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Professor, Nutrition
UNC-Chapel Hill
Cancer Prevention and Control

Area of Interest

Dianne S. Ward, EdD, is an experienced researcher in the area of child health, specifically obesity prevention. During the past 10 years, she has been the PI or Co-PI for a number of research studies exploring environmental determinants of obesity and testing preschool, school, and home-based interventions to prevent obesity in children and families through promotion of healthy eating and/or physical activity. Dr. Wards recent work has been focused on childcare settings where she led the team that developed NAP SACC Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care, an environment and policy intervention that has been adopted for use by a number of communities across the US. In addition, she and colleagues developed an instrument to assess the nutrition and physical activity environments at childcare settings. This success led to the NCI-funded project, HomeSTEAD: the Home Self-administered Tool for Environmental Assessment of Activity and Diet. The purpose of HomeSTEAD is to develop an instrument to assess the social and physical characteristics of the home that are associated with obesity in children. Recently, Dr. Ward received a grant to test an 8-month intervention for parents of preschool-aged children to develop parenting skills as a strategy for healthy weight development.

Awards and Honors

  • Distinguished Alumni, School of Health and Human Performance, UNC Greensboro, 2001
  • Public Health Education Advocate Award, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, 1996
  • Delta Omega, Honorary Public Health Society, 1994
  • Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine, 1992

Find publications on PubMed