Dr. Deborah Tate

Deborah Tate, PhD

Professor
Department of Nutrition
Director
Communication for Health Applications and Interventions (CHAI) Core

About

Deborah Tate is a professor in the Department of Nutrition. She holds a joint appointment in the Department of Health Behavior and a faculty appointment at the Nutrition Research Institute. Dr. Tate is a behavioral scientist, receiving her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Her research focuses on two main areas: (a) strategies for improving both short and long-term body weight regulation to reduce disease risks and (b) the development and translation of programs as alternatives to clinic-based care using digital and wearable technologies. She has been continuously funded in obesity, diabetes prevention and digital health intervention research by the National Institutes of Health since 2000 and is known internationally for her work in web and mobile interventions. Dr. Tate has numerous papers published in major nutrition and medical journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA-Internal Medicine, Obesity, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Health Psychology, and others. Dr. Tate is faculty director of the UNC Weight Research Program, and for the Communications for Health Applications and Interventions (CHAI) Core a shared resource serving faculty in both the Nutrition Obesity Research Center and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. She teaches a graduate-level course entitled “mHealth for Behavior Change”.

Dr. Tate conducted several of the first randomized trials using the Internet and new technologies to deliver behavioral treatments for obesity. She continues to conduct studies to determine which features of digital programs contribute to efficacy, how to use wearable and other passive data to inform tailoring, and what types of intervention messages and strategies work best for whom and in what contexts. Her work has focused on bringing greater specificity to digital intervention science and uses advanced intervention methodologies such as the Multiphase Optimization Strategy, multiple randomized trials (MRT) and adaptive (SMART) designs to optimize digital obesity prevention and treatment interventions. Her recent work has focused on precision public health messaging for just-in-time-adaptive interventions and precision nutrition and obesity approaches which offer high degrees of individual tailoring.    


Representative Courses

NUTR 802/803: Advanced Nutrition Intervention Research Methods I & II

HBHE811/NUTR 811: Development of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Interventions | Syllabus

Research Activities

Behavioral interventions
Obesity prevention and treatment
Health communications
Technology
Clinical trials
Nutrition

Service Activities

Intervention Committee Chair, Steering Committee Member, NHLBI - EARLY Trials (Early Adulthood Reduction of weight with LifesYle intervention- U01 Grant Consortium)

NIH Psychosocial Risk Disease Prevention (PRDP) Standing Member

Member, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

Member, Nutrition Obesity Research Center

Director, Communications for Health Applications and Intervention (CHAI) Core (joint service core of LCCC and NORC)

Key Publications

Deconstructing interventions: approaches to studying behavior change techniques across obesity interventions. Wing R.R., Tate D.F., Espeland M.A., Lewis C.E., LaRose J.G., Gorin A.A., Bahnson J., Perdue L.H., Hatley K.E., Ferguson E., Garcia K.R., Lang W.; Study of Novel Approaches to Weight Gain Prevention (SNAP) Research Group (2016). Translational Behavior Medicine, 6(2), 755-62.

A randomized trial to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage and juice intake in preschool-aged children: description of the Smart Moms intervention trial. Nezami B.T., Lytle L.A. and Tate D.F. (2016). BMC Public Health, 16(1), 847.

Innovative Self-Regulation Strategies to Reduce Weight Gain in Young Adults: The Study of Novel Approaches to Weight Gain Prevention (SNAP) Randomized Clinical Trial. Wing R.R., Tate D.F., Espeland M.A., Lewis C.E., LaRose J.G., Gorin A.A., Bahnson J., Perdue L.H., Hatley K.E., Ferguson E., Garcia K.R., Lang W.; Study of Novel Approaches to Weight Gain Prevention (SNAP) Research Group.. (2016). JAMA Internal Medicine, 176(6), 755-62.

Staff/Administrative Duties

Director, Communication for Health Applications and Interventions (CHAI) Core

Internal Advisory Board Member, Nutrition Obesity Research Center

Doctoral Program Committee, Department of Nutrition

Leadership Team Member, Cancer Prevention and Control Intervention Research, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

Education

  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, Virginia Tech, 1999
  • MS, Psychology, Virginia Tech, 1995
  • BA, English, College of William and Mary, 1989