Healthy Eating and Active Living

Research Core

This core focuses on the promotion of healthy lifestyles and the prevention of obesity in children and families through nutrition and physical activity.

Core Leadership

Current core project summaries


Development & evaluation of an intervention to increase joint activity and social wellbeing for adolescents with developmental disabilities

PI: Megan MacDonald & Monique Udell (MPI model)
Funding: NIH/ NICHD

The proposed research will improve our understanding of a ‘one health’ approach to physical activity interventions for adolescents with developmental disabilities through the development and evaluation of a novel, imitation-based, intervention with the family dog. This intervention is designed to increase daily physical activity, quality of life and social wellbeing in adolescents with developmental disabilities, even after the program has been completed. This research will improve public health by evaluating new areas of animal assisted intervention aimed at improved developmental trajectories for adolescents with developmental disabilities, directly addressing the research goals of the One Health initiative.


News articles on core research

Physical Health Promotion and Obesity Prevention in Children and Families

  • OSU receives $4.7 million grant for obesity study
    Nutrition specialists say the real challenge is getting teens to make the necessary lifestyle changes as they become young adults. ”If they do go to the fast food restaurant how do they make better choices even if other people aren’t,” says Melinda Manore, a Professor of Nutrition at OSU.
  • Weighty Matters: More children obese in rural areas
    Children living in rural areas are at a 20 to 50 percent higher risk of being overweight or obese, and researchers at the Oregon State University Extension Service are about to launch a three-year program to find out why and figure out ways to change it.
  • Healthy kids make good students
    Estacada will become one of several testing grounds over the next three years as the Oregon State University Extension Service works to de-code how local communities influence child health and wellness.

Stories on core research and programs