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.

Elder, J. P., Shuler, L., Moe, S. G., Grieser, M., Pratt, C., Cameron, S., Hingle, M., Pickrel, J. L., Saksvig, B. I., Schachter, K., Greer, S., & K., E. (2008). Recruiting a diverse group of middle school girls into the trial of activity for adolescent girls. Journal of School Health, 78(10), 523-531.

PMID: 18808471;PMCID: PMC2764409;Abstract:

Background: School-based study recruitment efforts are both time consuming and challenging. This paper highlights the recruitment strategies employed by the national, multisite Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (TAAG), a study designed to measure the effectiveness of an intervention to reduce the decline of physical activity levels among middle school-aged girls. TAAG provided a unique opportunity to recruit large cohorts of randomly sampled girls within 36 diverse middle schools across the United States. Methods: Key elements of the formative planning, coordination, and design of TAAG's recruitment efforts included flexibility, tailoring, and the use of incentives. Various barriers, including a natural disaster, political tension, and district regulations, were encountered throughout the recruitment process, but coordinated strategies and frequent communication between the 6 TAAG sites were helpful in tailoring the recruitment process at the 36 intervention and control schools. Results: Progressively refined recruitment strategies and specific attention to the target audience of middle school girls resulted in overall study recruitment rates of 80%, 85%, and 89%, for the baseline, posttest, and follow-up period, respectively. Discussion: The steady increase in recruitment rates over time is attributed to an emphasis on successful strategies and a willingness to modify less successful methods. Open and consistent communication, an increasingly coordinated recruitment strategy, interactive recruitment presentations, and participant incentives resulted in an effective recruitment campaign. © 2008, American School Health Association.

Hingle, M. D., Hingle, M., & Kunkel, D. (2012). Childhood obesity and the media. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 59(3), 677-692.
Cespedes, E. M., Hu, F. B., Tinker, L., Rosner, B., Redline, S., Garcia, L., Hingle, M., Van Horn, L., Howard, B. V., Levitan, E. B., Li, W., Manson, J. E., Phillips, L. S., Rhee, J. J., Waring, M. E., & Neuhouser, M. L. (2016). Multiple Healthful Dietary Patterns and Type 2 Diabetes in the Women's Health Initiative. American journal of epidemiology, 183(7), 622-33.

The relationship between various diet quality indices and risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) remains unsettled. We compared associations of 4 diet quality indices--the Alternate Mediterranean Diet Index, Healthy Eating Index 2010, Alternate Healthy Eating Index 2010, and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Index--with reported T2D in the Women's Health Initiative, overall, by race/ethnicity, and with/without adjustment for overweight/obesity at enrollment (a potential mediator). This cohort (n = 101,504) included postmenopausal women without T2D who completed a baseline food frequency questionnaire from which the 4 diet quality index scores were derived. Higher scores on the indices indicated a better diet. Cox regression was used to estimate multivariate hazard ratios for T2D. Pearson coefficients for correlation among the indices ranged from 0.55 to 0.74. Follow-up took place from 1993 to 2013. During a median 15 years of follow-up, 10,815 incident cases of T2D occurred. For each diet quality index, a 1-standard-deviation higher score was associated with 10%-14% lower T2D risk (P 0.001). Adjusting for overweight/obesity at enrollment attenuated but did not eliminate associations to 5%-10% lower risk per 1-standard-deviation higher score (P 0.001). For all 4 dietary indices examined, higher scores were inversely associated with T2D overall and across racial/ethnic groups. Multiple forms of a healthful diet were inversely associated with T2D in these postmenopausal women.