Dr. Hauser is the Obesity Medicine Director of the Medical Weight Loss Program in the Stanford Lifestyle and Weight Management Center, formerly known as the Stanford Bariatric Surgery and Medical Weight Loss Clinic. She is a board-certified specialist in internal medicine and lifestyle medicine. She also holds the position of Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, General Surgery, and by courtesy, Primary Care and Population Health.

Beyond delivering patient care and medical education, Dr. Hauser is a prevention researcher and Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef. She combines her skills to help patients move away from lifestyles that lead to chronic disease and toward those that promote health and well-being.

Dr. Hauser develops and runs lifestyle and medical weight management programs that combine evidence-based, non-surgical treatment modalities, which can be used alone or as an adjunct to bariatric surgery procedures. She provides screening, prevention strategies, and treatment for conditions including hyperlipidemia, diabetes, fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and other metabolic diseases. As a chef, she recognizes the importance of enjoying food, so she incorporates cooking classes into her clinical practice to teach patients how to make delicious food that is also healthy in support of their short- and long-term health goals.

In her academic initiatives, Dr. Hauser has created and evaluated a novel medical weight management program for Veterans. It combines lifestyle medicine-enriched shared medical appointments and telehealth follow-up. She was a primary investigator of a Stanford study of food insecurity screening and referral to healthy food resources. She was also the project lead on a study of the impact of diet quality and type on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors.

Dr. Hauser wrote the first comprehensive Culinary Medicine Curriculum for health care professional training programs, now in use in more than 100 countries. She also runs an ongoing culinary medicine elective course for medical and physician assistant students. She has co-authored numerous articles published in peer-reviewed journals such as JAMA, American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Topics address new strategies to improve nutrition, physical activity, and weight loss.

She has made invited presentations on obesity management, culinary medicine, and shared medical appointments at the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Annual Conference, Society for General Internal Medicine Annual Conference, and other meetings.

The Lifestyle Medicine Education Collaborative recognized Dr. Hauser as a “Champion for Change” for developing innovative programs to incorporate lifestyle medicine into medical education. Other honors include the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Hauser is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, where she previously served on the Board of Directors.

Clinical Focus

  • Internal Medicine
  • Obesity Medicine
  • Lifestyle Medicine

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Obesity Medicine Director, Stanford University Medical Center (2021 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Invited Fellow, American College of Physicians
  • Champion for Change, Lifestyle Medicine Education Collaborative
  • Local Hunger Fighter, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo, California, Counties
  • San Mateo Medical Center Above & Beyond Award, San Mateo Medical Center
  • Food Hero, Honorable Mention, City of Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Cambridge Integrated Clerkship Teaching Award, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA
  • Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, Arnold P Gold Foundation and Harvard Medical School
  • Letter of Achievement in Leadership, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • Zuckerman Fellowship and Scholarship, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • Summer Research Award for Nutrition Research, Division of Nutrition and Osher Integrative Care Center, Harvard Medical School
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, Humboldt State University
  • American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate Undergraduate Summer Research Program, University of California, San Diego

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Board of Directors, American College of Lifestyle Medicine (2015 - 2018)
  • Member, American College of Lifestyle Medicine (2014 - Present)
  • Member, American College of Physicians (2012 - Present)
  • Member, Society of General Internal Medicine (2013 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Board Certification, American Board of Lifestyle Medicine, Lifestyle Medicine
  • Board Certification, American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine
  • Fellowship, American College of Physicians, Invited Fellow
  • Fellowship, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
  • Fellowship, American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Lifestyle Medicine
  • Fellowship, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Zuckerman Fellowship in Leadership and Public Service
  • Residency, Harvard Medical School – Cambridge Health Alliance, Internal Medicine
  • Medical Degree, Harvard Medical School

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Dr. Michelle Hauser, MD, MS, MPA, FACLM, Chef is board certified in internal medicine and completed medical school, internal medicine residency, and a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree at Harvard, as well as a Master of Science in Epidemiology and Clinical Research at Stanford. She is also a certified chef via Le Cordon Bleu and serves on the Board of Directors for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine where she is also a Fellow. At Stanford University School of Medicine, she is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and teaches nutrition and culinary medicine to medical students. She practices primary care for the County of San Mateo at Fair Oaks Health Center, a safety-net clinic in Redwood City, where she is also a teaching attending for Stanford Internal Medicine residents. Additional clinical responsibilities include developing obesity medicine group visits for the Palo Alto Veteran’s Affairs Health Care System and teaching medical students and residents about obesity medicine. Her research blends her training in medicine, public policy, nutrition, and culinary arts to focus on improving education and access to delicious, healthy food for medical professionals and the general public, including those who are underserved. Current research topics include: community-based participatory research (CBPR) utilizing lifestyle change interventions and technology for those in underserved communities with, or at risk of, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity; food insecurity; food literacy; weight loss; diet quality; culinary medicine; lifestyle medicine; teaching nutrition and cooking skills; and medical education around lifestyle-based prevention topics.

Graduate and Fellowship Programs

All Publications

  • Vida Sana y Completa: A randomized controlled trial to examine the effectiveness of diabetes prevention with and without medically supportive groceries among Latina women. Contemporary clinical trials Rosas, L. G., Perez, J. A., Chen, W. T., Xiao, L., Espinosa, P. R., Venditti, E. M., Lewis, M. A., Gardner, C. D., Marti, A., Martinez, E., Murthy, M., Hauser, M. 2024: 107582


    Latina women have a high prevalence of obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Approximately half of Latinas with obesity will also experience food insecurity, or a lack of access to enough food for an active and healthy life. Food insecurity is a barrier for effective prevention and management of obesity-related chronic diseases. The goal of this type 1 hybrid comparative effectiveness trial is to compare a culturally-tailored diabetes prevention intervention with and without medically supportive groceries. Adult Latina women (n = 412) with obesity (Body Mass Index (BMI) of >30 kg/m2) and food insecurity will be 1:1 randomized to the Vida Sana intervention (control), or to Vida Sana y Completa (intervention plus integrated treatment for food insecurity). Vida Sana is an evidence-based culturally tailored, 12-month diabetes prevention intervention that targets at least 5% weight loss and at least 150 min/week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Participants enrolled in Vida Sana y Completa will also receive 12 weekly deliveries of medically supportive groceries. Those in Vida Sana alone will receive information on local food resources. Participants will be assessed at baseline and every 6 months for 24 months. The primary outcome is weight loss at 12 months. Secondary outcomes include weight loss maintenance, diet quality, and quality of life. Barriers and facilitators of implementation will be assessed using mixed methods according to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. This study will provide critical evidence for addressing the combination of obesity and food insecurity in primary care for diabetes prevention. Trial Registration: NCT052111.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cct.2024.107582

    View details for PubMedID 38810932

  • Serving Up FLAN. A Food Literacy and Nutrition Intervention to Fend Off Food Insecurity. Research square Royer, M. F., Hauser, M. E., Zamora, A. N., Campero, M. I., Garcia, D., Gabaray, M., Sheats, J. L., King, A. C. 2024


    Food insecurity, an ongoing and accelerating problem in the U.S., is an economic and social condition involving limited or uncertain access to adequate food. Some of the highest rates of food insecurity in 2022 were found among individuals who were Hispanic-Latinx (20.8%), a population that already faces disproportionate health and socioeconomic disadvantages. There remains an urgent health-related need to identify sustainable strategies to prevent food insecurity in the Latinx population.A first-generation pilot investigation was conducted using data derived from a sub-study connected to the Computerized Physical Activity Support for Seniors (COMPASS) Trial, a 12-month cluster-randomized controlled trial among older Latinx adults. The sub-study focused on two nutrition interventions that included 1) the Food Literacy and Nutrition (FLAN) curriculum, and 2) a nutrition information-only control. Research hypotheses aimed to determine whether the FLAN intervention reduced food insecurity and increased daily fruit and vegetable servings.On average, participants (n = 39) were 61.5 years of age (SD = 6.7), mostly female (69%), and reported Spanish as their primary language (69%). The FLAN intervention was associated with decreased odds of food insecurity at 12 months (AOR = 0.71, 95% CI = 0.54, 0.95; p = 0.03) when compared to the nutrition-information only control intervention. Although no between-group differences in daily fruit and vegetable servings were found, there was a significant correlation between changes in daily fruit and vegetable servings from baseline to six months and changes in food insecurity from baseline to 12 months (r = -0.51, p = 0.01).The FLAN intervention, a bilingual and culturally tailored educational curriculum, yielded 12-month improvements in food security among a small sample of older Latinx adults. Evidence from this investigation suggests the potential utility of implementing the FLAN curriculum among individuals who are at an increased risk of food insecurity. Further investigation in a larger sample is merited to determine whether the 12-month decreases in food insecurity that were produced by the FLAN intervention can be Identifier: NCT02111213.

    View details for DOI 10.21203/

    View details for PubMedID 38766254

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC11100874

  • Evaluation of the reach and utilization of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine's Culinary Medicine Curriculum FRONTIERS IN NUTRITION Staffier, K., Holmes, S., Karlsen, M., Kees, A., Shetty, P., Hauser, M. E. 2024; 11: 1338620


    Despite the growing interest in "food as medicine," healthcare professionals have very limited exposure to nutrition as part of their training. Culinary medicine (CM), an evidence-based field integrating nutrition education with culinary knowledge and skills, offers one approach to fill this training gap. The American College of Lifestyle Medicine published a complimentary Culinary Medicine Curriculum (CMC) in 2019, and the objective of this study is to evaluate its reach and utilization, as well as to collect feedback from users.Individuals who downloaded the CMC prior to March 1, 2022 (N = 6,162) were emailed an invitation to participate in an online, cross-sectional survey. The survey included both multiple choice and free-text questions about whether CM sessions were conducted, if and how the CMC was used, if and how it was modified for use, and additional requested resources. Free-text responses were inductively coded, and quantitative data was summarized using descriptive statistics.A total of 522 respondents provided consent, indicated that they had downloaded the curriculum, and completed the survey. Of the 522, 366 (70%) reported that they had not led or created any CM sessions. The top-reported reason for not leading a session was lack of time (29%). The remaining respondents who did create a CM session did so across various settings, including academic, clinical, coaching, and other settings, and a variety of professionals delivered the CMC sessions, including physicians (50%), registered dietitian nutritionists (30%), and chefs (25%). The majority of respondents (81%) modified the CMC in some way, with many using the curriculum for guidance or ideas only. Patient education materials (66%) and cooking technique instruction videos (59%) were among top requested resources.The CMC is a versatile resource that can be successfully adapted for use across various settings and by various types of health professionals and practitioners. Future research should investigate whether training in CM results in improved health outcomes for patients/clients. The curriculum will continue to grow to address the needs of users by expanding to include more digital content such as curriculum videos and cooking technique videos.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fnut.2024.1338620

    View details for Web of Science ID 001194697700001

    View details for PubMedID 38567252

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10985187

  • Exploring Biases of the Healthy Eating Index and Alternative Healthy Eating Index when Scoring Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Hauser, M. E., Hartle, J. C., Landry, M. J., Fielding-Singh, P., Shih, C. W., Qin, F., Rigdon, J., Gardner, C. D. 2024


    The Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010) and Alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI-2010) are commonly used to measure dietary quality in research settings. Neither index is designed specifically to compare diet quality between Low-Carbohydrate (LC) and Low-Fat (LF) diets. It is unknown if biases exist in making these comparisons.The aim was to determine whether HEI-2010 and AHEI-2010 contain biases when scoring LC and LF diets.Secondary analyses of the Diet Intervention Examining The Factors Interacting with Treatment Success (DIETFITS) weight loss trial were conducted. The trial was conducted in the San Francisco Bay Area of California and occurred between January 2013 and May 2016. Three approaches were used to investigate whether biases existed for HEI-2010 and AHEI-2010 when scoring LC and LF diets./Setting: DIETFITS participants were assigned to follow healthy low-carbohydrate (HLC) or healthy low-fat (HLF) diets for 12 months (N=609).Mean diet quality index scores for each diet were measured.Approach 1 examined both diet quality indices' scoring criteria. Approach 2 compared scores garnered by exemplary quality LC and LF menus created by registered dietitians. Approach 3 used two-sided t-tests to compare the HEI-2010 and AHEI-2010 scores calculated from 24-hour dietary recalls of DIETFITS trial participants (N=608).Scoring criteria for both HEI-2010 (100 possible points) and AHEI-2010 (110 possible points) were estimated to favor a LF diet by 10 points. Mean scores for exemplary quality LF menus were higher than for LC menus using both HEI-2010 (91.8 vs. 76.8) and AHEI-2010 (71.7 vs. 64.4, adjusted to 100 possible points). DIETFITS participants assigned to a HLF diet scored significantly higher on HEI and AHEI than those assigned to a HLC diet at 3, 6, and 12-months (all p<0.001). Mean baseline scores were lower than mean scores at all follow-up time points regardless of diet assignment or diet quality index used.Commonly used diet quality indices, HEI-2010 and AHEI-2010, showed biases toward LF versus LC diets. However, both indices detected expected changes in diet quality within each diet, with HEI-2010 yielding greater variation in scores. Findings support the use of these indices in measuring diet quality differences within, but not between, LC and LF diets.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jand.2024.02.014

    View details for PubMedID 38423509

  • Association of Dietary Adherence and Dietary Quality with Weight Loss Success among those Following Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets: A Secondary Analysis of the DIETFITS Randomized Clinical Trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition Hauser, M. E., Hartle, J. C., Landry, M. J., Fielding-Singh, P., Shih, C. W., Qin, F., Rigdon, J., Gardner, C. D. 2023


    BACKGROUND: Eating a high-quality diet or adhering to a given dietary strategy may influence weight loss. However, these two factors have not been examined concurrently for those following macronutrient-limiting diets.OBJECTIVE: Determine whether improvement in dietary quality, change in dietary macronutrient composition, or the combination of these factors associated with differential weight loss when following a healthy low-carbohydrate (HLC) or healthy low-fat (HLF) diet.DESIGN: Generally healthy adults were randomized to HLC or HLF diets for 12-months (n=609) as part of a randomized controlled weight loss study. Participants with complete 24-hour dietary recall data at baseline and 12-months were included in this secondary analysis (total N=448; N=224 HLC, N=224 HLF). Participants were divided into four subgroups according to 12-month change in HEI-2010 score (above median = high-quality (HQ) and below median = low-quality (LQ)) and 12-month change in macronutrient intake (below median = high-adherence (HA) and above median = low-adherence (LA) for net carbohydrate (g) or fat (g) for HLC and HLF, respectively). Baseline to 12-month changes in mean BMI were compared for those in HQ/HA, HQ/LA, LQ/HA subgroups versus the LQ/LA subgroup within HLC and HLF.RESULTS: For HLC, changes (95 % CI) in mean BMI were -1.15 kg/m2 (-2.04, -0.26) for HQ/HA, -0.30 (-1.22, 0.61) for HQ/LA, and -0.80 (-1.74, 0.14) for LQ/HA compared with the LQ/LA subgroup. For HLF, changes (95% CI) in mean BMI were -1.11kg/m2 (-2.10, -0.11) for HQ/HA, -0.26 (-1.26, 0.75) for HQ/LA, and -0.66 (-1.74, 0.41) for LQ/HA compared with the LQ/LA subgroup.CONCLUSION: Within both HLC and HLF diet arms, 12-month decrease in BMI was significantly greater in HQ/HA subgroups relative to LQ/LA subgroups. Neither HQ nor HA alone were significantly different than LQ/LA subgroups. Results of this analysis support the combination of dietary adherence and high-quality diets for weight loss.CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRY: (Identifier: NCT01826591).

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ajcnut.2023.10.028

    View details for PubMedID 37931749

  • Preoperative Weight Loss with Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists Before Bariatric Surgery Ruhle, B., Bartoletti, S., Hauser, M., Azagury, D. E. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2023: S28
  • Nutrition-An Evidence-Based, Practical Approach to Chronic Disease Prevention and Treatment. The Journal of family practice Hauser, M. E., McMacken, M., Lim, A., Shetty, P. 2022; 71 (1 Suppl Lifestyle): S5-S16

    View details for DOI 10.12788/jfp.0292

    View details for PubMedID 35389838

  • Rapid conversion to virtual obesity care in COVID-19: Impact on patient care, interdisciplinary collaboration, and training OBESITY SCIENCE & PRACTICE Lohnberg, J. A., Salcido, L., Frayne, S., Mahtani, N., Bates, C., Hauser, M. E., Breland, J. Y. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.1002/osp4.550

    View details for Web of Science ID 000690652400001

  • Rapid conversion to virtual obesity care in COVID-19: Impact on patient care, interdisciplinary collaboration, and training. Obesity science & practice Lohnberg, J. A., Salcido, L., Frayne, S., Mahtani, N., Bates, C., Hauser, M. E., Breland, J. Y. 2021


    The COVID-19 pandemic presents challenges to maintaining interdisciplinary collaboration while transitioning care to telehealth environments. This paper describes how an intensive weight management clinic rapidly transitioned from in-person only to a telehealth environment.As a program evaluation project, changes to clinic procedures were tracked on a weekly basis. Patients were invited to complete phone surveys after clinic appointments from 1 May 2020 to 31 July 2020. The survey included 12 items rated on a 5-point scale ("strongly disagree" to "strongly agree").Adaptations included converting team meetings and clinical training to phone/video platforms and transferring a complex patient tracking system to an interactive virtual format. Fifty-eight patients completed phone surveys (81% response rate). All "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that they were satisfied with telehealth care; 51% "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that telephone visits were as good as in-person visits; and 53% preferred phone appointments even after pandemic restrictions are eased.It is feasible to rapidly transition to a telehealth clinic when supported by infrastructure and resources of a national, integrated healthcare system. Patient preferences include access to both telehealth and in-person services. A blended telehealth/in-person model that maintains interdisciplinary collaboration and training is necessary even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/osp4.550

    View details for PubMedID 34540265

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8441727

  • Associations of Changes in Blood Lipid Concentrations with Changes in Dietary Cholesterol Intake in the Context of a Healthy Low-Carbohydrate Weight Loss Diet: A Secondary Analysis of the DIETFITS Trial. Nutrients Vergara, M., Hauser, M. E., Aronica, L., Rigdon, J., Fielding-Singh, P., Shih, C. W., Gardner, C. D. 2021; 13 (6)


    In 2015, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) eliminated the historical upper limit of 300 mg of dietary cholesterol/day and shifted to a more general recommendation that cholesterol intake should be limited. The primary aim of this secondary analysis of the Diet Intervention Examining the Factors Interacting With Treatment Success (DIETFITS) weight loss diet trial was to evaluate the associations between 12-month changes in dietary cholesterol intake (mg/day) and changes in plasma lipids, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol for those following a healthy low-carbohydrate (HLC) diet. Secondary aims included examining high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides and changes in refined grains and added sugars. The DIETFITS trial randomized 609 healthy adults aged 18-50 years with body mass indices of 28-40 kg/m2 to an HLC or healthy low-fat (HLF) diet for 12 months. Linear regressions examined the association between 12-month change in dietary cholesterol intake and plasma lipids in 208 HLC participants with complete diet and lipid data, adjusting for potential confounding variables. Baseline dietary cholesterol intake was 322 ± 173 (mean ± SD). At 12 months, participants consumed an average of 460 ± 227 mg/day of dietary cholesterol; 76% consumed over the previously recommended limit of 300 mg/day. Twelve-month changes in cholesterol intake were not significantly associated with 12-month changes in LDL-C, HDL-C, or triglycerides. Diet recall data suggested participants' increase in dietary cholesterol was partly due to replacing refined grains and sugars with eggs. An increase in daily dietary cholesterol intake to levels substantially above the previous 300 mg upper limit was not associated with a negative impact on lipid profiles in the setting of a healthy, low-carbohydrate weight loss diet.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/nu13061935

    View details for PubMedID 34200027

  • The First, Comprehensive, Open-Source Culinary Medicine Curriculum for Health Professional Training Programs: A Global Reach. American journal of lifestyle medicine Hauser, M. E., Nordgren, J. R., Adam, M., Gardner, C. D., Rydel, T., Bever, A. M., Steinberg, E. 2020; 14 (4): 369-373


    Providing a strong foundation in culinary medicine (CM)-including what constitutes a healthy diet and how to find, obtain, and prepare healthy and delicious food-is a cornerstone of educating health professionals to support patients in achieving better health outcomes. The Culinary Medicine Curriculum (CMC), published in collaboration with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, is the first, comprehensive, open-source guide created to support the implementation of CM at health professional training programs (HPTPs) worldwide. The CMC is modeled after the successful CM elective course for Stanford University School of Medicine students. Key goals of the CMC include presenting healthy food as unapologetically delicious, quick, and inexpensive; translating lessons learned to healthy eating on-the-go; practicing motivational interviewing on healthy dietary behavior changes; and demonstrating how to launch a CM course. The CMC highlights a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet as seen through the lenses of different world flavors and culinary traditions. It was developed, published, and distributed with the aim of expanding CM by reducing barriers to creating CM courses within most types of HPTPs and practice settings. During the first 2 months the CMC was available, it was downloaded 2379 times in 83 countries by a wide variety of health care professionals interested in teaching CM. The global interest in this first, freely available, evidence-based CMC underscores the demand for CM resources. Such resources could prove foundational in expediting development of CM courses and expanding the reach of CM and counseling on dietary behavior changes into patient care.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1559827620916699

    View details for PubMedID 33281516

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7692007

  • Testing the effectiveness of physical activity advice delivered via text messaging vs. human phone advisors in a Latino population: The On The Move randomized controlled trial design and methods. Contemporary clinical trials King, A. C., Campero, I., Sheats, J. L., Castro Sweet, C. M., Espinosa, P. R., Garcia, D., Hauser, M., Done, M., Patel, M. L., Parikh, N. M., Corral, C., Ahn, D. K. 2020: 106084


    Physical inactivity is a key risk factor for a range of chronic diseases and conditions, yet, approximately 50% of U.S. adults fall below recommended levels of regular aerobic physical activity (PA). This is particularly true for ethnic minority populations such as Latino adults for whom few culturally adapted programs have been developed and tested. Text messaging (SMS) represents a convenient and accessible communication channel for delivering targeted PA information and support, but has not been rigorously evaluated against standard telehealth advising programs. The objective of the On The Move randomized controlled trial is to test the effectiveness of a linguistically and culturally targeted SMS PA intervention (SMS PA Advisor) versus two comparison conditions: a) a standard, staff-delivered phone PA intervention (Telephone PA Advisor) and b) an attention-control arm consisting of a culturally targeted SMS intervention to promote a healthy diet (SMS Nutrition Advisor). The study sample (N = 350) consists of generally healthy, insufficiently active Latino adults ages 35 years and older living in five northern California counties. Study assessments occur at baseline, 6, and 12 months, with a subset of participants completing 18-month assessments. The primary outcome is 12-month change in walking, and secondary outcomes include other forms of PA, assessed via validated self-report measures and supported by accelerometry, and physical function and well-being variables. Potential mediators and moderators of intervention success will be explored to better determine which subgroups do best with which type of intervention. Here we present the study design and methods, including recruitment strategies and yields. Trial Registration: Identifier = NCT02385591.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cct.2020.106084

    View details for PubMedID 32659437

  • The First, Comprehensive, Open-Source Culinary Medicine Curriculum for Health Professional Training Programs: A Global Reach AMERICAN JOURNAL OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE Hauser, M. E., Nordgren, J. R., Adam, M., Gardner, C. D., Rydel, T., Bever, A. M., Steinberg, E. 2020; 14 (4): 369–73
  • Effects of Counseling by Peer Human Advisors vs Computers to Increase Walking in Underserved Populations: The COMPASS Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA internal medicine King, A. C., Campero, M. I., Sheats, J. L., Castro Sweet, C. M., Hauser, M. E., Garcia, D. n., Chazaro, A. n., Blanco, G. n., Banda, J. n., Ahn, D. K., Fernandez, J. n., Bickmore, T. n. 2020


    Effective and practical treatments are needed to increase physical activity among those at heightened risk from inactivity. Walking represents a popular physical activity that can produce a range of desirable health effects, particularly as people age.To test the hypothesis that counseling by a computer-based virtual advisor is no worse than (ie, noninferior to) counseling by trained human advisors for increasing 12-month walking levels among inactive adults.A cluster-randomized, noninferiority parallel trial enrolled 245 adults between July 21, 2014, and July 29, 2016, with follow-up through September 15, 2017. Data analysis was performed from March 15 to December 20, 2018. The evidence-derived noninferiority margin was 30 minutes of walking per week. Participants included inactive adults aged 50 years and older, primarily of Latin American descent and capable of walking without significant limitations, from 10 community centers in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, California.All participants received similar evidence-based, 12-month physical activity counseling at their local community center, with the 10 centers randomized to a computerized virtual advisor program (virtual) or a previously validated peer advisor program (human).The primary outcome was change in walking minutes per week over 12 months using validated interview assessment corroborated with accelerometry. Both per-protocol and intention-to-treat analysis was performed.Among the 245 participants randomized, 193 were women (78.8%) and 241 participants (98.4%) were Latino. Mean (SD) age was 62.3 (8.4) years (range, 50-87 years), 107 individuals (43.7%) had high school or less educational level, mean BMI was 32.8 (6.8), and mean years residence in the US was 47.4 (17.0) years. A total of 231 participants (94.3%) completed the study. Mean 12-month change in walking was 153.9 min/wk (95% CI, 126.3 min/wk to infinity) for the virtual cohort (n = 123) and 131.9 min/wk (95% CI, 101.4 min/wk to infinity) for the human cohort (n = 122) (difference, 22.0, with lower limit of 1-sided 95% CI, -20.6 to infinity; P = .02); this finding supports noninferiority. Improvements emerged in both arms for relevant clinical risk factors, sedentary behavior, and well-being measures.The findings of this study indicate that a virtual advisor using evidence-based strategies produces significant 12-month walking increases for older, lower-income Latino adults that are no worse than the significant improvements achieved by human advisors. Changes produced by both programs are commensurate with those reported in previous investigations of these behavioral interventions and provide support for broadening the range of light-touch physical activity programs that can be offered to a diverse Identifier: NCT02111213.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.4143

    View details for PubMedID 32986075

  • Changes in blood lipid concentrations associated with changes in intake of dietary saturated fat in the context of a healthy low-carbohydrate weight-loss diet: a secondary analysis of the Diet Intervention Examining The Factors Interacting with Treatment Success (DIETFITS) trial AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION Shih, C. W., Hauser, M. E., Aronica, L., Rigdon, J., Gardner, C. D. 2019; 109 (2): 433–41
  • Changes in blood lipid concentrations associated with changes in intake of dietary saturated fat in the context of a healthy low-carbohydrate weight-loss diet: a secondary analysis of the Diet Intervention Examining The Factors Interacting with Treatment Success (DIETFITS) trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition Shih, C. W., Hauser, M. E., Aronica, L., Rigdon, J., Gardner, C. D. 2019


    Background: For low-carbohydrate diets, a public health approach has focused on the replacement of carbohydrates with unsaturated fats. However, little research exists on the impacts of saturated fat intake on the lipid profile in the context of whole-food-based low-carbohydrate weight-loss diets.Objectives: The primary aim of this secondary analysis of the DIETFITS weight loss trial was to evaluate the associations between changes in percentage of dietary saturated fatty acid intake (%SFA) and changes in low-density lipoproteins, high-density lipoproteins, and triglyceride concentrations for those following a healthy low-carbohydrate (HLC) diet. The secondary aim was to examine these associations specifically for HLC dieters who had the highest 12-month increases in %SFA.Methods: In the DIETFITS trial, 609 generally healthy adults, aged 18-50 years, with body mass indices of 28-40 kg/m2 were randomly assigned to a healthy low-fat (HLF) or HLC diet for 12 months. In this analysis, linear regression, both without and with adjustment for potential confounders, was used to measure the association between 12-month change in %SFA and blood lipids in 208 HLC participants with complete diet and blood lipid data.Results: Participants consumed an average of 12-18% of calories from SFA. An increase of %SFA, without significant changes in absolute saturated fat intake, over 12 months was associated with a statistically significant decrease in triglycerides in the context of a weight-loss study in which participants simultaneously decreased carbohydrate intake. The association between increase in %SFA and decrease in triglycerides was no longer significant when adjusting for 12-month change in carbohydrate intake, suggesting carbohydrate intake may be a mediator of this relationship.Conclusions: Those on a low-carbohydrate weight-loss diet who increase their percentage intake of dietary saturated fat may improve their overall lipid profile provided they focus on a high-quality diet and lower their intakes of both calories and refined carbohydrates. This trial was registered at as NCT01826591.

    View details for PubMedID 30649213

  • Culinary Medicine Basics and Applications in Medical Education in the United States. Nestle Nutrition Institute workshop series Hauser, M. E. 2019; 92: 161–70


    Culinary medicine is an evidence-based field of medicine that combines nutrition science and culinary arts to create food that is delicious, promotes wellness, prevents and treats disease. Historically, nutrition education has been limited to fewer than 20 hours in the preclinical years of undergraduate medical education, focused on nutrients rather than food, and largely separated from the clinical experience. Programs at all levels of medical training are introducing culinary medicine educational opportunities to bridge this gap in practical nutrition knowledge and skills to better prepare physicians to help their patients make healthy dietary changes. These courses have an added benefit of helping physicians improve their own diets, which may improve personal health and help them to prevent burnout. Culinary medicine courses are diverse in their organization, class duration and number, format, type of instructor(s), location, and dietary strategy employed. This flexibility means that nearly any medical practice or educational setting can provide some amount of culinary medicine content if institutional support exists. Given the increasing prevalence of diet-related diseases, demand for culinary medicine courses will likely continue to grow.

    View details for DOI 10.1159/000499559

    View details for PubMedID 31779011

  • Effect of Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate Diet on 12-Month Weight Loss in Overweight Adults and the Association With Genotype Pattern or Insulin Secretion The DIETFITS Randomized Clinical Trial JAMA-JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION Gardner, C. D., Trepanowski, J. F., Del Gobbo, L. C., Hauser, M. E., Rigdon, J., Ioannidis, J. A., Desai, M., King, A. C. 2018; 319 (7): 667–79


    Dietary modification remains key to successful weight loss. Yet, no one dietary strategy is consistently superior to others for the general population. Previous research suggests genotype or insulin-glucose dynamics may modify the effects of diets.To determine the effect of a healthy low-fat (HLF) diet vs a healthy low-carbohydrate (HLC) diet on weight change and if genotype pattern or insulin secretion are related to the dietary effects on weight loss.The Diet Intervention Examining The Factors Interacting with Treatment Success (DIETFITS) randomized clinical trial included 609 adults aged 18 to 50 years without diabetes with a body mass index between 28 and 40. The trial enrollment was from January 29, 2013, through April 14, 2015; the date of final follow-up was May 16, 2016. Participants were randomized to the 12-month HLF or HLC diet. The study also tested whether 3 single-nucleotide polymorphism multilocus genotype responsiveness patterns or insulin secretion (INS-30; blood concentration of insulin 30 minutes after a glucose challenge) were associated with weight loss.Health educators delivered the behavior modification intervention to HLF (n = 305) and HLC (n = 304) participants via 22 diet-specific small group sessions administered over 12 months. The sessions focused on ways to achieve the lowest fat or carbohydrate intake that could be maintained long-term and emphasized diet quality.Primary outcome was 12-month weight change and determination of whether there were significant interactions among diet type and genotype pattern, diet and insulin secretion, and diet and weight loss.Among 609 participants randomized (mean age, 40 [SD, 7] years; 57% women; mean body mass index, 33 [SD, 3]; 244 [40%] had a low-fat genotype; 180 [30%] had a low-carbohydrate genotype; mean baseline INS-30, 93 μIU/mL), 481 (79%) completed the trial. In the HLF vs HLC diets, respectively, the mean 12-month macronutrient distributions were 48% vs 30% for carbohydrates, 29% vs 45% for fat, and 21% vs 23% for protein. Weight change at 12 months was -5.3 kg for the HLF diet vs -6.0 kg for the HLC diet (mean between-group difference, 0.7 kg [95% CI, -0.2 to 1.6 kg]). There was no significant diet-genotype pattern interaction (P = .20) or diet-insulin secretion (INS-30) interaction (P = .47) with 12-month weight loss. There were 18 adverse events or serious adverse events that were evenly distributed across the 2 diet groups.In this 12-month weight loss diet study, there was no significant difference in weight change between a healthy low-fat diet vs a healthy low-carbohydrate diet, and neither genotype pattern nor baseline insulin secretion was associated with the dietary effects on weight loss. In the context of these 2 common weight loss diet approaches, neither of the 2 hypothesized predisposing factors was helpful in identifying which diet was better for Identifier: NCT01826591.

    View details for PubMedID 29466592

  • Fruits and Vegetables Versus Vegetables and Fruits: Rhyme and Reason for Word Order in Health Messages. American journal of lifestyle medicine Offringa, L. C., Stanton, M. V., Hauser, M. E., Gardner, C. D. 2018; 13 (3): 224–34


    Both vegetable and fruit consumption contribute to wellness and disease prevention. Most dietary health messages promote both together and position the word "fruits" before "vegetables." We examined the word order of the commonly used phrase "fruits and vegetables" through linguistics, psychology, botany, nutrition, health outcomes, and current US intake to determine if the common word order best presents these two foods in health messaging. By comparing the 10 most commonly consumed vegetables versus fruits, we found that vegetables scored higher on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index and contained fewer calories and more fiber than fruits. Among the "nutrients of public concern" listed in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we determined that vegetables are better sources of these nutrients than fruits, although fruits scored higher in antioxidant content. In observational cohort studies, vegetable and fruit consumption was found to be associated with decreased mortality. Finally, daily intakes of both vegetables and fruits are lower than recommended, but the discrepancy is larger for vegetables-especially among children-suggesting a greater imperative to promote vegetables. For these reasons, future health messages promoting both together should intentionally put "vegetables" first to promote intake and emphasize their importance regarding contribution to health.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1559827618769605

    View details for PubMedID 31105482

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6506980

  • Testing the comparative effects of physical activity advice by humans vs. computers in underserved populations: The COMPASS trial design, methods, and baseline characteristics CONTEMPORARY CLINICAL TRIALS King, A. C., Campero, I., Sheats, J. L., Sweet, C., Garcia, D., Chazaro, A., Blanco, G., Hauser, M., Fierros, F., Ahn, D. K., Diaz, J., Done, M., Fernandez, J., Bickmore, T. 2017; 61: 115–25


    While physical inactivity is a key risk factor for a range of chronic diseases and conditions associated with aging, a significant proportion of midlife and older adults remain insufficiently active. This is particularly true for ethnic minority populations such as Latino adults for whom few culturally adapted programs have been developed and tested. The major objective of this 12-month cluster-randomized controlled trial is to test the comparative effectiveness of two linguistically and culturally adapted, community-based physical activity interventions with the potential for broad reach and translation. Ten local community centers serving a sizable number of Latino residents were randomized to receive one of two physical activity interventions. The Virtual Advisor program employs a computer-based embodied conversational agent named "Carmen" to deliver interactive, individually tailored physical activity advice and support. A similar intervention program is delivered by trained Peer Advisors. The target population consists of generally healthy, insufficiently active Latino adults ages 50years and older living within proximity to a designated community center. The major outcomes are changes in walking and other forms of physical activity measured via self-report and accelerometry. Secondary outcomes include physical function and well-being variables. In addition to these outcome analyses, comparative cost analysis of the two programs, potential mediators of intervention success, and baseline moderators of intervention effects will be explored to better determine which subgroups do best with which type of intervention. Here we present the study design and methods, including recruitment strategies and yield as well as study baseline Identifier=NCT02111213.

    View details for PubMedID 28739541

  • Dynapenia and Metabolic Health in Obese and Nonobese Adults Aged 70 Years and Older: The LIFE Study JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION Aubertin-Leheudre, M., Anton, S., Beavers, D. P., Manini, T. M., Fielding, R., Newman, A., Church, T., Kritchevsky, S. B., Conroy, D., McDermott, M. M., Botoseneanu, A., Hauser, M. E., Pahor, M. 2017; 18 (4): 312-319


    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between dynapenia and metabolic risk factors in obese and nonobese older adults.A total of 1453 men and women (age ≥70 years) from the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) Study were categorized as (1) nondynapenic/nonobese (NDYN-NO), (2) dynapenic/nonobese (DYN-NO), (3) nondynapenic/obese (NDYN-O), or (4) dynapenic/obese (DYN-O), based on muscle strength (Foundation for the National Institute of Health criteria) and body mass index. Dependent variables were blood lipids, fasting glucose, blood pressure, presence of at least 3 metabolic syndrome (MetS) criteria, and other chronic conditions.A significantly higher likelihood of having abdominal obesity criteria in NDYN-NO compared with DYN-NO groups (55.6 vs 45.1%, P ≤ .01) was observed. Waist circumference also was significantly higher in obese groups (DYN-O = 114.0 ± 12.9 and NDYN-O = 111.2 ± 13.1) than in nonobese (NDYN-NO = 93.1 ± 10.7 and DYN-NO = 92.2 ± 11.2, P ≤ .01); and higher in NDYN-O compared with DYN-O (P = .008). Additionally, NDYN-O demonstrated higher diastolic blood pressure compared with DYN-O (70.9 ± 10.1 vs 67.7 ± 9.7, P ≤ .001). No significant differences were found across dynapenia and obesity status for all other metabolic components (P > .05). The odds of having MetS or its individual components were similar in obese and nonobese, combined or not with dynapenia (nonsignificant odds ratio [95% confidence interval]).Nonobese dynapenic older adults had fewer metabolic disease risk factors than nonobese and nondynapenic older adults. Moreover, among obese older adults, dynapenia was associated with lower risk of meeting MetS criteria for waist circumference and diastolic blood pressure. Additionally, the presence of dynapenia did not increase cardiometabolic disease risk in either obese or nonobese older adults.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jamda.2016.10.001

    View details for Web of Science ID 000398947400007

  • The effect of intervening hospitalizations on the benefit of structured physical activity in promoting independent mobility among community-living older persons: secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial BMC MEDICINE Gill, T. M., Beavers, D. P., Guralnik, J. M., Pahor, M., Fielding, R. A., Hauser, M., Manini, T. M., Marsh, A. P., McDermott, M. M., Newman, A. B., Allore, H. G., Miller, M. E. 2017; 15


    Among older persons, disability is often precipitated by intervening illnesses and injuries leading to hospitalization. In the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) Study, a structured moderate-intensity physical activity program, compared with a health education program, was shown to significantly reduce the amount of time spent with major mobility disability (MMD) over the course of 3.5 years. We aimed to determine whether the benefit of the physical activity program in promoting independent mobility was diminished in the setting of intervening hospitalizations.We analyzed data from a single-blinded, parallel group randomized trial ( NCT01072500). In this trial, 1635 sedentary persons, aged 70-89 years, who had functional limitations but were able to walk 400 m, were randomized from eight US centers between February 2010 and December 2013: 818 to physical activity (800 received intervention) and 817 to health education (805 received intervention). Intervening hospitalizations and MMD, defined as the inability to walk 400 m, were assessed every 6 months for up to 3.5 years.For both the physical activity and health education groups, intervening hospitalizations were strongly associated with the initial onset of MMD and inversely associated with recovery from MMD, defined as a transition from initial MMD onset to no MMD. The benefit of the physical activity intervention did not differ significantly based on hospital exposure. For onset of MMD, the hazard ratios (HR) were 0.79 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.58-1.1) and 0.77 (0.62-0.95) in the presence and absence of intervening hospitalizations, respectively (P-interaction, 0.903). For recovery of MMD, the magnitude of effect was modestly greater among participants who were hospitalized (HR 1.5, 95% CI 0.71-3.0) than in those who were not hospitalized (HR 1.2, 95% CI 0.88-1.7), but this difference did not achieve statistical significance (P-interaction, 0.670).Intervening hospitalizations had strong deleterious effects on the onset of MMD and recovery from MMD, but did not diminish the beneficial effect of the LIFE physical activity intervention in promoting independent mobility. To achieve sustained benefits over time, structured physical activity programs should be designed to accommodate acute illnesses and injuries leading to hospitalizations given their high frequency in older persons with functional identifier NCT01072500 .

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12916-017-0824-6

    View details for PubMedID 28347337

  • DIETFITS study (diet intervention examining the factors interacting with treatment success) - Study design and methods. Contemporary clinical trials Stanton, M. V., Robinson, J. L., Kirkpatrick, S. M., Farzinkhou, S., Avery, E. C., Rigdon, J., Offringa, L. C., Trepanowski, J. F., Hauser, M. E., Hartle, J. C., Cherin, R. J., King, A. C., Ioannidis, J. P., Desai, M., Gardner, C. D. 2017; 53: 151-161


    Numerous studies have attempted to identify successful dietary strategies for weight loss, and many have focused on Low-Fat vs. Low-Carbohydrate comparisons. Despite relatively small between-group differences in weight loss found in most previous studies, researchers have consistently observed relatively large between-subject differences in weight loss within any given diet group (e.g., ~25kg weight loss to ~5kg weight gain). The primary objective of this study was to identify predisposing individual factors at baseline that help explain differential weight loss achieved by individuals assigned to the same diet, particularly a pre-determined multi-locus genotype pattern and insulin resistance status. Secondary objectives included discovery strategies for further identifying potential genetic risk scores. Exploratory objectives included investigation of an extensive set of physiological, psychosocial, dietary, and behavioral variables as moderating and/or mediating variables and/or secondary outcomes. The target population was generally healthy, free-living adults with BMI 28-40kg/m(2) (n=600). The intervention consisted of a 12-month protocol of 22 one-hour evening instructional sessions led by registered dietitians, with ~15-20 participants/class. Key objectives of dietary instruction included focusing on maximizing the dietary quality of both Low-Fat and Low-Carbohydrate diets (i.e., Healthy Low-Fat vs. Healthy Low-Carbohydrate), and maximally differentiating the two diets from one another. Rather than seeking to determine if one dietary approach was better than the other for the general population, this study sought to examine whether greater overall weight loss success could be achieved by matching different people to different diets. Here we present the design and methods of the study.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cct.2016.12.021

    View details for PubMedID 28027950

  • Food Revolution. American journal of lifestyle medicine Gardner, C. D., Hauser, M. E. 2017; 11 (5): 387–96


    Recent research has found important links between poor dietary choices, a toxic food environment, and high national and global burdens of chronic diseases. These findings serve as an impetus for a Food Revolution. The Gardner Nutrition Studies Research Group, along with a diverse range of collaborators, has been focusing on solution-oriented research to help find answers to the problems that plague the current food system. Research topics include (1) a recently completed weight loss diet study contrasting Healthy Low-Fat to Healthy Low-Carbohydrate diets among 609 overweight and obese adults; (2) a quasi-experimental study conducted among Stanford undergraduates that examined social and environmental, rather than health-focused, motivations for dietary change; (3) links between dietary fiber, the human microbiome, and immune function; and (4) ongoing collaborations with university chefs to create unapologetically delicious food for campus dining halls that is also healthy and environmentally sustainable. Most of these approaches emphasize plant-based diets. The decreased consumption of animal products has created some concern over the ability of one to obtain adequate protein intake. Evidence is presented that adequate protein is easily obtainable from vegetarian, vegan, and other diets that contain significantly less meat and fewer animal foods than the standard American diet.

    View details for PubMedID 30202360

  • Food Revolution American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine Gardner, C. D., Hauser, M. E. 2017; 11 (5): 387-96
  • Lifestyle Medicine: A Primary Care Perspective. Journal of graduate medical education Clarke, C. A., Hauser, M. E. 2016; 8 (5): 665-667

    View details for DOI 10.4300/JGME-D-15-00804.1

    View details for PubMedID 28018529

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5180519

  • Shared Medical Appointments: A Portal for Nutrition and Culinary Education in Primary Care-A Pilot Feasibility Project. Global advances in health and medicine : improving healthcare outcomes worldwide Delichatsios, H. K., Hauser, M. E., Burgess, J. D., Eisenberg, D. M. 2015; 4 (6): 22-26


    Diseases linked to obesity such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, degenerative joint disease, gastroesophageal reflux, and sleep apnea constitute a large portion of primary care visits. Patients with these conditions often lack knowledge, skills, and support needed to maintain health. Shared medical appointments (SMAs) that include culinary skills and nutrition education offer a novel, cost-effective way to address these diseases in primary care.Adult patients in a primary care practice at a large academic hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, who had at least 1 cardiovascular risk factor were invited to participate in SMAs that included cooking demonstrations and teaching about nutrition in addition to medical management of their conditions. Sessions were conducted by a physician and an assistant in a conference room of a traditional primary care practice as part of a pilot feasibility project.Seventy patients, contributing a total of 156 patient visits, attended 17 nutrition-focused SMAs over a 4-year period. Patients were surveyed after each visit and indicated that they enjoyed the SMAs, would consider alternating SMAs with traditional one-on-one visits, and would recommend SMAs to others. Half would pay out of pocket or a higher copay to attend SMAs. Financially, the practice broke even compared with traditional one-onone office visits.In this feasibility study, chronic disease SMAs conducted with a culinary/nutrition focus were feasible, cost-effective, and well received by patients. Follow-up studies are needed to evaluate short- and long-term outcomes of this SMA model on obesity-related diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.7453/gahmj.2015.060

    View details for PubMedID 26665019

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4653594