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For Immediate Release: Monday, October 22, 2012

NIH videos demonstrate behavior's role in personal health

Habit, education, and environment all affect our behavior and our health

The National Institutes of Health's Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), today released four videos highlighting outstanding behavioral and social science research on mindless eating, risk-taking, diabetes management, and the evolution of skin pigmentation.

The videos, called Research Highlights, are available on both the OBSSR website and the NIH YouTube channel and feature prominent researchers describing their work and its implications for society.

"Understanding our behavior," said OBSSR Director Dr. Robert Kaplan, "and making better decisions puts us in charge of our own health. These short films highlight some of the benefits of behavioral and social science research — both for us as individuals and for society as a whole."

The videos, each under seven minutes in length, showcase:

Dr. Brian Wansink (Cornell University)
Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think
Small changes in our physical environment can greatly affect our food eating behavior and totally change our eating habits.

Dr. Carl Lejuez (University of Maryland)
Risk-Taking Behavior and Substance Use
A person's willingness to take risks and his or her ability to tolerate psychological stress are key to substance use and successful treatment.

Dr. Charlene Quinn (University of Maryland)
Using mHealth to Manage Diabetes
Mobile health technologies hold promise in encouraging people to change their behavior and improve their health.

Dr. Nina Jablonski (Penn State University)
Evolution of Skin Pigmentation
Understanding our personal ancestry and the general evolution of pigmentation are essential to our own health and society's well-being.

"There are personal take-aways in each of these films," said Dr. Kaplan, "but they also demonstrate both the excitement and reward of behavioral and social science research. I hope every viewer learns something useful. And I hope we're engaging the next generation of researchers to enter this dynamic and productive field."

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) opened officially on July 1, 1995. The U.S. Congress established the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) in the Office of the Director, NIH, in recognition of the key role that behavioral and social factors often play in illness and health. The OBSSR mission is to stimulate behavioral and social sciences research throughout NIH and to integrate these improving our understanding, treatment, and prevention of disease. For more information, please visit http://obssr.od.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health®

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This page last reviewed on June 10, 2013

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