New research directions on disparities in obesity and type 2 diabetes

Pamela L. Thornton, Shiriki K. Kumanyika, Edward W. Gregg, Maria R. Araneta, Monica L. Baskin, Marshall H. Chin, Carlos J. Crespo, Mary de Groot, David O. Garcia, Debra Haire-Joshu, Michele Heisler, Felicia Hill-Briggs, Joseph A. Ladapo, Nangel M. Lindberg, Spero M. Manson, David G. Marrero, Monica E. Peek, Alexandra E. Shields, Deborah F. Tate, Carol M. Mangione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Obesity and type 2 diabetes disproportionately impact U.S. racial and ethnic minority communities and low-income populations. Improvements in implementing efficacious interventions to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes are underway (i.e., the National Diabetes Prevention Program), but challenges in effectively scaling-up successful interventions and reaching at-risk populations remain. In October 2017, the National Institutes of Health convened a workshop to understand how to (1) address socioeconomic and other environmental conditions that perpetuate disparities in the burden of obesity and type 2 diabetes; (2) design effective prevention and treatment strategies that are accessible, feasible, culturally relevant, and acceptable to diverse population groups; and (3) achieve sustainable health improvement approaches in communities with the greatest burden of these diseases. Common features of guiding frameworks to understand and address disparities and promote health equity were described. Promising research directions were identified in numerous areas, including study design, methodology, and core metrics; program implementation and scalability; the integration of medical care and social services; strategies to enhance patient empowerment; and understanding and addressing the impact of psychosocial stress on disease onset and progression in addition to factors that support resiliency and health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-24
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • NIH
  • diabetes
  • disparities
  • obesity
  • social determinants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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