Obesity Research Short Course Planned

David Allison and Kevin Fontaine will lead a five-day short course, titled “Strengthening Causal Inference in Behavioral Obesity Research,” at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, July 20–24.

Identifying causal relations among variables is fundamental to science. Obesity is a major problem for which much progress in understanding, treatment, and prevention remains to be made. Understanding which social and behavioral factors cause variations in adiposity and which other factors cause variations is vital to producing, evaluating, and selecting intervention and prevention strategies. In addition, developing a greater understanding of obesity’s causes requires input from diverse disciplines, including statistics, economics, psychology, epidemiology, mathematics, philosophy, and, in some cases, behavioral or statistical genetics. However, applying techniques from these disciplines does not involve routine and well-known ‘cookbook’ approaches, but requires an understanding of the underlying principles so the investigator can tailor approaches to specific and varying situations.

The nine modules in this course are designed to provide rigorous exposure to the key fundamental principles underlying a broad array of techniques. In addition, through guided discussion using real examples in obesity research, participants will gain experience in applying the principles and techniques.

Limited travel scholarships are available to young investigators who apply by February 27. Accepted applicants will be notified no later than March 6.

For details, visit the course website.