• Gary G Bennett

  • Professor and Bishop-MacDermott Family Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience
  • Psychology and Neuroscience
  • 222 Soc-Psych
  • Phone: (919) 617-1020
  • Homepage
  • Specialties

    • Clinical Psychology
  • Research Description

    Please note that this is not our primary website.

    To learn about Dr. Bennett's work with the Duke Obesity Prevention Program, please visit http://www.dukeobesity.org

    To learn more about Dr. Bennett, please visit http://www.garybennett.info

    And for Dr. Bennett's blog (whew), please visit http://www.drgarybennett.com

    Our work is focused on developing strategies to prevent obesity in high risk populations. Our research program has three major themes: 1) use of new media technologies to deliver obesity interventions; 2) examining social and psychosocial determinants of obesity and physical inactivity, and; 3) exploring the dissemination of evidence-based interventions. Many of our ongoing research studies are based in the primary care setting, where efficacious obesity intervention approaches are particularly necessary.
  • Areas of Interest

    Health psychology
    Behavioral interventions
    Information technology
    Health communication
  • Education

      • Ph.D.,
      • Psychology,
      • Duke University,
      • 2002
  • Awards, Honors and Distinctions

      • Great Place to Work Award,
      • Harvard School of Public Health,
      • January, 2007
      • Health Disparities Scholar,
      • NCMHD, National Institutes of Health,
      • 2005
      • Career Opportunities in Research “COR-Star” Award,
      • NIM, NIH,
      • 2004
      • Ten Outstanding Young Leaders of Boston Award,
      • Boston Jaycees,
      • 2004
  • Recent Publications

      • DM Steinberg, DF Tate, GG Bennett, S Ennett, C Samuel-Hodge, DS Ward.
      • 2014.
      • Daily self-weighing and adverse psychological outcomes: a randomized controlled trial..
      • American journal of preventive medicine
      • 46:
      • 24-9
      • .
      Publication Description

      BACKGROUND: Despite evidence that daily self-weighing is an effective strategy for weight control, concerns remain regarding the potential for negative psychological consequences. OBJECTIVE: The goal of the study was to examine the impact of a daily self-weighing weight-loss intervention on relevant psychological constructs. METHODS: A 6-month RCT. METHODS: The study sample (N=91) included overweight men and women in the Chapel Hill NC area. METHODS: Between February and August 2011, participants were randomly assigned to a daily self-weighing intervention or delayed-intervention control group. The 6-month intervention included daily self-weighing for self-regulation of diet and exercise behaviors using an e-scale that transmitted weights to a study website. Weekly e-mailed lessons and tailored feedback on daily self-weighing adherence and weight-loss progress were provided. METHODS: Self-weighing frequency was measured throughout the study using e-scales. Weight was measured in-clinic at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. Psychological outcomes were assessed via self-report at the same time points. RESULTS: In 2012, using linear mixed models and generalized estimating equation models, there were no significant differences between groups in depressive symptoms, anorectic cognitions, disinhibition, susceptibility to hunger, and binge eating. At 6 months, there was a significant group X time interaction for body dissatisfaction (p=0.007) and dietary restraint (p

      • Bennett GG, Steinberg DM, Stoute C, Lanpher M, Lane I, Askew S, Foley PB, Baskin ML.
      • 2013.
      • Electronic health (eHealth) interventions for weight management among racial/ethnic minority adults: a systematic review.
      • Obesity Reviews
      • .
      • K Ng, JB Scott, BF Drake, AT Chan, BW Hollis, PD Chandler, GG Bennett, EL Giovannucci, E Gonzalez-Suarez, JA Meyerhardt, KM Emmons, CS Fuchs.
      • 2013.
      • Dose response to vitamin D supplementation in African Americans: results of a 4-arm, randomized, placebo-controlled trial..
      • The American journal of clinical nutrition
      • .
      Publication Description

      BACKGROUND: Association studies have suggested that lower circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] in African Americans may partially underlie higher rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer in this population. Nonetheless, the relation between vitamin D supplementation and 25(OH)D concentrations in African Americans remains undefined. OBJECTIVE: Our primary objective was to determine the dose-response relation between vitamin D and plasma 25(OH)D. METHODS: A total of 328 African Americans in Boston, MA, were enrolled over 3 winters from 2007 to 2010 and randomly assigned to receive a placebo or 1000, 2000, or 4000 IU vitamin D3/d for 3 mo. Subjects completed sociodemographic and dietary questionnaires, and plasma samples were drawn at baseline and 3 and 6 mo. RESULTS: Median plasma 25(OH)D concentrations at baseline were 15.1, 16.2, 13.9, and 15.7 ng/mL for subjects randomly assigned to receive the placebo or 1000, 2000, or 4000 IU/d, respectively (P = 0.63). The median plasma 25(OH)D concentration at 3 mo differed significantly between supplementation arms at 13.7, 29.7, 34.8, and 45.9 ng/mL, respectively (P

      • PD Chandler, JB Scott, BF Drake, K Ng, JE Manson, N Rifai, AT Chan, GG Bennett, BW Hollis, EL Giovannucci, KM Emmons, CS Fuchs.
      • 2013.
      • Impact of Vitamin D Supplementation on Inflammatory Markers in African-Americans: Results of a Four-Arm, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial..
      • Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.)
      • .
      Publication Description


      • DP Ritzwoller, RE Glasgow, AY Sukhanova, GG Bennett, ET Warner, ML Greaney, S Askew, J Goldman, KM Emmons, GA Colditz, Be Fit Be Well Study Investigators.
      • 2013.
      • Economic analyses of the be fit be well program: a weight loss program for community health centers..
      • Journal of general internal medicine
      • 28:
      • 1581-8
      • .
      Publication Description

      BACKGROUND: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has released new guidelines on obesity, urging primary care physicians to provide obese patients with intensive, multi-component behavioral interventions. However, there are few studies of weight loss in real world nonacademic primary care, and even fewer in largely racial/ethnic minority, low-income samples. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the recruitment, intervention and replications costs of a 2-year, moderate intensity weight loss and blood pressure control intervention. METHODS: A comprehensive cost analysis was conducted, associated with a weight loss and hypertension management program delivered in three community health centers as part of a pragmatic randomized trial. METHODS: Three hundred and sixty-five high risk, low-income, inner city, minority (71 % were Black/African American and 13 % were Hispanic) patients who were both hypertensive and obese. METHODS: Measures included total recruitment costs and intervention costs, cost per participant, and incremental costs per unit reduction in weight and blood pressure. RESULTS: Recruitment and intervention costs were estimated $2,359 per participant for the 2-year program. Compared to the control intervention, the cost per additional kilogram lost was $2,204 /kg, and for blood pressure, $621 /mmHg. Sensitivity analyses suggest that if the program was offered to a larger sample and minor modifications were made, the cost per participant could be reduced to the levels of many commercially available products. CONCLUSIONS: The costs associated with the Be Fit Be Well program were found to be significantly more expensive than many commercially available products, and much higher than the amount that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid reimburse physicians for obesity counseling. However, given the serious and costly health consequences associated with obesity in high risk, multimorbid and socioeconomically disadvantaged patients, the resources needed to provide interventions like those described here may still prove to be cost-effective with respect to producing long-term behavior change.

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  • Postdoctoral Students

    • Dori Steinberg
      • 2012 - present


Gary G Bennett