Center on Obesity Management & Prevention

The Center on Obesity Management and Prevention (COMP) is dedicated to improving the understanding of childhood obesity through research, education and comprehensive obesity care. 

Our program:

  • Brings together faculty, clinical staff and others professionals to collaborate on all aspects of childhood obesity
  • Fosters integration across clinical, research and advocacy initiatives to protect children from the current childhood obesity epidemic

Lurie Children’s treats children with obesity and weight management associated health problems, including:

  • Preventive Cardiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Hepatology
  • Kidney Disease
  • Wellness & Weight Management Program
  • Orthopedics
  • Psychiatry
  • Sleep Medicine

COMP’s research efforts promote multidisciplinary studies in the community, hospital and lab. They address topics such as:

  • The etiologies of overweight and its complications
  • The effectiveness of approaches for reducing overweight and associated morbidity,as well as means for primary prevention

The Williams Heart Foundation

In August 2011, Lurie Children's and The Williams Heart Foundation (WHF), an endowed medical research foundation, formed an affiliation under which WHF supports COMP’s core activities and Lurie Children's-based research conducted in collaboration with WHF.

COMP supports, coordinates and provides dissemination opportunities for research at a variety of levels including basic science, patient, clinic, family, community and policy. To accomplish this, COMP offers educational and research forums geared toward researchers, clinicians, service providers and advocates. 

WHF has funded studies that examine reasons for cardiovascular problems such as hypertension in obese children, sub-specialists focus on cardiovascular disease prevention care, nutrition and physical activity behavioral patterns of children, and exploring the relationship between the nervous system and the development of obesity.

COMP Research Support Program

COMP provides mentorship to help develop the research skills of faculty at Lurie Children’s who have interest in obesity-related research. Please contact Kelly Lowry if you are interested.

Faculty/Research Advisory Committee (RAC) Members

The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) advises COMP staff on policies and research initiatives.

If you are interested in obesity research and would like to become a member of this committee, please contact Patricia McGuire.

  • Farah Ali, MD, Attending, Department of Kidney Diseases
  • Adolfo Ariza, MD, Co-Director of COMP
  • Helen Binns, MD, MPH, Director of COMP
  • Wendy Brickman, MD, Attending, Department of Endocrinology
  • Jami Josefson, MD, Attending, Department of Endocrinology
  • Soyang Kwon, PhD, Senior Statistician, Smith Child Health Research
  • Kelly Lowry, PhD, Co-Director, COMP
  • Maryann Mason, PhD, Co-Director, COMP
  • Randall Williams, MD, President, Williams Heart Foundation
  • Karen Williams, RN, Director of Research, Williams Heart Foundation


COMP has published in the areas of:

* In collaboration with the Williams Heart Foundation

Research Advisory Committee (RAC) and Center on Obesity Management and Prevention (COMP) members' names are bolded.

Clinical Care

*Beacher DR, Chang SZ, Rosen JS, Lipkin GS, McCarville MM, Quadri-Sheriff M, Kwon S, Lane JC, Binns HJ, Ariza AJ. Recognition of elevated blood pressure in an outpatient pediatric tertiary care setting. J Pediatr. 2015 May;166(5):1233-1239.e1.

Valle CW, Binns HJ, Quadri-Sheriff M, Benuck I, Patel A. Physicians' Lack of Adherence to National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Guidelines for Pediatric Lipid Screening. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 Mar 26. pii: 0009922815576885. [Epub ahead of print].

*Chang SZ, Beacher DR, Kwon S, McCarville M, Binns HJ, Ariza AJ. Initial steps for quality improvement of obesity care across divisions at a tertiary care pediatric hospital. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Sep 17;11(9):9680-93. Free PMC Article.

LaBresh KA, Ariza AJ, Lazorick S, Furberg RD, Whetstone L, Hobbs C, de Jesus J, Salinas IG, Bender RH, Binns HJ. Adoption of cardiovascular risk reduction guidelines: a cluster-randomized trial. Pediatrics. 2014 Sep;134(3):e732-8. Free PMC Article.

LaBresh KA, Lazorick S, Ariza AJ, Furberg RD, Whetstone L, Hobbs C, de Jesus J, Bender RH, Salinas IG, Binns HJ. Implementation of the NHLBI integrated guidelines for cardiovascular health and risk reduction in children and adolescents: rationale and study design for young hearts, strong starts, a cluster-randomized trial targeting body mass index, blood pressure, and tobacco. Contemp Clin Trials. 2014 Jan;37(1):98-105. Free PMC Article.

Ariza AJ, Ruch-Ross H, Sawyer A, Batey S, Maloney M, Wall T, Hines V, Robles K, Sontag D, Haverkamp KS, Lopez S, Binns HJ; Pediatric Practice Research Group. Obesity care strategies in primary care practices. J Pediatr. 2012 Jul;161(1):152-5.e1.

Community Focus

Kwon S, Mason M, Welch S. Physical activity of fifth to sixth graders during school hours according to school race/ethnicity: Suburban Cook County, Illinois. J Sch Health. 2015 Jun;85(6):382-7.

Deng J, Fishbein MH, Rigsby CK, Zhang G, Schoeneman SE, Donaldson JS. Quantitative MRI for hepatic fat fraction and T2* measurement in pediatric patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Pediatr Radiol. 2014 Nov;44(11):1379-87.
Cummings PL, Welch SB, Mason M, Burbage L, Kwon S, Kuo T. Nutrient content of school meals before and after implementation of nutrition recommendations in five school districts across two U.S. counties. Prev Med. 2014 Oct;67 Suppl 1:S21-7. Free Article.

Mason M, Zaganjor H, Bozlak CT, Lammel-Harmon C, Gomez-Feliciano L, Becker AB. Working with community partners to implement and evaluate the Chicago Park District's 100% Healthier Snack Vending Initiative. Prev Chronic Dis. 2014 Aug 7;11:E135. Free Article.

Ariza AJ, Hartman J, Grodecki J, Clavier A, Ghaey K, Elsner M, Moore C, Reina OO, Binns HJ. Linking pediatric primary care obesity management to community programs. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2013;24(2 Suppl):158-67.

Schoenfelder SL, Wych S, Willows CA, Harrington J, Christoffel KK, Becker AB. Engaging Chicago hospitals in the baby-friendly hospital initiative. Matern Child Health J. 2013 Nov;17(9):1712-7.

Adhikari PD, Parker LA, Binns HJ, Ariza AJ. Influence of electronic health records and in-office weight management support resources on childhood obesity care. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2012 Aug;51(8):788-92.

Tang JW, Mason M, Kushner RF, Tirodkar MA, Khurana N, Kandula NR. South Asian American perspectives on overweight, obesity, and the relationship between weight and health. Prev Chronic Dis. 2012 May;9:E107. Free PMC Article.

Methods and Measures

*Deng J, Schoeneman SE, Zhang H, Kwon S, Rigsby CK, Shore RM, Josefson JL. MRI characterization of brown adipose tissue in obese and normal-weight children. Pediatr Radiol. 2015 Jun 20. [Epub ahead of print].

Kwon S, Janz KF. Tracking of accelerometry-measured physical activity during childhood: ICAD pooled analysis. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2012 Jun 7;9:68. Free PMC Article.

Kwon S, Burns TL, Levy SM, Janz KF. Breaks in sedentary time during childhood and adolescence: Iowa bone development study. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Jun;44(6):1075-80. Free PMC Article.

Obesity Comorbidities

Beacher DR, Ariza AJ, Fishbein MH, Binns HJ (2014) Screening for elevated risk of liver disease in preschool children (aged 2–5 years) being seen for obesity management. SAGE Open Medicine 2. doi:10.1177/2050312114555211.

Bhushan B, Maddalozzo J, Sheldon SH, Haymond S, Rychlik K, Lales GC, Billings KR. Metabolic alterations in children with obstructive sleep apnea. Int J PediatrOtorhinolaryngol. 2014 May;78(5):854-9.


Carroll MS, Patwari PP, Kenny AS, Brogadir CD, Stewart TM, Weese-Mayer DE. Rapid-onset obesity with hypothalamic dysfunction, hypoventilation, and autonomic dysregulation (ROHHAD): Response to ventilatory challenges. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2015 Mar 16. doi: 10.1002/ppul.23164. [Epub ahead of print].

Mina R, Klein-Gitelman MS, Nelson S, Eberhard BA, Higgins G, Singer NG, Onel K, Tucker L, O'Neil KM, Punaro M, Levy DM, Haines K, Ying J, Brunner HI. Effects of obesity on health-related quality of life in juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus. 2015 Feb;24(2):191-7.

Torchen LC, Fogel NR, Brickman WJ, Paparodis R, Dunaif A. Persistent apparent pancreatic β-cell defects in premenarchal PCOS relatives. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Oct;99(10):3855-62.

Ali FN, Falkner B, Gidding SS, Price HE, Keith SW, Langman CB. Fibroblast growth factor-23 in obese, normotensive adolescents is associated with adverse cardiac structure. J Pediatr. 2014 Oct;165(4):738-43.e1.
Forno E, Young OM, Kumar R, Simhan H, Celedón JC. Maternal obesity in pregnancy, gestational weight gain, and risk of childhood asthma. Pediatrics.2014 Aug;134(2):e535-46. Free PMC Article.
Lindgren BW, Frainey BT, Cheng EY, Yerkes EB, Gong EM. Robot assisted laparoscopic pyeloplasty in obese and non-obese patients. J Pediatr Urol. 2014 Dec;10(6):1206-11.

Josefson JL, Zeiss DM, Rademaker AW, Metzger BE. Maternal leptin predicts adiposity of the neonate. Horm Res Paediatr. 2014;81(1):13-9. Free PMC Article.

Josefson JL, Hoffmann JA, Metzger BE. Excessive weight gain in women with a normal pre-pregnancy BMI is associated with increased neonatal adiposity. Pediatr Obes. 2013 Apr;8(2):e33-6. Free PMC Article.

*Christoffel KK, Wang X, Binns HJ. Early origins of child obesity: bridging disciplines and phases of development -- September 30--October 1, 2010. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2012 Apr 16;9(4):1227-62. Free PMC Article.
*Josefson JL, Feinglass J, Rademaker AW, Metzger BE, Zeiss DM, Price HE, Langman CB. Maternal obesity and vitamin D sufficiency are associated with cord blood vitamin D insufficiency. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jan;98(1):114-9. Free PMC Article.