Director, Center for Human Growth and Development
Julie Lumeng is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician whose research focuses on the prevention of childhood obesity, particularly in low-income groups. She focuses in particular on the potential biological pathways underlying links between psychosocial stress, eating behavior, and obesity in young, high-risk children. Her work also investigates maternal feeding beliefs and practices and how these may relate to childhood obesity risk. She also directs a community based obesity prevention trial based in Head Start settings, as well as examining links between Head Start program characteristics and obesity risk.
Our laboratory has four primary areas of focus:
- We study relationships between eating behavior, psychosocial stress, cortisol, alpha amylase, and obesity in low-income children ages 2-7 years.
- We study associations of maternal feeding beliefs and practices with child eating behavior and obesity using multimethod approaches including semi-structured interviews, observational videotaped interactions, and questionnaires. This work is done with low-income populations of 6-year-old children and their mothers.
- We are conducting a randomized controlled trial of an intervention designed to improve young children's emotional and behavioral self-regulation combined with a nutrition education intervention. compared to a nutrition education intervention alone or Head Start attendance alone. The work is being conducted with 600 Head Start preschoolers around the state of Michigan.
- Our laboratory has also had a long-standing interest in children's cognitive development in the domain of food. / / We follow about 700 low-income children and their mothers longitudinally and there is the opportunity to invite them to participate in additional protocols and possibly to provide biological samples. About 40% of the children are overweight or obese.
Lumeng JC, Ozbeki TN, Appugliese DP, Kaciroti N, Corwyn RF, Bradley RH. Observed assertive and intrusive maternal feeding behaviors increase child adiposity. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012 Mar; 95(3):640-7. Epub 2012 Jan 25. PMCID: PMC3278242.
Frazier B, Gelman S, Russell J, Lumeng JC. I’ll have what she’s having: The impact of model characteristics on children’s food choices. Developmental Science 2011; 1-12. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2011.01106.x. PMCID: PMC3261590.
Pesch MH, Harrell KJ, Kaciroti N, Rosenblum K, Lumeng JC. Maternal styles of talking about child feeding across sociodemographic groups. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2011; 111 (12) 1861-1867. PMCID: PMC3225894.
Lumeng JC, Kaciroti N, Frisvold D. Changes in body mass index z-score over the course of the academic year among children attending Head Start. Academic Pediatrics 2010; 10 (3): 179-186.
Davis RN, Ashba J, Appugliese DP, Kaciroti N, Corwyn RF, Bradley RH, Lumeng JC. Adolescent obesity and maternal and paternal sensitivity and monitoring. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity. January 2011, Epub ahead of print.