Identifying and Addressing Multilevel Determinants of Unhealthy Dietary Behavior & Obesity
Talk by Dr. Sandra Wittleder
This talk discusses multilevel determinants (biological, behavioral, and environmental) of unhealthy dietary behavior and obesity and novel psychological interventions for patients with obesity. According to the World Health Organization, obesity affected 600 million people worldwide as of 2016 and increased the risk of morbidity and mortality, with a disproportionate impact on underrepresented populations. While obesity-related comorbidities are frequently addressed in medical settings, obesity itself is chronically undertreated and treatment success is low. The first-line obesity treatment is a behavioral lifestyle intervention. However, such interventions are insufficient for weight management because obesity has a complex etiology, including automatic (unconscious) processes that are outside the patient’s control. Dr. Wittleder will present research on 1) multilevel determinants (obesity stigma, discrimination, and counseling quality) that can impair weight loss factors and 2) novel psychology-based methods to retrain automatic biases.