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Mary Story

Professor, Community & Family Medicine and Global Health
Associate Director for Academic Programs

Trent 112
(919) 681-7716

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Mary Story


Mary will serve as the Associate Director for Academic Programs in the Institute. She brings to this position 13 years serving in leadership positions at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, including as Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at the School from 2011-2013. Mary is a leading scholar in the field of child and adolescent nutrition and child obesity prevention. She has published close to 400 articles in this field, is the director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national program office of Healthy Eating Research, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Story has devoted her research career to the study of child and adolescent nutrition and childhood obesity. Her research has focused primarily on nutrition and diet-related issues of low-income and minority youth and their families, and environmental and behavioral community-based obesity prevention interventions for youth. Dr. Story has conducted several NIH funded school and community-based obesity prevention trials. She was the Principal Investigator on the NIH funded, Pathways study, a multi-site school-based obesity intervention for American Indian youth residing on seven Indian reservations; and the NIH/NHLBI funded phase I multi-site obesity prevention study for African American preadolescent girls, The Girls Health Enrichment Multi-Site Studies (GEMS), which developed, implemented and evaluated an after-school obesity prevention program for African American girls ages 8-10. She was PI on Bright Start, a NIH funded school and family-based obesity prevention randomized community trial study on the Pine Ridge reservation with kindergarten and first grade children in 13 schools. She has been a co-investigator on several NIH grants such as Project EAT a longitudinal study of factors influencing diet and obesity in adolescents and young adults, New Moves an obesity prevention trial with adolescent girls and several environmental interventions to improve healthy eating, including several pricing interventions. Since 2005, Dr. Story has directed the Healthy Eating Research program, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that supports research on environmental and policy strategies to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity.



Recent Publications

Bleich SN, Jones-Smith J, Wolfson JA, Zhu X, Story M, The complex relationship between food and health, Health Affairs 34(11):1813-1820,2015

Kraak V and Story M. Guiding principles and a decision- making framework for stakeholders pursuing healthy food environments, Health Affairs 34 (11):1972-1978, 2015

Kraak V, Story M An Accountability evaluation for the industry’s responsible use of brand mascots and licensed media characters to market a healthy diet to American children. Obesity Reviews 16:433-453, 2015.

Flattum C, Draxten M, Horning M, Fulkerson J, Neumark-Sztainer D, Garwick A, Kubik M, Story M HOME Plus: Program Design and implementation of a family-focused, community-based intervention to promote the frequency and healthfulness of family meals, reduce children’s sedentary behaviors and prevent obesity. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12:53DOI 10.1186/s12966-015-0211-7, 2015

Larson N, Story M, Barriers to Equity in Nutritional Health for U.S. Children and Adolescents: A Review of the Literature. Current Nutrition Reports. 4:102-110, 2015

Larson, N, Laska MN, Story M, Neumark-Sztainer D, Sports and energy drink consumption among a population-based sample of young adults, Public Health Nutrition, Oct; 18(15): 2794-803, 2015.

Laska MN, Hearst MO, Lust K, Lytle, Story M How we eat what we eat: identifying meal routines and practices most strongly associated with healthy and unhealthy dietary factors among young adults, Public Health Nutrition, doi:10.1017/S136898001400

Larson N, Story M, Barriers to Equity in Nutritional Health for U.S. Children and Adolescents: A Review of the Literature. Current Nutrition Reports, in press.

Larson, N, Laska MN, Story M, Neumark-Sztainer D, Sports and energy drink consumption among a population-based sample of young adults, Public Health Nutrition, in press.

Kraak VI, Story M. Influence of food companies' brand mascots and entertainment companies' cartoon media characters on children's diet and health: a systematic review and research needs. Obesity Reviews. doi: 10.1111/obr.12237. [Epub ahead of print] Dec, 2014.

Kristensen AH , Flottemesch TJ, Maciosek MV Jenson J, Barclay G, Ashe A, Sanchez R, Story M, Teutsch MT, Brownson R, Reducing Childhood Obesity through U.S. Federal Policy: A microsimulation Analysis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 47(5): 604-612, 2014.

Barr-Anderson DJ, Bauer KW, Hannan PJ, Story M, Neumark-Sztainer D. Perception vs Reality: Is perceived or objective proximity to environmental, physical activity opportunities more associated with recent use among adolescent girls? Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal. (In press)

Fulkerson J, D Neumark-Sztainer, Story M, Gurvich, Kubik M, Garwick A, Dudovitz B. The Healthy Home Offerings via the Mealtime Environment (HOME) Plus study: Design and methods Contemporary Clinical Trials. 38(1):59-68, May 2014

4. Bruening M, MacLehose R, Eisenberg ME, Nanney M, Story M, Neumark-Sztainer D, Associations Between Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption and Fast-Food Restaurant Frequency Among Adolescents and Their Friends. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 46(4): 277-285, 2014

Cohen D, Story M Mitigating the Health Risks of Dining Out: The Need for Standardized Portion Sizes in Restaurants. American Journal of Public Health. 104(4) 586-590, 2014.

Chriqui J, Pickel M, Story M Influence of School Competitive Food and Beverage Policies on Obesity, Consumption, and Availability: A Systematic Review. JAMA Pediatrics;168(3):279-286, 2014.

Larson N, DeWolfe J, Story M, Neumark-Sztainer, D.Adolescent Consumption of Sports and Energy Drinks: Linkages to Higher Physical Activity, Unhealthy Beverage Patterns, Cigarette Smoking, and Screen Media Use. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.46:181-187, 2014