Melanie D Hingle

Melanie D Hingle

Associate Professor, Nutritional Sciences
Associate Professor, Public Health
Member of the Graduate Faculty
Associate Professor, BIO5 Institute
Primary Department
Department Affiliations
(520) 621-3087

Work Summary

Melanie Hingle's work focuses on understanding determinants of energy balance behaviors (i.e. how and why behaviors are initiated and sustained), and identifying contributors to the success of interventions (i.e. when, where, and how interventions should be delivered) are critical steps toward developing programs that effectively change behavior, thereby mitigating unhealthy weight gain and promoting optimal health. Current projects include: Determinants of metabolic risk, and amelioration of risk, in pediatric cancer survivors, Guided imagery intervention delivered via a mobile software application to increase healthy eating and physical activity in weight-concerned women smokers, and Family-focused diabetes prevention program delivered in partnership with the YMCA.

Research Interest

Identify and understand determinants of behavioral, weight-related, and metabolic outcomes in children, adolescents, and families, including how and why so-called “obesogenic behaviors” (unhealthy dietary habits, sedentary behaviors) are initiated and sustained. Develop and test novel approaches to motivate healthy lifestyle changes in children, adolescents, and families, including development, testing, and assessment of face-to-face and mobile device-based interventions.


Hingle, M., Nichter, M., Medeiros, M., & Grace, S. (2013). Texting for Health: The Use of Participatory Methods to Develop Healthy Lifestyle Messages for Teens. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 45, 12-19.
BIO5 Collaborators
Scott B Going, Melanie D Hingle
Hingle, M., Turner, T., Kutob, R., Merchant, N., Roe, D., Stump, C., & Going, S. B. (2015). The EPIC Kids Study: A Randomized Family-Focused YMCA-Based Intervention to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes in At-Risk Youth. BMC Public Health.
BIO5 Collaborators
Scott B Going, Melanie D Hingle

BMC Public Health. 2015 Dec 18;15:1253. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-2595-3.

Hongu, N., Hingle, M. D., Merchant, N. C., Orr, B. J., Going, S. B., Mosqueda, M. I., & Thomson, C. A. (2011). Dietary assessment tools using mobile technology. Topics in Clinical Nutrition, 26(4), 300-311.


Recent advancements in technology in dietary assessment, specifically use of mobile phone and digital imaging of food, are promising areas in dietetics research and practice. Research continues to focus on refining and creating new assessment methods to evaluate food intake with higher degrees of accuracy. The purpose of this article is to introduce available dietary assessment tools for an individual's diet recording that could be considered for use in research and medical nutrition therapy using mobile technology. Challenges and opportunities for use in clinical studies and future directions of dietary assessment tools in practice are discussed. Copyright © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Hingle, M. D., Castonguay, J. S., Ambuel, D. A., Smith, R. M., & Kunkel, D. (2015). Alignment of Children's Food Advertising With Proposed Federal Guidelines. American journal of preventive medicine, 48(6), 707-13.

It is well established that children are exposed to food marketing promoting calorically dense, low-nutrient products. Reducing exposure to obesogenic marketing presents an opportunity to improve children's health. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which televised food advertising practices targeting children (aged ≤12 years) were consistent with guidelines proposed by a coalition of federal authorities known as the Interagency Working Group on Foods Marketed to Children (IWG).

Zaslavsky, O., Palgi, Y., Rillamas-Sun, E., LaCroix, A. Z., Schnall, E., Woods, N. F., Cochrane, B. B., Garcia, L., Hingle, M., Post, S., Seguin, R., Tindle, H., & Shrira, A. (2015). Dispositional optimism and terminal decline in global quality of life. Developmental psychology, 51(6), 856-63.

We examined whether dispositional optimism relates to change in global quality of life (QOL) as a function of either chronological age or years to impending death. We used a sample of 2,096 deceased postmenopausal women from the Women's Health Initiative clinical trials who were enrolled in the 2005-2010 Extension Study and for whom at least 1 global QOL and optimism measure were analyzed. Growth curve models were examined. Competing models were contrasted using model fit criteria. On average, levels of global QOL decreased with both higher age and closer proximity to death (e.g., M(score) = 7.7 eight years prior to death vs. M(score) = 6.1 one year prior to death). A decline in global QOL was better modeled as a function of distance to death (DtD) than as a function of chronological age (Bayesian information criterion [BIC](DtD) = 22,964.8 vs. BIC(age) = 23,322.6). Optimism was a significant correlate of both linear (estimate(DtD) = -0.01, SE(DtD) = 0.005; ρ = 0.004) and quadratic (estimate(DtD) = -0.006, SE(DtD) = 0.002; ρ = 0.004) terminal decline in global QOL so that death-related decline in global QOL was steeper among those with a high level of optimism than those with a low level of optimism. We found that dispositional optimism helps to maintain positive psychological perspective in the face of age-related decline. Optimists maintain higher QOL compared with pessimists when death-related trajectories were considered; however, the gap between those with high optimism and those with low optimism progressively attenuated with closer proximity to death, to the point that is became nonsignificant at the time of death.