The Duke Diet & Fitness Center (DFC) is committed to evidence-based, personalized medicine. We examine data from our clinical program to determine the effectiveness of our intervention and to identify new research directions in the field of obesity.
Our research covers a range of topics in obesity including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome, pain and sleep, quality of life, sexual health, physical activity and the effectiveness of our intervention. We use this research to better understand the needs of our patients and improve our ability to help them.
Here is a sampling of our research that has been presented at scientific meetings in recent years:
Exercise and Weight-Related Quality of Life: We found that higher levels of physical activity were associated with better quality of life; particularly in terms of completing day-to-day activities (e.g. tying shoes, getting dressed, mobility etc). Most interestingly, the average amount of activity reported was only 60 minutes per week -- suggesting that every little bit can help you to have a better life even if you are severely overweight.
Chronic Pain and Sleep: Our research showed people with chronic pain tend to be heavier, have greater likelihood of sleep apnea, are more likely to report memory difficulties, are more likely to have depression and anxiety, are more likely to binge eat and have difficulties accomplishing activities of daily living. Chronic pain patients also achieve less weight loss and do not sleep as well. These findings led to the development of comprehensive pain and sleep management programs for our patients.
Effectiveness of the Duke Diet & Fitness Center program: Data presented at the Obesity Society Annual Meeting showed that one year after participating in the program respondents reported medically significant (10.1 percent) average weight loss. Furthermore, patients reported substantial quality-of-life improvements such as: the ability to bend improved for 87 percent, mobility improved for 86 percent, self-consciousness about weight decreased for 68 percent, 80 percent reduced clothing size, 85 percent reported improved quality of life, 81 percent had improved confidence, 81 percent noted improved stamina, and 81 percent had increased activity level. Also, more than 80 percent reported improved blood sugar and blood pressure control.
Our DFC research program provides a strong basis from which to develop new and better ways to help people who struggle with their weight to become healthier and improve the quality of their lives.
Martin Binks, Ph.D., Duke Diet and Fitness Center
Dr. Martin Binks is Director of Behavioral Health, Research Director and Director of New Business and Strategic Alliances at the Duke Diet & Fitness Center (DFC). He is also is an Assistant Professor, in the Division of Medical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center. In addition, he is proprietor and CEO of Binks Behavioral Health PLLC. Dr. Binks is a licensed psychologist who specializes in obesity treatment, research and behavioral medicine.