Leslie Lytle

Leslie A. Lytle, PhD

Adjunct Professor
Department of Health Behavior


Leslie Lytle is an adjunct professor in the Department of Health Behavior.

Her research focuses on the health promotion of youth and young adults, particularly preventing obesity and promoting healthful diet and physical activity through school, family and environmental approaches. She has been developing, implementing and evaluating behavior-change interventions for more than 25 years.

Dr. Lytle has been a principal investigator on several large National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies, including CATCH (NHLBI), TEENS (NCI), TAAG (NHLBI), IDEA (NCI), ECHO (NHLBI) and CHOICES (NHLBI).

She chairs the Steering Committee for the EARLY trials, a consortium of seven universities that are testing technology-based interventions to reduce weight gain in young adults at risk for obesity; her CHOICES study is one of the trials. In addition to obesity-related health behaviors in youth/young adults, she has also studied sleep-, tobacco- and alcohol-related behaviors.

Honors and Awards

Nominated to the List of Most Influential Obesity Researchers
2009, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Teaching Interests

Dr. Lytle has taught courses in theories of health behavior change, community nutrition interventions, and behavioral and social aspects of health.

Representative Courses

Development and Evaluation of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Interventions (HBEH 811) | Syllabus

Research Activities

Adolescent and young adult health
Health behavior change
Health promotion
Obesity prevention and reduction
Physical activity promotion
Cardiovascular disease reduction
Design and implementation of effective health interventions
Effects of environmental factors on health behaviors
Role of technology in health promotion

Service Activities

Dr. Lytle is frequently invited to serve as an expert reviewer or panelist for national agencies and academic institutions, including the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, NIH, CDC, school health and various behavioral health or nutrition departments.

Current service positions include:
Dannon Institute Board, since 2009
Danone International Institute, Elected member, since 2013
Member, Expert Panel, Guideline for School Health Programs to Promote Lifelong Physical Activity and Healthy Eating, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 2006
Member Expert Panel: Common Community Measures for Obesity Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 2007
Elected member of the Executive Board for the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity: Position, Member at Large, since 2009

Key Publications

Weight-Gain Reduction Among 2-Year College Students: The CHOICES RCT. Lytle LA, Laska MN, Linde JA, Moe SG, Nanney MS, Hannan PJ, Erickson DJ (2017). American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 52(2), 183-191.

Sociodemographic Disparities in Proximity of Schools to Tobacco Outlets and Fast-Food Restaurants. D'Angelo H, Ammerman A, Gordon-Larsen P, Linnan L, Lytle L, Ribisl KM. (2016). American Journal of Public Health, 106(9), 1556-62.
View publication

Deconstructing interventions: approaches to studying behavior change techniques across obesity interventions. Tate DF, Lytle LA, Sherwood NE, Haire-Joshu D, Matheson D, Moore SM, Loria CM, Pratt C, Ward DS, Belle SH, Michie S. (2016). Translational Behavioral Medicine, 6(2), 236-43.
View publication

Results of a 2-year randomized, controlled obesity prevention trial: Effects on diet, activity and sleep behaviors in an at-risk young adult population. Laska MN, Lytle LA, Nanney MS, Moe SG, Linde JA, Hannan PJ. (2016). Preventive Medicine, 89.


  • PhD, Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1988
  • MS, Education, Purdue University, 1979
  • BS, Biological Health / Medical Dietetics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 1976