Bonnie Spring, PhD-Northwestern University Photo
Segal Seminar Series

Bonnie Spring, PhD-Northwestern University

September 20, 2011, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center
1.350 (ITW Classroom)
2133 Sheridan Rd. Evanston , IL 60208

Can We Design Our Way Out of the Obesity Epidemic?


Unhealthy behaviors are prevalent and lifestyle change is hard. For example, overeating and sedentary behavior pattern have become so widespread that 2/3 of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese. Effective obesity interventions exist, but they require many (e.g., 16) in person treatment sessions with a professional counselor. Consequently, those interventions can reach only a very small proportion of the population that needs to lose weight. In contrast, most adults carry a mobile phone, which could serve as a platform to reconfigure obesity treatment, make it more engaging, and deliver it more efficiently. The presenter’s research team recently collaborated with an interdisciplinary group of experts in user-centered design, engineering, behavioral science, nutrition, and exercise science in order to develop a smartphone supported weight loss intervention that connects patients, coaches, and peers engaged in weight loss. She will share lessons learned and questions raised by the design process.


Dr. Spring earned her BA in Psychology from Bucknell University in 1971, followed by MA (1975) and PhD (1977) degrees in Psychology from Harvard University. She joined the faculty of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University in September 2005 as Professor, Director of Behavioral Medicine, and Co-Program Leader in Cancer Prevention. Previously she held academic appointments at University of Illinois - Chicago, University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School, and Harvard University. Dr. Spring is currently President of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Chairperson of the interdisciplinary Council on Training in Evidence-Based Behavioral Practice and an Editorial Board Member for the series, "Treatments that Work" (Oxford UP). She is a Consulting Editor for Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology and Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings. She is a winner of Society of Behavioral Medicine's Distinguished Research Mentor Award and served on the National Institute of Health Behavioral Medicine Study Section. She is a fellow in the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, Society for Behavioral Medicine, American Psychological Society; American Psychological Association (Divisions 12, 38 and 28), and a Diplomate in Clinical Health Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP).

Contact Elizabeth Gerber at 847-467-0607 or for further questions.