Recent data suggest that 31% of children in the United States are overweight or obese, which translates to 4-5 million children in the United States. Children who are obese are at an increased risk for many negative health consequences in childhood and in adulthood, including orthopedic and endocrine conditions, cardiovascular disease, cancer and all-cause mortality.
This project attempts a dramatically different mobile health (mHealth) approach to childhood obesity by not focusing directly on diet and activity, but rather on family eating dynamics (FED). Recent discoveries in behavioral science have revealed that in-home FED – who is eating, when, where, with whom, and under what interpersonal stress and mood – has high potential to impact child as well as parent dietary intake and obesity rates.
The M2FED project is developing and deploying new methods for in-home sensing that monitor and model FED, allowing us to generate family-specific real-time FED system models.
Two key health-related scientific challenges are currently being investigated: (1) understanding obesity-related behaviors in real-time and in context, and (2) developing dynamic models of FED behavior that can serve as the foundations for future interventions to change family eating dynamics with just-in-time model-driven feedback.
This will be the first study that will model family dynamics in real-time to identify potential opportunities for innovative interventions in the future. The resulting data will enable the development of an unprecedented, in-depth understanding of every-day family interactions around food.
USC undergraduate students in the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention & Global Health B.S. programs qualify to apply for undergraduate research assistantships.
Undergraduate students in other degree programs will also be considered. Assistantships are available as part of the HP 290 or HP 490 Direct Research course. Please contact Luz Antunez Castillo (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in applying for an assistantship.
If you are not a USC undergraduate student but you are interested in working on the M2FED project, then please contact Luz Antunez Castillo (email@example.com) for more information.
We would like to invite Los Angeles families to participate in our new, cutting-edge project that uses technology to understand family eating patterns.
We are testing state-of-the-art technology that is designed to detect mood and eating. Our goal is to detect if mood affects your family’s eating patterns.
Help us understand how family eating habits can be harnessed to help families, and particularly children, eat healthy diets.Partner with us
If your family is interested in participating in our study, then please contact Luz Antunez Castillo at (213) 821-1768 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, please provide your name, phone number, and email address and we will contact you with more information.
Our multidisciplinary team consists of behavioral scientists, system scientists, obesity experts, computer scientists, and electrical engineers to address the challenges of capturing real-time behavior data for obesity prevention and treatment.
Researchers have found a way to track how you feel when eating snacks or a meal. Researchers are presenting details of how specially-programmed smartwatches monitor family member's emotions and eating behaviors for a study on obesity.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is spending $1.7 million to monitor how and what obese families eat, tracking their eating via sensors they wear on their waists. The research, conducted by the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of Virginia, began this month. Families will be monitored for months at a time
A University of Southern California psychologist who studies the American epidemic of childhood obesity has long sought a more effective way to study the family eating dynamics that lead to unhealthy weight gain.
Please contact us at email@example.com and let's start a discussion.