Kristen M. Beavers, PhD, MPH, RD, is a Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Wake Forest University where she teaches Nutrition in Health and Disease (HES 351) and Epidemiology (HES 360). Dr. Beavers received her BS from Cornell University in Human Biology, Health and Society; MPH from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Nutrition; and PhD from Baylor University in Exercise, Nutrition, and Preventive Health. She is a Registered Dietitian and certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer. Dr. Beavers’ academic and professional interests lie in the study of nutrition and exercise as interdisciplinary sciences, specifically as they relate to prevention and etiology of chronic disease and disability. Her research focuses on the identification of optimal weight loss therapies for older adults living with obesity.
- Nutrition in Health and Disease (HES 351)
- Epidemiology (HES 360)
1. R21 AG056900 (MPIs: D. Beavers/K. Beavers) 7/1/2019-4/30/2022 (NCE)
Variable adaptive response to weight loss in older adults (VARIA)
The main objective of this R21 grant application is to describe the extent and correlates of inter-individual variability in physical function response to weight loss in older adults with obesity, utilizing data collected as a part of 8 Wake Forest University Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (P30 AG021332) supported randomized controlled trials of weight loss and representing 1590 participants. Results will directly enhance our understanding of factors that optimize functional response to weight loss in obese older adults, thereby informing the design of future R01 geriatric weight loss trials led by the study PIs.
2. R01 AG059186 (PI: K. Beavers) 09/15/2019-04/30/2024
Incorporating Nutrition, Vests, Education, and Strength Training in Bone Health (INVEST in Bone Health)
This R01 is designed to definitively test the hypothesis that weighted vest use during weight loss attenuates bone loss compared to weight loss alone, and similarly to weight loss plus resistance training (a bone-sparing strategy which is effective, but present barriers to large scale implementation) in older adults with obesity. If confirmed, the greater availability, ease of administration, and reduced cost associated with weighted vest use to offset weight loss associated bone loss, as compared to resistance training, holds significant public health potential as a translatable strategy to maximize the cardiometabolic benefits of weight loss, while minimizing negative musculoskeletal implications.