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Global Obesity Prevention Center

Virtual Population Obesity Prevention (VPOP) Labs


Project Lead: Bruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA




VPOP logoSimulation modeling has transformed many professions and industries such as transportation, air traffic control, meteorology, and manufacturing. For example, the ‘live’ weather maps frequently shown on television are simulation models that combine and synthesize information from many different types of data from sources such as air, land, and water temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction and cloud patterns.

For obesity prevention and control, simulation models can serve as “Virtual Population Laboratories” (VPOP Labs) for decision makers in a community, city or region to:

VPOPBreaking New Grounds: Obesity results from and involves a complex system of policy, economic, environmental, social, cultural, behavioral, and biological factors and relationships. More traditional studies alone may not fully capture and characterize the complex factors and interactions in a community, city or region. Virtual laboratories can save considerable time, effort, and resources by allowing decision makers and researchers to first test hypothetical interventions and policies in the safety of a computer.




To develop suites of simulation models of communities, cities, and regions that allow decision makers and stakeholders (e.g., policy makers, funders, public health officials, school officials, and business professionals) to design and test various obesity prevention measures, policies and interventions.

The VPOP team collaborates with experts from a range of disciplines and sectors:

Additional Information:
Overview Sheet
Email Dr. Bruce Y. Lee