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Children’s Healthy Weight Research Group

Dianne is a Professor of Nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Research Fellow with the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, where she serves as Director of the Children’s Healthy Weight Research Group. Dianne has more than 30 years’ experience in childhood obesity prevention research and physical activity promotion. As principal investigator she led the development and evaluation of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAPSACC ), a policy and environmental intervention that is highly regarded within the public health community and used by many states to support healthy eating and physical activity in young children. The NAPSACC project has launched more than a decade of studies in child care settings. Her ongoing research focuses on the role of care-giving and how child care and home environments shape young children’s healthy eating and physical activity habits, and on the role of child care, both physical and social, in the development of healthy weight. Dianne Ward, EdD, has been recognized as a “World Expert” in child care by Expertscape, a service that ranks the expertise of researchers in biomedical fields. She is among the top 0.062% of published authors in child care research worldwide, and she ranks ninth in the U.S.

In her free time you can find her reading on the beach, spending time with her grandkids, gardening and cheering for her favorite football team.