Photo by Miriam2009/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Miriam2009/iStock / Getty Images

A selection of published works is displayed below (last author connotes senior authorship). For a complete listing of publications, please visit Google Scholar or Research Gate.

Featured Articles

Gortmaker SL, Swinburn B, Levy D, Carter R, Mabry PL, Finegood D, Huang TT, Marsh T, Moodie M. Changing the future of obesity: science, policy and action. Lancet 2011; 378:1-11. PMID: 21872752

Huang TT, Glass TA.  Transforming research strategies for understanding and preventing obesity.  JAMA 2008; 300(15): 1811-13. PMID:18854544

Trowbridge M, Huang TT, Botchwey N, Fisher T, Pyke C, Gutter R, Rodgers AB, Ballard-Barbash R. Public health and the green building industry: partnership opportunities for childhood obesity prevention. Am J Prev Med 2013; 44:489-95. PMID: 23597813

Roberto CA, Swinburn B, Hawkes C, Huang TT, Costa SA, Ashe M, Zwicker L, Cawley JH, Brownell KD. Patchy progress on obesity prevention: emerging exemplars, entrenched barriers, and new thinking. Lancet 2015; 385:2400-9. PMID: 25703111

Huang TT, Cawley J, Ashe M, Costa SA, Zwicker L, Frerichs L, Rivera JA, Levy D, Hammond R, Lambert EV, Kumanyika S. Mobilisation of public support for policy actions to prevent obesity. Lancet 2015; 385:2422-31. PMID: 25703113

Built Environment, Design and Health

I have been at the forefront of leading teams of designers, architects and public health researchers to develop testable design guidelines and investigate the impact of space design on health behaviors. Using accelerometry, we recently found a significant effect of active classrooms and schools on reduction of sedentary behavior. This body of work has been disseminated through publications as well as invited workshops and conferences at non-traditional venues such as the American Institute of Architects. A collection of works, video and published materials related to school architecture in particular can be found at

Huang TT, Sorensen D, Davis S, Frerichs L, Brittin J, Trowbridge M. Healthy eating design guidelines for school architecture. Prev Chronic Dis 2013; 10:120084. PMID: 23449281 

Brittin J, Elijah-Barnwell S, Araz O, Nam Y, Jameton A, Drummond W, Huang TT. Community-engaged public health research to inform hospital campus planning in a low socioeconomic status urban neighborhood. Health Environments Research & Design Journal 2015; 8:12-24. PMID: 25841043

Frerichs L, Brittin J, Sorensen D, Trowbridge M, Yaroch A, Siahpush M, Tibbits M, Huang TT. Influence of school architecture and design on healthy eating: a review of evidence. Am J Pub Health 2015; 105:e46-57. PMID: 25713964

Brittin J, Sorensen D, Trowbridge M, Lee K, Breithecker D, Frerichs L, Huang TT. Physical activity design guidelines for school architecture. PLoS One 2015; 10:e0132597. PMID: 26230850


Systems Science and Obesity

My work has focused on leveraging systems methods and systems thinking to explore new ways to intervene on obesity and chronic disease. I organized the first international conference on integrating systems science and obesity at the NIH in 2007. This led to a commentary in JAMA (above) and a series of papers in the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease. Since then, my research has encompassed experimenting with systems modeling to shed light on the complexity of obesity to using systems insights from engineering, business, social sciences and other disciplines to inform strategies for a new prevention system. A recent paper, presents new thinking on how to integrate mhealth and systems insights for chronic disease prevention. 

Huang TT, Kumanyika S, Drewnowski A, Glass TA.  A systems-oriented multilevel framework for tackling obesity in the 21st century.  Prev Chronic Dis 2009; 6(3):
. PMID:19527584

Frerichs L, Araz O, Huang TT. Modeling social transmission dynamics of unhealthy behaviors for evaluating prevention and treatment intervention on childhood obesity. PLoS One 2013; 8(12):e82887. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082887. PMID:24358234

Fallah-Fini S, Glass T, Huang TT, Bures R, Rahmandad H. Modeling US adult obesity trends: a system dynamics model for estimating energy imbalance gap. Am J Public Health 2014; 104:1230-9. PMID: 24832405

Oreskovic N, Huang TT, Moon J. Integrating mhealth and systems science: a combination approach to prevent and treat chronic health conditions. JMIR – mHealth and uHealth 2015; 3(2): PMID: 26036753

New Strategies for Community Health

I have a long interest in addressing health disparity through a cross-cultural perspective as well as utilizing novel strategies to mobilize communities, including the role of youth advocacy. In recent work, we have found that intervening on community readiness is critical and the combination of social media, social marketing, advocacy capacity building, and business engagement can be effective in increasing the level of community readiness for addressing local health. I have also been working on new approaches integrating primary and secondary obesity prevention.

Spruijt-Metz D, Michel S, Goran M, Chou C,  Huang TT. Reducing sedentary behavior in minority girls via a theory-based, tailored classroom media intervention.  Int J Pediatr Obes 2008; 4:240-8. PMID: 19023773

Frerichs L, Brittin J, Robbins R, Steenson S, Stewart C, Fisher CM, Huang TT. SaludableOmaha: improving readiness to address obesity-related healthy lifestyle in a Midwestern Latino community. Prev Chronic Dis 2015; 12:e20. PMID: 25674679

Hoelscher DM, Butte NF, Barlow S, Vanderwater EA, Sharma SV, Huang TT, Finkelstein E, Pont S, Sacher P, Byrd-Williams C, Oluyomi AO, Duran C, Li L, Kelder SH. Incorporating primary and secondary prevention approaches to address childhood obesity prevention and treatment in a low-income, ethnically diverse population: study design and demographic data from the Texas Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (TX CORD) Study. Childhood Obesity 2015; 11:71-91. PMID: 25555188

Frerichs L, Brandon S, Perin DP, Huang TT. Process and outcomes from a youth-led campaign to address healthy eating in an urban high school.  J Primary Prev 2015; 36:433-38.

Socioeconomic Factors and Health

As part of the minority research portfolio, I have published a number of papers looking at conventional and non-conventional dimensions of socioeconomic status in relation to health. Some of this research points to less obvious targets that may be an important part of the obesity solution package, including financial planning.

Siahpush M, Shaikh R, Tibbits M, Huang TT, Singh G.  The association of lone motherhood with smoking cessation and relapse: prospective results from an Australian national study. Int J Env Res Public Health 2013; 10:2906-19. PMID: 23880726

Siahpush M, Huang TT, Sikora A, Tibbits M, Shaikh RA, Singh GK. Prolonged financial stress predicts subsequent obesity: results from a prospective study of an Australian national sample. Obesity 2014; 22:616-21. PMID: 23839823

Frerichs L, Huang TT, Chen DR. Associations of subjective social status with physical activity and body mass index across four Asian countries.  J Obesity 2014; 2014:710602. PMID: 24971171

Brittin J, Araz O, Nam Y, Huang TT. Modeling social interventions for chronic disease. J Simulation 2015; 9:140-55.  DOI: 10.1057/jos.2014.16

Clinical Epidemiology of Childhood Obesity in Diverse Populations 

I was one of the first to publish on the longitudinal trajectory of adiposity and risks for type 2 diabetes in children. These studies illustrate my experience with longitudinal modeling. They quantified changes in different components of body composition in relation to metabolic outcomes across different subgroups of children and helped lay the groundwork for identifying physiologic targets for obesity prevention and control in children.

Huang TT, Johnson MS, Figureroa-Colon R, Dwyer JH, Goran MI.  Growth of visceral fat, subcutaneous fat, and total body fat in children.  Obesity Research 2001; 9(5):283-9. PMID:11346669

Huang TT, Johnson MS, Goran MI.  Development of a prediction equation for insulin sensitivity from anthropometry and fasting insulin in prepubertal and early pubertal children.  Diabetes Care 2002; 25(7):1203-10. PMID: 12087020

Huang TT, Johnson MS, Gower BA, Goran MI.  Effects of changes in fat distribution on the rates of change of insulin response in children.  Obesity Research 2002; 10(10):978-84. PMID: 12376577

Ball GDC, Huang TT, Cruz ML, Shaibi GQ, Weigensberg MJ, Goran MI.  Longitudinal changes of insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, and β-cell function during puberty in Caucasian and African American youth.  J Pediatr 2006; 148:16-22. PMID:16423592