Dr. Robert Jeffery, Director of the Epidemiology & Intervention Core of the Minnesota Obesity Center, spearheaded an application to the University of Minnesota Academic Health Sciences unit for a University funded center for obesity prevention dedicated to promoting research and education in the field. As a result, the University of Minnesota Obesity Prevention Center (UMOPC) was established as part of the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Presidential Initiative.
The UMOPC provides leadership and coordination at the local, national, and international level for multidisciplinary research and education that focuses on understanding and responding to the pernicious epidemic of excessive weight gain and obesity.
The Center’s mission includes coordination and expansion of the strong scientific base at the University of Minnesota to conduct research to better understand the causes of excessive weight gain in human populations, and to develop more effective measures for addressing the problem. Weight-gain prevention is defined broadly to include biological, behavioral, and sociocultural issues. Measures to address the problems are likewise broadly defined to include interventions focusing on individuals, community organizations, health-care delivery systems, the environment, and pubic education and public policy advocacy.