Preventing Childhood Obesity
Addressing childhood obesity is a key focus and priority of many faculty of UofSC.
One particular group, The Arnold Childhood Obesity Initiative, focuses on increasing
physical activity and healthy eating among school-aged children. The emphasis of this
work is on instilling healthy habits in children to promotes healthy aging throughout
Current Novel Research Efforts
Helping children consume healthful foods and beverages to meet the Dietary Guidelines
Scale down to promote the South Carolina Obesity Action Plan, a tactical plan that aims to build
on the success of previous efforts and offers new strategies to reduce obesity rates
in the Palmetto State.
Local policies for improving the school food environment in South Carolina.
Associated Affiliate Scholars
Adams, Elizabeth, Ph.D.
Beets, Michael, Ph.D.
Blake, Christine, Ph.D., RD
Davis, Rachel, Ph.D.
Draper, Carrie, MSW
Fram, Maryah, Ph.D.
Frongillo, Edward, Ph.D.
Jones, Sonya, Ph.D.
Lane-Cordova, Abbi, Ph.D.
Larson, Leila, Ph.D., MPH
Liese, Angela, Ph.D.
Liu, Jihong, Sc.D.
Merchant, Anwar, Sc.D.
Moran, Robert, Ph.D.
O’Neill, Jennifer, Ph.D.
Ozturk, Orgul, Ph.D.
Pate, Russell, Ph.D.
Probst, Jan, Ph.D.
Rosemond, Tiara, Ph.D., MPH, CHES
Saunders, Ruth, Ph.D.
Shapiro, Cheri, Ph.D.
Torres, Myriam Elsa, Ph.D.
Walsemann, Katrina, Ph.D.
Weaver, Glenn, Ph.D.
Wilson-King, Dawn, Ph.D.
Younginer, Nicholas, Ph.D.
Zarrett, Nicole, Ph.D.
Expand all Affiliate Publications
Abraczinskas M. and
Zarrett N. (2020), Youth Participatory Action Research for Health Equity: Increasing Youth Empowerment
and Decreasing Physical Activity Access Inequities in Under‐resourced Programs and
Schools. Am J Community Psychol. doi:1002/ajcp.12433
Brazendale K, Brazendale AB, Garcia JM, Monroe CM,
Weaver RG, Beets MW. Brief Report: Obesogenic Behaviors of Children with Developmental Disabilities During
Summer. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. December 2020. doi:10.1007/s10803-020-04566-5.Burke MP, Jones SJ, Frongillo EA, Blake CE, Fram MS. Parenting styles are associated with overall child dietary quality within low-income
and food-insecure households. Public Health Nutrition. doi.org/10.1017/S1368980019001332, 2019.
Burkart S, Parker H,
Weaver RG, Beets MW, et al. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on elementary schoolers' physical activity, sleep,
screen time and diet: A quasi-experimental interrupted time series study. Pediatric Obesity. 2021;e12846. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijpo.12846
Bhandari S, Otieno P, Weiser SD, Cohen CR, Frongillo EA. Agricultural and Finance Intervention Increased Dietary Intake and Weight of Children
Living in HIV-Affected Households in Western Kenya. Current Developments in Nutrition. 2020;4(2). doi:10.1093/cdn/nzaa003.
Carducci B, Oh C, Roth DE, Neufeld L,
Frongillo EA, L’Abbe MR, Fanzo J, Herforth A, Sellen DW, Bhutta ZA. Gaps and priorities in assessment of food environments for children and adolescents
in low- and middle- income countries. Nature Food 2:396-403, 2021. doi.org/10.1038/s43016-021-00299-5
Chen L-W, Aubert A, Bernard JY, Cooper C, Duijts L, Geraghty AA, Harvey NC,
Hebert JR, et al. Maternal dietary quality, inflammatory potential and offspring adiposity throughout
childhood: a pooled analysis of 7 European cohorts (ALPHABET consortium). Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2020;79(OCE2). doi:10.1017/s0029665120001032.
Clennin M, Brown A, Lian M, Dowda M, Colabianchi N,
Pate RR. Neighborhood Socioeconomic Deprivation Associated with Fat Mass and Weight Status
in Youth. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(17):E6421. 2020 Sep 3. doi:10.3390/ijerph17176421
Collie-Akers VL, Fawcett SB, Schultz JA, Fleming KK, Swinburne Romine RE, Ritchie
Frongillo E, Arteaga SS. Association of Multisetting Community Programs and Policies With Child Body Mass Index:
The Healthy Communities Study. Preventing Chronic Disease. 2020;17. doi:10.5888/pcd17.190196.
Contreras-Manzano A, Jáuregui A, Nieto C, Hall MG, Vargas-Meza J,
Thrasher JF, Illescas-Zarate D, Baequera S, Hammond D. The impact of a cartoon character on adults perceptions of Children’s breakfast cereals:
a randomized experiment. Nutrition Journal. 2020;19(1). doi:10.1186/s12937-020-00565-5.
Crowe R, Probst Y,
Weaver RG, Beets MW, et al. Systematic observation of healthy eating environments in afterschool services: a cross-sectional
study. Public Health Nutrition. 2021:1-20. doi:10.1017/S1368980021003220
Saunders RP, Colabianchi N, Dishman RK, Mciver KL, Pate RR. Longitudinal Associations Between Psychosocial, Home, and Neighborhood Factors and
Children’s Physical Activity. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 2020:1-7. doi:10.1123/jpah.2019-0137.
Dugger R, Brazendale K, Hunt ET, Moore JB,
Turner-McGrievy G, Vogler K, Beets MW, Armstrong B, Weaver RG. The impact of summer programming on the obesogenic behaviors of children: behavioral
outcomes from a quasi-experimental pilot trial. Pilot and Feasibility Studies. 2020;6(1). doi:10.1186/s40814-020-00617-x.
Bernhart JA Wilcox S, , Blake CE, Kaczynski AT, Turner-Mcgrievy GM. Church Leaders’ Views of Obesity Prevention Efforts for Children and Youth. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior . 2019. doi:10.1016/j.jneb.2019.09.019.
Hunt ET, von Klinggraeff L, Jones A, Burkart S, Dugger R, Armstrong B,
Beets MW, Turner-McGrievy G, Geraci M, Weaver RG. (2021). Differences in Proportion of Children Meeting Behavior Guidelines During Summer &
School & by Socioeconomic Status and Race. Obes Sci Pract. https://doi.org/10.1002/osp4.532
Kaczynski AT, Eberth JM, Stowe EW, Wende M, Liese A, McLain A, Breneman CB, Josey MJ. Development of a national childhood obesogenic environment index in the United States:
differences by region and rurality. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2020;17(1). doi:10.1186/s12966-020-00984-x.
Liese AD, Couch SC, The NS, et al. Association between diet quality indices and arterial stiffness in youth with type
1 diabetes: SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Nutrition Ancillary Study. Journal of Diabetes and its Complications. 2020:107709. doi:10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2020.107709.
Frongillo EA, Dewan P, Black MM, Waterland RA. Can Children Catch up from the Consequences of Undernourishment? Evidence from Child
Linear Growth, Developmental Epigenetics, and Brain and Neurocognitive Development. Adv Nutr. 2020; doi:10.1093/advances/nmaa020.
Mandelbaum J, Harrison SE, Brittingham J. Disparities in nutrition counseling at pediatric wellness visits in South Carolina. Childhood Obesity. org/10.1089/chi.2020.0025, 2020.
Pate RR, Dowda M, et al. Cross-Country Comparisons of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior among 5-Year-Old
Children. Int J Pediatr. 2020;2020:7912894. Published 2020 Jun 1. doi:10.1155/2020/7912894.
Frongillo EA, Corella-Madueño MA, Quizán-Plata T. Food Insecurity Was Associated with Lower Fruits and Vegetables Consumption but Not
with Overweight and Obesity in Children from Mexican Fishing Communities. Ecology of Food and Nutrition. November 2020:1-16. doi:10.1080/03670244.2020.1737042.
Navarro SM, Tsai MM, Ritchie LD,
Frongillo EA, Laraia BA, Pate RR, Au LE. Household Food Insecurity and Children's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior
in the United States: The Healthy Communities Study. Public Health Nutr. 2021;1-20. doi:10.1017/S1368980021002536
Neff RA, Zaltz DA, Hecht AA,
Pate RR, Neelon B, O’Neilll JR, Benjamin-Neelon SE. Preschool Healthy Food Policy Did Not Increase Percent of Food Wasted: Evidence from
the Carolinas. Nutrients. 2020;12(10):E3024. Published 2020 Oct 2. doi:10.3390/nu12103024
Frongillo EA, Kim SS, Zongrone AA, Jilani A, Tran LM, Sanghvi T, Menon P. Information diffusion and social norms are associated with infant and young child
feeding practices in Bangladesh. Journal of Nutrition doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxz167, 2019.
Nicholson LM, McLeod Loren D, Reifenberg A,
Beets MW, Bohnert AM. School as a Protective Setting for Excess Weight Gain and Child Obesity: A Meta‐Analysis. Journal of School Health. Published online November 5, 2020. doi:10.1111/josh.12972
Ozturk OD, Frongillo E, Blake C, Mcinnes MM, Turner-McGrievy G. Before the lunch line: Effectiveness of behavioral economic interventions for pre-commitment
on elementary school children's food choices Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 2020. doi:10.2139/ssrn.3320549.
Pate RR, Frongillo EA, Cordan K, Dowda M, McLain AC, Torres ME, Brown WH, Bucko A, Shull ER. Linking Activity, Nutrition, and Child Health (LAUNCH): protocol for a longitudinal
cohort study of children as they develop from infancy to preschool age. BMC Public Health. 2020;20(1). doi:10.1186/s12889-020-09023-7.
Draper C, Younginer N, Whitt O, Paget C. Use of Decision Cases for Building SNAP-Ed Implementers’ Capacities to Realize Policy,
Systems, and Environmental Strategies. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2019. doi:10.1016/j.jneb.2019.09.020.
Rosemond TN, Blake CE, Shapiro CJ, Burke MP, Bernal J, Adams EJ, Frongillo EA. Disrupted relationships, chaos, and altered family meals in food-insecure households:
Experiences of caregivers and children. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2019.05.005, 2019.
Ross SET, Militello G, Dowda M,
Pate RR. Changes in Diet Quality in Youth Living in South Carolina From Fifth to 11th Grade. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2020. doi:10.1016/j.jneb.2020.03.001.
Spencer, M, Thrasher, JF, Strompolis, M, Crouch, E, & Davis, RE. (2019). Addressing Health and Well-Being Through State Policy: Understanding Barriers and
Opportunities for Policy-Making to Prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in
South Carolina. American Journal of Health Promotion, 0890117119878068.
Taverno Ross SE, Smith Tapia I,
Saunders RP, Documet PI, Pate RR. Implementation Monitoring of a Promotora-Led, Home-Based Obesity Prevention Pilot
Study With Latino Preschool Children and Their Mothers. International Quarterly of Community Health Education. Published online November 3, 2020:0272684X2097037. doi:10.1177/0272684x20970375
Tooze JA, The NS, Crandell JL, Couch SC, Mayer-Davis EJ, Koebnick C,
Liese AD. An Approach for Examining the Impact of Food Group-Based Sources of Nutrients on Outcomes
with Application to PUFAs and LDL in Youth with Type 1 Diabetes. Nutrients. 2020;12(4):941. doi:10.3390/nu12040941.
Vahid F, Bourbour F, Gholamalizadeh M, Shivappa N,
Hebert JR, Babakhani K, Jarrahi AM, Dahka SM, Doaei S. A pro-inflammatory diet increases the likelihood of obesity and overweight in adolescent
boys: a case–control study. Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome. 2020;12(1). doi:10.1186/s13098-020-00536-0.
von Klinggraeff L, Dugger R, Okely A, Lubans D, Jago R, Burkard S,
Weaver RG, Armstrong B, Beets MW. Early-stage Studies to Larger-scale Trials: Investigators’ Perspectives on Scaling-Up
Childhood Obesity Interventions. Europe PMC, doi: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-514474/v1.
Weaver RG, Armstrong B, Hunt E, Beets M, Brazendale K, Dugger R, Turner-McGrievy G, Pate R, Maydeu-Olivares A, Saelens B, Youngstedt S. The Impact of Summer Vacation on Children’s Obesogenic Behaviors and Body Mass Index:
A natural experiment. Europe PMC. 2020. doi:10.21203/rs.2.24115/v1.
Weaver RG, Hunt ET, Armstrong B, Beets MW, Brazendale K, Turner-McGrievy G, Pate RR, Youngstedt SD, Dugger R , Parker H, von Klingraeff L, Jones A, Burkhart S, Ressor-Oyer L. COVID-19 Leads to Accelerated Increases in Children's BMI Z-Score Gain: An Interrupted
Time Series Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2021.04.007
Weaver RG, Hunt E, Rafferty A, Beets MW, Brazendale K, Turner-McGrievy G, Pate RR, Maydeu-Olivares A, Saelens B, Youngstedt S. The potential of a year-round school calendar for maintaining children's weight status
and fitness: Preliminary outcomes from a natural experiment. Journal of Sport and Health Science. 2020;9(1):18-27. doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2019.05.006.
Weaver RG, Hunt E, Armstrong B, Beets MW, Brazendale K, Turner-McGrievy G, Pate RR, Maydeu-Olivares A, Saelens B, Youngstedt SD, Dugger R, Parker H, Klinggraeff L,
Jones A, Burkhart S, Ressor-Oyer L. Impact of a year-round school calendar on children's BMI and fitness: Final outcomes
from a natural experiment. Pediatr Obes. 2021;e12789. doi:10.1111/ijpo.12789
Woolf HR, Fair M, King SB, Dunn CG,
Kaczynski AT. Exploring Dietary Behavior Differences among Children by Race/Ethnicity and Socioeconomic
Status. Journal of School Health. 2020. doi:10.1111/josh.12915.
Zaltz DA, Hecht AA, Neff RA,
Pate RR, Neelon B, O’Neill JR, Benjamin-Neelon SE. Healthy Eating Policy Improves Children’s Diet Quality in Early Care and Education
in South Carolina. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):1753. doi:10.3390/nu12061753.
Zaltz DA, Hecht AA,
Pate RR, Neelon B, O’Neill JR, Benjamin-Neelon SE. Participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program is associated with fewer barriers
to serving healthier foods in early care and education. BMC Public Health. 2020;20(1). doi:10.1186/s12889-020-08712-7.
Eberth JM, Breneman C, Wende ME, Kaczynski AT, Liese AD, McLain AC. Estimates of Childhood Overweight and Obesity at the Region, State, and County Levels:
A Multilevel Small Area Estimation Approach. Am J Epidemiol. 2021;kwab176. doi:10.1093/aje/kwab176
Research Labs & Centers
Community Related Organizations