Arizona State University
Master of Science in Obesity Prevention and Management
In an effort to help prepare a workforce that understands the complexity of obesity, ASU has created a Master of Science in Obesity Prevention and Management program that aims to equip health professionals with a holistic view of the causes of obesity.
Institutions that are interested in implementing a similar program might find it helpful to review the ASU handbook.
Faculty in the Nutrition Program at Arizona State University (ASU) in the College of Health Solutions, in collaboration with faculty across multiple disciplines at ASU, piloted a Master of Science (MS) degree in Obesity Prevention and Management. The MS in Obesity Prevention and Management is an innovative, interdisciplinary degree that integrates perspectives from the social, applied, life and health sciences to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop effective obesity solutions for individuals and communities. The program does not advocate any one particular method for weight management, but rather it stresses the complexities of obesity and how important it is to treat it with a multidisciplinary approach encompassing the social, cultural, health, environmental and psychological issues associated with obesity.
Students completing the MS degree in Obesity Prevention and Management will:
- Critically analyze a range of causal pathways to obesity and be able to explain obesity as a complex multidimensional phenomenon.
- Demonstrate mastery of the literature related to obesity at multiple levels and domains, such as physiological, genetic, environmental, social, and psychological.
- Design and implement obesity prevention and management interventions at multiple levels.
- Possess the ability to discuss role of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention in addressing obesity at the individual and societal levels.
- Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of barriers to weight loss and maintenance and best practices for obesity prevention and management in clinical and community settings.
- Demonstrate familiarity with a range of methods relevant to measuring and understanding multiple dimensions of obesity, such as methods from exercise science, nutrition, environmental science, and psychology.
The program, which began in 2014, is a joint effort of Mayo Clinic-ASU Obesity Solutions and the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion. It has graduated two students to date with 11 currently enrolled.