Kim Gans


Research Overview

Dr. Gans research focuses on interventions in community-based settings with diverse populations to improve eating habits, increase physical activity and prevent/control obesity. She has created innovative health communication technologies to change behavior and she studies interventions to improve home, work and neighborhood environments and how these interventions interface with behavior change interventions to enhance obesity prevention. Another emphasis is on translational research to study the dissemination of effective interventions to various community and clinical settings.

Her current research includes  an NHLBI grant to improve the environments of family child care homes to reduce childhood obesity; an NHLBI grant to increase physical activity in Latino men; a seed grant with UConn Dental to conduct formative research to create interventions for childhood obesity and dental caries prevention in dental practices in CT; and an academic-community partnership seed grant with Ready to Learn Providence to conduct formative research with Latino mothers and fathers of preschool children to inform future childhood obesity interventions. She is also currently Co-Investigator on six grants.

Kim’s research interests include:

  • Healthy eating/nutrition
  • Obesity prevention and treatment
  • Physical activity
  • Community-engaged research
  • Innovative technology for behavior change
  • Interventions in child care settings
  • Worksite, school and home-based interventions
  • Low income and ethnic minority populations
  • Food environments/food access
  • Translational/dissemination research
  • Health literacy
  • Physician education/training
  • Dietary assessment


Duke University, Biology, B.S., 1983
University of North Carolina, Nutrition, M.P.H., 1985
University of Rhode Island, Biological Sciences (Nutrition), Ph.D., 1992

Selected Publications since 1999

  • Gans KM, Lovell HJ, Fortunet R, McMahon C, Carton-Lopez S, Lasater TM. Implications of qualitative research for nutrition education geared to selected Hispanic audiences. J Nutr Educ. 1999;31(6):331-338.
  • Gans KM, Hixson ML, Eaton CE and Lasater TM. Rate Your Plate: An eating pattern assessment and educational tool for blood cholesterol control. Nutr Clin Care. 2000;3(3):163-169, 177-178.
  • Barner CW, Wylie-Rosett J, Gans K. WAVE: a pocket guide for a brief nutrition dialogue in primary care. Diabetes Educ. 2001 May-Jun;27(3):352-8, 361-2. PubMed PMID: 11912796.
  • Gans KM, Delessio D. A brief diet assessment tool facilitates the medical nutrition therapy of diabetic patients. Diabetes Care and Education: On the Cutting Edge. 2002;23:16-18.
  • Gans KM, Burkholder GJ, Upegui DI, Risica PM, Lasater TM, Fortunet R. Comparison of baseline fat-related eating behaviors of Puerto Rican, Dominican, Colombian, and Guatemalan participants who joined a cholesterol education project. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2002 Jul-Aug;34(4):202-10. PubMed PMID: 12217263.
  • Gans KM, Wylie-Rosett J, Eaton CE. Treating and preventing obesity through diet: Practical approaches for family physicians. Clinics in Family Practice. 2002; 4(2):1-23.
  • Eaton CB, McBride PE, Gans KA, Underbakke GL. Teaching nutrition skills to primary care practitioners. J Nutr. 2003 Feb;133(2):563S-6S. Review. PubMed PMID: 12566503.
  • Gans KM, Ross E, Barner CW, Wylie-Rosett J, McMurray J, Eaton C. REAP and WAVE: new tools to rapidly assess/discuss nutrition with patients. J Nutr. 2003 Feb;133(2):556S-62S. Review. PubMed PMID: 12566502.
  • Gans KM, Burkholder GJ, Risica PM, Lasater TM. Baseline fat-related dietary behaviors of white, Hispanic, and black participants in a cholesterol screening and education project in New England. J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Jun;103(6):699-706; discussion 706. PubMed PMID: 12778040.
  • Gans KM, Kumanyika SK, Lovell HJ, Risica PM, Goldman R, Odoms-Young A, Strolla LO, Decaille DO, Caron C, Lasater TM. The development of SisterTalk: a cable TV-delivered weight control program for black women. Prev Med. 2003 Dec;37(6 Pt 1):654-67. PubMed PMID: 14636799.
  • Gans KM, Burkholder GJ Jr, Risica PM, Harrow B, Lasater TM. Cost-effectiveness of minimal contact education strategies for cholesterol change. Ethn Dis. 2006 Spring;16(2):443-51. PubMed PMID: 17682247.
  • Gans KM, Risica PM, Wylie-Rosett J, Ross EM, Strolla LO, McMurray J, Eaton CB. Development and evaluation of the nutrition component of the Rapid Eating and Activity Assessment for Patients (REAP): a new tool for primary care providers. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2006 Sep-Oct;38(5):286-92. PubMed PMID: 16966049.
  • Strolla LO, Gans KM, Risica PM. Using qualitative and quantitative formative research to develop tailored nutrition intervention materials for a diverse low-income audience. Health Educ Res. 2006 Aug;21(4):465-76. Epub 2005 Nov 22. PubMed PMID: 16303783.
  • Fitzgibbon M, Gans KM, Evans WD, Viswanath K, Johnson-Taylor WL, Krebs-Smith SM, Rodgers AB, Yaroch AL. Communicating healthy eating: lessons learned and future directions. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2007 Mar-Apr;39(2 Suppl):S63-71. PubMed PMID: 17336811.
  • Gans KM, Risica PM, Kirtania U, Jennings A, Strolla LO, Steiner-Asiedu M, Hardy N, Lasater TM. Dietary behaviors and portion sizes of black women who enrolled in SisterTalk and variation by demographic characteristics. J Nutr Educ 2009 Jan-Feb;41(1):32-40. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2657871.
  • Gans KM, Risica PM, Strolla LO, Fournier L, Kirtania U, Upegui D, Zhao J, George T, Acharyya S. Effectiveness of different methods for delivering tailored nutrition education to low income, ethnically diverse adults. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2009 May 5;6:24. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2688475.
  • Pekmezi DW, Neighbors CJ, Lee CS, Gans KM, Bock BC, Morrow KM, Marquez B, Dunsiger S, Marcus BH. A culturally adapted physical activity intervention for Latinas: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Prev Med. 2009 Dec;37(6):495-500.PubMed PMID: 19944914; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2814545.
  • Sheldon M, Gans KM, Tai R, George T, Lawson E, Pearlman DN. Availability, affordability, and accessibility of a healthful diet in a low-income community, Central Falls, Rhode Island, 2007-2008. Prev Chronic Dis. 2010 Mar;7(2):A43. Epub 2010 Feb 15. PubMed PMID: 20158971; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2831797.
  • Mello JA, Gans KM, Risica PM, Kirtania U, Strolla LO, Fournier L. How is food insecurity associated with dietary behaviors? An analysis with low-income, ethnically diverse participants in a nutrition intervention study. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Dec;110(12):1906-11. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3005628.
  • Johnson P., Risica, P., Gans, K., Kirtania, U. and Kumanyika, S., Association of Perceived Racial Discrimination With Eating Behaviors and Obesity Among Participants of the Sister-Talk Study. J Natl Black Nurses Assoc, (23) 1, July 2012, 34-40.
  • Pekmezi D, Dunsiger S, Gans K, Bock B, Gaskins R, Marquez B, Lee C, Neighbors C, Jennings E, Tilkemeier P, Marcus B. Rationale, design, and baseline findings from Seamos Saludables: A randomized controlled trial testing the efficacy of a culturally and linguistically adapted, computer- tailored physical activity intervention for Latinas. Contemp Clin Trials. 2012 Nov;33(6):1261-71. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3468688.
  • Marcus BH, Dunsiger SI, Pekmezi DW, Larsen BA, Bock BC, Gans KM, Marquez B, Morrow KM, Tilkemeier P. The Seamos Saludables study: A randomized controlled physical activity trial of Latinas. Am J Prev Med. 2013 Nov;45(5):598-605. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2013.07.006. PubMed PMID: 24139773.
  • Risica PM, Gans KM, Kumanyika S, Kirtania U, Lasater TM. SisterTalk: final results of a culturally tailored cable television delivered weight control program for Black women. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 10:141 December 2013. PMID: 24373253 PMCID: PMC3880004
  • Hartman SJ, Risica PM, Gans KM, Marcus BH, Eaton CB. Tailored weight loss intervention in obese adults within primary care practice: rationale, design, and methods of Choose to Lose. Contemp Clin Trials. 2014 Jul;38(2):409-19. doi:10.1016/j.cct.2014.06.001. Epub 2014 Jun 15. PMID: 24937016; PMCID: PMC4151311
  • Keita AD, Risica PM, Drenner KL, Adams I, Gorham G, Gans KM. Feasibility and acceptability of an early childhood obesity prevention intervention: results from the healthy homes, healthy families pilot study. J Obes. 2014;2014:378501. doi: 10.1155/2014/378501. Epub 2014 Oct 27. PubMed PMID: 25405026; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4227329.
  • Marcus BH, Dunsiger SI, Pekmezi D, Larsen BA, Marquez B, Bock BC, Gans KM, Morrow KM, Tilkemeier P. Twelve-month physical activity outcomes in Latinas in the Seamos Saludables Trial. Am J Prev Med.2015 Feb;48(2):179-82. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2014.08.032. Epub 2014 Nov 6. PMID: 25442225
  • Dominick GM, Dunsiger SI, Pekmezi DW, Larsen B, Marquez B, Nodora J, Gans KM, Marcus BH. Moderating Effects of Health Literacy on Change in Physical Activity among Latinas in a Randomized Trial. J of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. 2015:1-7 PMCID: PMC5064840, PMID: 26863464
  • Tovar A, Risica P, Mena N, Lawson E, Ankoma A, Gans KM. An assessment of nutrition practices and attitudes in family child-care homes: implications for policy implementation. Prev Chronic Dis. 2015 Jun 4;12:E88. doi: 10.5888/pcd12.140587. PubMed PMID: 26043303; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4456854.
  • Marcus BH, Hartman SJ, Pekmezi D, Dunsiger SI, Linke S, Marquez B, Gans KM, Bock BC, Larsen BA, Rojas C. Using interactive Internet technology to promote physical activity in Latinas: Rationale, design, and baseline findings of Pasos Hacia La Salud. Contemp Clin Trials. 2015 Aug 5. pii: S1551-7144(15)30063-X. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2015.08.004. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26255237.
  • Tovar A, Mena NZ, Risica P, Gorham G, Gans KM. Nutrition and physical activity environments of home-based child care: What Hispanic providers have to say. Child Obes. 2015 Oct;11(5):521-9. doi: 10.1089/chi.2015.0040. Epub 2015 Sep 2. PubMed PMID: 26332455. PMCID number in progress.
  • Gans KM, Dulin-Keita A, Risica PM, Dawood M, Strolla L. Innovative video tailoring for dietary change: Final results of the Good For You! cluster randomized trial. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2015, 12:130 PMID: 26445486, PMCID: PMC4596558
  • Gorham G, Dionne L, Risica PM, Mello J, Papandonatos G, Gorham S, Dulin-Keita A, Gans KM. Effectiveness of Fresh to You, a discount fresh fruit and vegetable market in low-income neighborhoods, on children’s fruit and vegetable consumption, Rhode Island, 2010–2011. Prev Chronic Dis 2015;12:140583. PMID: 26469949, PMCID: PMC4611858.
  • Gans KM, Salkeld J, Risica PM, Lenz, E, Burton D, Mello, J, Bell JP. Occupation is related to weight and lifestyle factors among employees at worksites involved in a weight gain prevention study. J Occup Environ Med. Volume 57(10), October 2015, p e114–e120.
  • Marcus BH, Hartman SJ, Larsen BA, Pekmezi D, Dunsiger SI, Linke S, Marquez B, Gans KM, Bock BC, Mendoza-Vasconez AS, Noble ML, Rojas C. Pasos Hacia La Salud: a randomized controlled trial of an internet-delivered physical activity intervention for Latinas. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2016 13:62; DOI: 10.1186/s12966-016-0385-7; Published: 28 May 2016 PMID: 27234302, PMCID: PMC4884436
  • Gans KM; Gorham G; Risica PM; Dulin-Keita A; Dionne L; Gao T; Peters S; Principato L. A multi-level intervention in subsidized housing sites to increase fruit and vegetable access and intake: Rationale, design and methods of the ‘Live Well, Viva Bien’ cluster randomized trial. BMC Public Health. 2016:June. 16:521, PMID: 27353149, PMCID: PMC4924350
  • Eaton CB, Harman SJ, Schindler E, Panc G, Roberts MB, Risica PM, Gans KM, Jakicic JM, Marcus BH. A randomized clinical trial of a tailored lifestyle intervention for obese, sedentary patients in primary care: Choose To Lose translational research study. Annals of Family Medicine. July-August 2016;14:311-319. doi: 10.1370/afm.1952.
  • Dulin-Keita A; Whittaker S; Wynter J; Kidanu TW; Cardel M; Chhay C; Gans K. Applying concept mapping methodology to identify the perceptions of risk and protective factors for childhood obesity among Southeast Asian refugees. J Health Care Poor Underserved.November 2016;27(4):1909-1933. PMID: 27818447
  • Hartman, S.J., Dunsiger, S., Bock, B.C., Larsen, B. A., Linke, S., Pekmezi, D., Marquez, B., Gans, K.M., Mendoza-Vasconez, A., & Marcus, B.H. (2017). Physical Activity Maintenance among Spanish-Speaking Latinas in a Randomized Controlled Trial of an Internet-based Intervention. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 2017 Jun;40(3):392-402 PMID: 27752866, PMCID: PMC5393970
  • Hughes BL, Gans KM, Raker C, Hipolito ER, Rouse DJ. A Brief Prenatal Intervention of Behavioral Change to Reduce the Risk of Maternal Cytomegalovirus: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Oct;130(4):726-734. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002216. PubMed PMID: 28885428.
  • Risica PM, Gorham G, Dionne L, Nardi W, Ng D, Middler R, Mello J, Akpolat R, Gettens K, Gans KM. A multi-level intervention in worksites to increase fruit and vegetable access and intake: Rationale, design and methods of the ‘Good to Go’ cluster randomized trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials. 2018 Feb;65:87-98. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2017.12.002. Epub 2017 Dec 12. PMID: 29242108
  • Marquez B., Norman G, Fowler J, Gans K, Marcus B. Weight and weight control behaviors of Latinas and their social ties. Health Psychology. 2018 Apr;37(4):318-325. doi: 10.1037/hea0000597. Epub 2018 Feb 1. PMID: 29389157, PMCID: PMC5880731
  • Dulin-Keita A; Risica PM; Ahmed R; Mello, J.; Cardel M; Howe C; Nadimpalli S; Gans KM. Neighborhood social and environmental factors and fruit and vegetable intake among residents in subsidized housing. BMC Public Health. Apr. 5 2018;18:455, PMCID: PMC5887203, PMID: 29621989
  • Dulin-Keita A; Quintiliani L; Buscemi J; Bell, B.M.; Gans KM; Yaroch A. Society of Behavioral Medicine position statement: increase funding for fruits and vegetables production in The Farm Bill reauthorization. Translational Behavioral Medicine. 2018 Apr 13.  [Epub ahead of print]
  • Marquez B, Norman G, Fowler x, Gans KM, Marcus B. Egocentric networks and physical activity outcomes in Latinas. PLOS One. In Press.
  • Gans KM, Dulin-Keita A, Gorham G. Final results of Live Well, Viva Bien: A randomized controlled trial testing the efficacy of an innovative fruit and vegetable market and educational program in subsidized housing projects. In Press. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Published: August 20, 2018


  • Lasater TM, Gans KM. Church-Based Interventions. In NB Anderson (Editor), Encyclopedia of Health and Behavior. Vol. 1. Sage, 2004.
  • Gans KM, Eaton CB. Chapter 16: Cultural Influences. In: The Complete Guide to Nutrition in Primary Care. Editors: Deen D Jr. and Hark LA. Blackwell Publishing. 2007, ISBN# 1405104740.
  • Gans K, Drenner K, Gorham G. Nutrition Counseling in a Busy Office Practice. In: Rippe JM, editor. Lifestyle medicine. 2nd ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2013. p. xli, 1588 p. ISBN-13:978-1439845424.


Kim Gans
Contact Information
Phone860 486 3865
Mailing Address348 Mansfield Road, U-1058 Storrs, CT 06269-1058 USA