbor a negative weight bias.

Research has found that some obese patients are reluctant to seek medical attention because of feeling judged or disrespected about their weight, says Rebecca Puhl, deputy director and senior research scientist at the Rudd Center and senior research scientist at CHIP, who is joining UConn’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

Opportunity for Collaborative Research in Reducing Hospital Readmissions

In recent years, significant research has been begun aimed at reducing hospital readmissions. New research is being focused at changing doctor and patient behavior to improve outcomes and in the period following hospital discharge and reduce unnecessary readmissions.

Researchers at the Connecticut Institute for Primary Care Innovation (CIPCI) think that we may be able to reduce hospital readmissions through improvements in doctor-to-doctor and doctor-to-patient communication. CIPCI has approached CHIP for support in the research and evaluation of new mechanisms for reducing hospital readmissions.

CHIP hopes to form a team of researchers to evaluate the efficacy of these interventions. Participants are required to attend bi-monthly meetings, aid in the construction of effective interventions. If you are interested in contributing to this project, please get in touch right away as the next meeting will be held at 6:00pm on Tuesday, October 28th. Please contact Kelsey Barton-Henry at .

Preventing Obesity Across the Lifespan

Obesity prevention efforts increasingly are targeting young children, but few researchers are bringing interventions to childcare settings.

Professor Kim Gans, who joined UConn’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies this semester, is one of only two researchers nationwide bringing such interventions to home-based childcare, and the only researcher providing such interventions in both English and Spanish.

‘Advergames’ a New Front in Fight Against Childhood Obesity

American food and beverage manufacturers are turning to digital media and mobile devices to encourage children to like their products, opening up a new front in the nation’s war on obesity. Companies like Coca-Cola, General Mills, and McDonald’s are using social media sites such as Facebook, online videos, and cartoon-based “advergames” to promote their brands to a new generation of children who are comfortable accessing the Internet using a smartphone, tablet, or other handheld device.

Healthy Relationships Help Foster Healthy Eating Habits

In January, the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity will move to UConn from Yale University. It is one of the first major initiatives of UConn’s Academic Vision, which prioritizes health and wellness scholarship as part of the University’s mission. Researchers with the nationally recognized nonprofit Rudd Center will join the UConn faculty as researchers and educators.