The Behavior Technology Laboratory conducts research on behavioral approaches for the assessment, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders, obesity, and body image disturbance. This research involves testing the efficacy of community-based, clinic-based, and internet/technologically advanced mobilebased (e.g. Smartphones) interventions for changes in health behaviors.
Weight Measurements and Standards for Soldiers. As a part of the Weight Measurements and Standards for Soldiers Project, the Healthy Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle Training Headquarters (H.E.A.L.T.H.) program was developed at PBRC and represents an ongoing, ten-year collaborative effort between PBRC and the Department of Defense. The H.E.A.L.T.H. program is designed to aid Soldiers in maintaining healthy weight status, fitness status, combat readiness, and Warfighter performance. H.E.A.L.T.H. also includes programming to aid Soldiers family members in reaching overall health and fitness goals. H.E.A.L.T.H. incorporates cutting edge interactive technology and is portable (e.g. Internet, Smartphone) so Soldiers and their family members can use it wherever they are in the world. H.E.A.L.T.H. is considered a population health program, has been deployed and tested in two pilot projects (Ft. Bragg, NC, and New England Reserves), and is being tested in the Louisiana Army National Guard (LANG). This study is expected to result in dissemination of the H.E.A.L.T.H. program to all branches of the Military and improve combat readiness for our technologically advanced fighting force.
Healthy Weight Intervention in Female Athletes. Given the cost of treating eating disorders (EDs) and the substantial morbidity and mortality associated with these disorders, prevention of EDs has considerable public health significance. Research supports the use of a Healthy Weight (HW) program targeting small lifestyle modifications in the prevention of ED onset and in reducing ED and obesity risk factors. Research suggests that disordered eating among female athletes is prevalent, and is especially dangerous in female athletes because it increases risk for the Female Athlete Triad (i.e., low energy availability/disordered eating, menstrual disorders, and decreased bone mineral density/ osteoporosis) and subsequent injury. This study is a cluster randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of the HW intervention among 500 collegiate female athletes in four sites.
Body Evolution Technologies (BE). BE is a company formed to commercialize evidence-based health behavior technology and is an entrepreneurial venture (formed as a result of scientific discovery at PBRC) funded by angel and venture capital investors. BE adapts evidence-based offline approaches into online/digital experiences, i.e. learning programs including interactive, digital media applications, and health e-games (e.g. Internet, Smartphone, ipad apps) that address a wide range of health behaviors including body image, eating disorders, and weight management. The programs and assessment tools are integrated within a social network environment to reinforce learning and promote adherence. These programs reside on Emer.ge, an e-health, online platform. BE is currently engaged in a number of partnerships including with Delta Delta Delta Fraternity, to deliver eating disorder prevention to large scale populations, e.g. university students.Research in this laboratory is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, and Themelios Ventures.