Advanced Research Techniques
We use the latest in high-tech modeling and simulation techniques.
Technology—including advanced computerized modeling—plays an integral role in our efforts to understand obesity and the complex systems and processes behind it.
Our Center works closely with faculty and research teams to develop simulation models designed to study and tackle obesity on multiple scales. Simulation models such as SimCity are a digital prototype of a physical model used to predict performance in the real world.
Some of our approaches or methodoligies include:
- Simulation Modeling: For example the Virtual Baltimore Laboratory (VBL) is a detailed simulation model of Baltimore and its population is designed with real data to mirror the realities of life in the Baltimore area. This can enable us to make changes in various factors affecting people in Baltimore and see the impact of these changes; without the expense and uncertainties inherent in actually trying out various options for change.
- Geospatial Maps and Tools: Interactive maps can help find the locations of different food sources, physical activity locations and obesity risks.
- Social media:We use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to increase awareness and interaction, gather data and influence policy.
- Mobile Technology: The BHCK campaign uses text messaging to engage caregivers from low income neighborhoods in Baltimore City. Key messages include healthful foods and setting goals to assist this project in gathering data, engaging study participants, store owners, rec center directors, youth leaders and policy makers.
- Big Data Approaches: Our Pennsylvania Project is collecting and working with extensive data on 165,000 kids in 1300+ communities.