Brenda Davy

Associate Professor - Human Nutrition, Foods & Exercise

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Dr. Davy investigates how to improve diet (including appetite control and food intake regulation) and physical inactivity behaviors. She also examines the relationship between water (and beverage) consumption and body weight management.


Research in our laboratory focuses on the prevention and treatment of obesity and its related comorbid conditions. This research has important public health implications, as the obesity epidemic is a significant health and economic burden to our society. Our obesity research is directed toward several target populations:

  1. understanding how to prevent weight gain in young adulthood;
  2. reversing obesity in middle aged and older adults; and
  3. long-term maintenance of weight loss in morbidly obese individuals who have undergone weight loss (bariatric) surgery.

Significant weight gain occurs during young adulthood and it appears that the young adult years are a critical time for obesity development. Thus, providing young adults with the behavioral/lifestyle skills to successfully manage their weight may prevent obesity in later years. Weight gain is also common with advancing age and one contributing factor may be an inability to appropriately regulate food intake. We are investigating ways in which older adults may reduce their tendency toward over-consumption by targeting specific dietary factors, such as beverage intake. Over time, this may facilitate weight loss. Finally, weight loss surgery is an increasingly popular option for morbidly obese individuals to reduce their body weight and improve their health. However, following significant weight loss, these individuals still tend to gain weight in the years following surgery. We are conducting research aimed at developing long-term weight management strategies for individuals following weight loss surgery.