As the prevalence of diabetes continues to rise worldwide, it becomes increasingly important to identify high risk populations and to implement strategies to delay or prevent diabetes onset. Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are at substantially increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity, currently at epidemic rates in the US. Although physical activity and psychosocial stress have been considered in previous studies of pregnancy outcome, their potential influence on GDM has not been elucidated.

    In light of these observations, my research has focused on 3 specific goals:

  1. BulletTo create, validate, and promulgate tools designed to accurately measure physical activity in pregnant women of diverse backgrounds.

  2. BulletTo determine the impact of physical activity and other modifiable risk factors on gestational diabetes and subsequent type 2 diabetes in Latina women. Latina women have the highest birth rates in the U.S. and are 2-4 times more likely than non-Latina white women to be diagnosed with GDM.

  3. BulletTo ultimately provide information to women and their physicians regarding guidelines for physical activity and healthy behaviors during pregnancy. In spite of the revised guidelines now recommending regular activity for pregnant women, the optimal dose of recreational physical activity (i.e., total volume of energy expenditure, and specific frequency, duration and intensity) for a pregnant woman remains to be determined.


Research Mission

Dr. Lisa Chasan-Taber

Professor of Epidemiology

Research Interests: Reproductive epidemiology; women's health; applied research in physical activity and pregnancy.