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Translating Obesity Research into Practice w/Dr. John Jakicic


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Translating Obesity Research into Practice w/Dr. John Jakicic

The CDC reports that over 41% of the American public is classified as obese, making this a nation-wide public health epidemic. Obesity is also closely connected to multiple other chronic health conditions, which makes its impact that much more consequential.

Quite often fitness professionals are on the frontlines of working with this population, left to decipher the massive volume of information that exists on how to effectively work with these individuals. The challenge with this information is some (maybe even most) isn’t evidence-based, while other information is simply obscured in scientific journals and the halls of academia. This presents clear obstacles for the fitness professional that wants to take an evidence-based approach to working with individuals with obesity.

Our guest in episode 63, Dr. John Jakicic, will help us cut through all of the fact and fallacy of obesity research, translating his decades of practical and research experience into actionable principles that you can apply to working with clients with obesity. Dr. Jakicic has the unique ability to synthesize the depth and breadth of this knowledge into relevant principles for fitness professionals to understand and act on, which makes this a very high mileage conversation to take the time to listen to.

Our discussion will explore the complex nature of the origins of obesity (hint: it’s more than calories in vs. calories out), programmatic considerations and best practices to meet the needs of individuals with obesity, and finally (and most importantly) the mindset of empathy and understanding fitness professionals need to cultivate when working with this population. The obesity epidemic is, indeed, one of the biggest public health crises of our life time. Fitness professionals who can effectively assist in addressing this crisis will become an indispensable part of our healthcare delivery system.  

Our Guest: John M. Jakicic, PhD

Dr. Jakicic, PhD is a Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Division of Physical Activity and Weight Management. He has an interdisciplinary research program that examines lifestyle approaches to the prevention and treatment of chronic health conditions, with a particular focus on the role of increased physical activity and reduced sedentary behavior on these outcomes.  Central to this research has been a focus on interventions for weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Additional health conditions of interest have included cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and aspects of aging (cognition, function, etc.). He was also the Principal Investigator for one of the clinical sites for the multi-center Look AHEAD Trial.  His work has encompassed the spectrum of science from biology/physiology to psychosocial and behavioral factors. He has served on numerous national committees focused on obesity, physical activity, and other chronic health conditions, which included his appointment by the US Department of Health and Human Services to the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Scientific Advisory Committee.

Dr. Jakicic also has a passion for his research to translate to clinical, community, health-fitness, or other public health settings. This has been particularly evident in his research focused on how shorter bouts of physical activity (e.g., 10 minutes in duration) can influence adoption and maintenance of physical activity, and how the accumulation of these shorter bouts of physical activity can influence health-related outcomes. He has also examined how the use of wearable devices may influence behavior and related health outcomes, and has also examined novel intervention approaches (e.g., stepped-care, time-based, etc.) to modifying lifestyle behaviors that include physical activity.

Links from this Episode:

Dr. Jakicic’s KU Medical Center Bio

Dr. Jakicic’s Twitter

Dr. Jakicic on PubMed