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Healthy People/Healthy Communities Research

We study health and health-related factors that inform our understanding about health-related concerns as they relate to persons with I/DD. Our current work is focused on the understanding and promotion of healthy lifestyles to improve nutrition, increase physical activity and fitness, and to prevent and treat obesity. Our work has included epidemiological, observational, and intervention studies funded by the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the Health Resources and Services Administration Material and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), and private foundations.


As a result of our work, we have been given the opportunity to lead a national research network as national leaders in addressing the needs of children and youth with ASD/DD, through a cooperative agreement from the Maternal & Child Health Bureau (UA3MC25735-01-00; HRSA/MCHB) that supports the Healthy Weight Research Network. The HWRN’s mission is to advance the understanding of obesity risk factors in children with ASD/DD, promote the development of evidence-based solutions to achieve healthy weight in this population, and disseminate research findings to broad and diverse audiences. It comprises a national network of interdisciplinary researchers who serve as core members and a vast array of associate members and subscribers who are clinicians, researchers, educators, policy makers, family members, students, and self-advocates.


Current research projects:

New Skills No Scores! (A Pilot and Feasibility Study to Promote Physical and Food Literacy Among Children with Intellectual Disabilities)

This study is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and is a Sport Sampling and Nutrition Education study for teens with an intellectual disability. The goal is to build knowledge, skills, confidence, and motivation to live an active and healthy lifestyle. Sport Sampling gives teens the opportunity to try different sports to find out what they like and to practice basic movement skills. Nutrition Education includes learning about healthy eating, trying new foods, and learning how to prepare healthy snacks.

Please click this link to see our scientific publications

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