More than one-third of adults and nearly 17 percent of children and teens between the ages of 2 and 19 in the United States are considered to be obese. Obesity increases a person’s chances of developing various diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high-blood pressure, stroke, and cancer, and is considered a major public health concern.
Since 2000, Virginia Tech has made significant investments in obesity research. To further develop this initiative and advance the university’s standing as a major contributor to obesity-related research and education, the Fralin Life Sciences Institute at Virginia Tech has contributed financial and administrative resources to solidify and complement the strengths of current faculty. Fralin has invested in faculty recruitment, retention, research, equipment, infrastructure, and graduate and undergraduate training.
Today, obesity research at Virginia Tech focuses on the prevention and treatment of the condition using approaches such as the development and evaluation of new foods, the adoption of health-promoting behaviors to prevent illness and reduce health costs, the effect of nutrients on the initiation of cancer, the relationship between obesity and inflammation, and the effect of community and societal factors on obesity.