Health Behavior Faculty News Winter 2018

The Department of Health Behavior posts faculty news and updates on our website as they happen and distributes a compilation as a component of our e-newsletter several times a year.

December 2018 and later

December 1

In the U.S., diabetes is diagnosed every 21 seconds, one in three adults and 100 million people are affected, and the estimated cost of the diabetes crisis in this country was $327 billion in 2017 alone.

In October, a Politico-convened working group of leading policymakers, researchers, clinicians and experts explored the growing crisis to identify challenges, gaps and solutions. Now the report has been released online.

Dr. Edwin Fisher

Edwin Fisher, PhD, professor in the Department of Health Behavior at UNC Gillings and global director of Peers for Progress, participated in the working group.

“There are excellent models of mass population behavior change. In the United States in 1964, 44 percent of the adult population smoked. That’s now down to about 15 percent. For most of those years smoking was the most heavily marketed product in our country. It was highly addictive, it was socially acceptable, and yet, we were able to get people to change. And the way we got people to change is not with magic bullets, not with one or two best practices but with a comprehensive campaign of approaches.”

Takeaways in the report cover areas from prevention and prediabetes through early and advanced disease. The working group said that the challenge of diabetes will not be solved through an individual case-by-case approach.

At the end of the day, addressing diabetes requires a comprehensive approach, with care taking place in the community, not just in clinics and hospitals. Read the report.

Book Cover: Principles and Concepts of Behavioral MedicineFisher is also the editor of a new resource, Principles and Concepts of Behavioral Medicine: A Global Handbook  published in October. The handbook was described as a “major work tying together the state of the art for the field as an integrated whole.”

The volume covers “a very wide range of subjects including fundamental aspects of learning, emotion, cognition, genetics and epigenetics, and brain-behavior relationships as well as our still emerging understanding of how natural built environments, sociocultural factors, and public health policies influence behavior and behavior change,” writes Fisher in the introduction. It covers how the way we live our lives affects health and influences most diseases and how a socio-ecological perspective is important to addressing health and mitigating the effect of health problems.

Contributors to the book include many current faculty members, staff and students and alumni of the Department of Health Behavior.



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