Gary G. Bennett, Ph.D.

About me

At Duke, I’m trying to find ways of improving obesity management in the primary care setting. Our lab conducts obesity treatment trials in the U.S., China, and via the interwebs. I also teach classes on health psychology, health communication, and the social epidemiology of obesity. I blog at, tweet @drgarybennett, and try to do a little good along the way.

The rest of the story

Gary G. Bennett is a Professor of PsychologyGlobal Health, and Medicine at Duke University. He directs the Duke Obesity Prevention Program, co-directs the Duke Center on Biobehavioral Health Disparities Research and is affiliated with the Duke Cancer Institute and the Duke Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research. Prior to joining Duke in 2009, Dr. Bennett served on the faculties of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Bennett completed undergraduate studies at Morehouse College, doctoral training in clinical health psychology at Duke University, and the Alonzo Yerby postdoctoral fellowship in social epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Bennett’s research program seeks to prevent and reduce obesity in high risk populations. In particular, his work leverages new media technologies to better manage obesity in the primary care setting. Dr. Bennett helped develop the interactive obesity treatment approach (iOTA) and his currently funded research trials include an 18-month iOTA-based obesity prevention trial using interactive voice response among community health center patients; a 24-month iOTA obesity treatment trial using web and IVR among community health center patients with hypertension, and; 6-month iOTA weight loss trials using text messaging among obese adults — in North Carolina and Beijing. Dr. Bennett has served on the editorial boards for Health Psychology and Annals of Behavioral Medicine and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Society of Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Bennett is committed to the dissemination of evidence-based intervention approaches. He co-founded Crimson Health Solutions, which developed evidence-based behavior change interventions for the disease management sector; Health Dialog acquired Crimson in 2007. Dr. Bennett’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Several representative papers are listed below. A more complete list of papers is available on our lab site. You can always access our work via PubMed – or better yet — Pubget.

Bennett, G.G. Connecting eHealth with 2-1-1 to Reduce Health Disparities. Am J Prev Med. 2012 Dec;43(6 Suppl 5):S509-11.

Bennett GG, Warner ET, Glasgow RE, Askew S, Goldman J, Ritzwoller DP, Emmons KM, Rosner BA, Colditz GA; Be Fit, Be Well Study Investigators. Obesity treatment for socioeconomically disadvantaged patients in primary care practice. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Apr 9;172(7):565-74.

Duncan DT, Wolin KY, Scharoun-Lee M, Ding EL, Warner ET, Bennett GG. Does perception equal reality? Weight misperception in relation to weight-related attitudes and behaviors among overweight and obese US adults. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011 Mar 22;8:20.

Bennett, G.G., Herring, S.J., Puleo, E., Stein, E.K., Emmons, K.M., Gillman, M.W. (2010). Web-based Weight Loss in Primary Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Obesity, 18(2), 308-13.

Bennett GG, Glasgow RE. The delivery of public health interventions via the Internet: actualizing their potential. Annu Rev Public Health. 2009;30:273-92.


At Duke, I teach undergraduate psychology courses in health psychology and health communication. I have also taught a class on the obesity epidemic in the global health cluster of Duke’s Focus program. Since 2009, I’ve also been an instructor at Peking University (Beijing, China) as part of Duke’s global health certificate program. I  guest lecture widely and ramble on during office hours.

Course syllabi (2012)

Course syllabi (2011)


Contact me

Office: Sociology-Psychology 222

Lab: Erwin Terrace Suite 403

Phone: Email me

Email: Call me

IM: garygbennett [AIM | Google]

Skype: garygbennett


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