Melanie Hingle, PhD, MPH, RD

Associate Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences

EDUCATION & PROFESSIONAL TRAINING

  • Ph.D., Nutritional Sciences, The University of Arizona
  • M.P.H., Epidemiology, The University of Arizona
  • B.S., Nutrition and Dietetics, The University of Arizona

AWARDS & FELLOWSHIPS

  • 2018-2019: Fellow, Udall Center Fellows Program, The University of Arizona
  • 2017-2018: Fellow, Academic Leadership Institute, The University of Arizona
  • 2015-2016: Fellow, Tucson Public Voices, The Op-Ed Project
  • 2013: Fellow, Nutrition Leadership Institute, Dannon Institute
  • 2013: Outstanding Faculty, The University of Arizona Accolade
  • 2008: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, Baylor College of Medicine
  • 2008: Graduate College Fellowship Award, The University of Arizona
  • 2000: Cum Laude, The University of Arizona
  • 2000: Outstanding Senior, Department of Nutritional Sciences, The University of Arizona
  • 1999: Certificate of Excellence, Department of German Studies, The University of Arizona
  • 1998-2000: Dean's List, The University of Arizona
  • 1995: Regent's Waiver, The University of Arizona

GRANTS

  • Title: University of Arizona Multicultural Scholars Program in Culinary Medicine
    Source: 2019-38413-29027 United States Department of Agriculture Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program 
    Investigators: Hingle M (PD), Infante (da Silva) (Co-PD), Mars M (Co-PD), Jackson K (Co-PD), Linares-Gaffer A (Co-PD), Ravia J (Co-PD)
    Time Period: 1/15/2019-1/14/2024
  • Title: Type 2 diabetes prevention in community healthcare settings for children and mothers
    Source: National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
    Investigators: Hingle M (PI), Marrero D (MPI), Roe D (Co-I), Mockabee J (Co-I, El Rio)
    Time Period: 7/1/18 - 6/30/20
  • Title: Precision Nutrition: emerging solutions for chronic disease
    Source: United States Department of Agriculture - Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship (NNF) Grants Program
    Investigators: Limesand K (PD), Hingle M (Co-PD), Mars M, Going SB
    Time Period: 7/1/18 - 6/30/23

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

  • Hingle M, Patrick H, Sacher P, Castro Sweet C. (2019) The intersection of behavioral science and digital health: the case for academic-industry partnerships. Health Education and Behavior; 46(1): 5-9.
  • Zhou J, Bell D, Nusrat S, Hingle M, Surdeanu M, Kobourov S. (2018) A Study of Calorie Estimation in Pictures of Food. Accepted to: Interactive Journal of Medical Research, November 5;7(2):317. doi:10.2196/ijmr.9359.
  • Short CE, DeSmet A, Woods C, Williams SL, Maher C, Middelweerd A, Mueller AM, Wark P, Vandelanotte C, Poppe L, Hingle M, Crutzen R. (2018) Measuring engagement in e- & mHealth behavior change interventions: a methodological overview. Journal of Medical Internet Research, November 16;20(11):e292. doi: 10.2196/jmir.9397.
  • Schembre SM, Liao Y, O’Connor SG, Hingle MD, Shen S, Hamoy KG, Huh J, Dunton GF, Weiss R, Thomson CA, Boushey CJ. (2018) Mobile Ecological Momentary Assessment Methods for Behavioral Research: Systematic Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research MHealth and UHealth, November 20;6(11):311170. doi: 10.2196/11170. Review.
  • Hingle M, Turner T, Ussery C, Going SB, Saboda K, Roe DJ, Kutob R, Stump C. (2019) Feasibility of a family-focused YMCA-based diabetes prevention program in youth: the E.P.I.C. Kids (Encourage, Practice, and Inspire Change) Study. Preventive Medicine Reports, March 4;14:100840, doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2019.100840. eCollection 2019 Jun.
  • Rosputni C, Short E, Sepulveda M, Infante (da Silva) V, Howe C, Alvarez K, Hingle M. Diabetes prevention in rural North America: a systematic scoping review. Accepted to Current Diabetes Reports, April 1, 2019.
  • Garcia DO, Valdez L, Aceves B, Bell ML, Humphrey K, Hingle M, McEwen M, Hooker S. A Gender- and Culturally-Sensitive Weight Loss Intervention for Hispanic Men: Results from the ANIMO Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Accepted to Health Education & Behavior, April 15, 2019.

Click here for a complete list of publications.

COURSES TAUGHT:

  • NSC 170C2: The Science of Fermentation: When Bad Food Turns Good (3 units). Fall 2018 - 2020.
  • NSC 260: Scientific Literacy and Nutrition Communication (3 units). Spring 2017 (Special Topics course).
  • NSC 561: Communicating Nutritional Sciences (1 unit). Spring.
  • Honors Colloquium: Are You What You Eat? (1 unit). Fall 2015.
  • Honors Colloquium: Regional Food Systems and Food Security (1 unit). Fall 2012.

RESEARCH PROJECTS & INTERESTS:

I am a nutrition scientist, public health researcher, and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with experience and training in medical nutrition therapy, health promotion, behavioral sciences, and related research methodologies. My work is conducted at the intersection of nutritional sciences research and public health practice, where I seek to understand predictors and consequences of behavioral risk factors associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes and apply this knowledge to the design and delivery of lifestyle behavior modification interventions for children and families at risk of diet-sensitive disease. I am committed to interdisciplinary and team science, and my collaborations and work reflects this commitment. The overall goal of my research is the prevention of type 2 diabetes and related metabolic disorders, with an emphasis on youth and families. Three aims focus my research program activities: (1) understand predictors and correlates of the lifestyle behaviors associated with energy balance and diabetes risk, including diet and physical activity behavior; (2) develop and test new approaches to support participants in modifying lifestyle behaviors associated with diet-sensitive disease risk; and (3) integrate research findings with clinical and community practice, while identifying and addressing potential barriers that impede implementation at scale.

Current projects include:

  • Type 2 diabetes prevention in community health care settings for children and mothers at risk, 7/1/2018-6/30/2020, NIH R34 planning grant mechanism, University of Arizona Department of Nutritional Sciences, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, and the Department of Health Promotion Sciences, College of Public Health.

    The goal of this project is to test the feasibility and acceptability of a family-focused lifestyle behavior change intervention delivered to mothers with prediabetes and their 8-12-year-old children by staff at a Federally Qualified Health Center (El Rio Community Health Center). The program, designed to prevent new cases of diabetes in at-risk Latino women and children, will be adapted from the investigators’ previous successful community-based type 2 diabetes prevention programs. (Hingle 2015 BMC Public Health; Ackermann 2008 Am J Prev Med) We will evaluate program acceptability, implementation, cost, integration with the FQHC infrastructure, and potential for replicability and maintenance in order to determine potential for long-term

    program sustainability within this healthcare setting. Preliminary impact of the 16-week family-focused intervention on diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors (weight status, glucose control, lifestyle behaviors) will be assessed in 60 mother-child dyads participating in the 16-week group-randomized trial.

    The proposed study is significant in its focus on reducing obesity and type 2 diabetes prevalence in Latino children and women using a family-focused, community-based approach that leverages parental involvement and El Rio’s wide network of facilities, professionals, and resources. We are the first to address diabetes risk of mother and child simultaneously using the concept of “primordial prevention,” in which parents are activated to modify the social and physical environment to halt risk transmission to their offspring. Our proposed study is also novel in its engagement of mothers with metabolic phenotypes associated with diabetes and known risk transmission to offspring and will leverage these strengths and resources to make family-based diabetes prevention a reality for populations disproportionately burdened by this disease.

  • Developing a model of diet-sensitive disease prevention for food insecure populations: formative research, 1/1/18-6/30/19, intramural seed funding from Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona (CFBSA) awarded to the CFBSA’s Health and Nutrition Team in collaboration with the UA Department of Nutritional Sciences and Arizona Cooperative Extension, CALS, and the Department of Health Promotion Sciences, COPH.

    The long-term goal of this project is to develop a replicable, sustainable model of diet-sensitive disease prevention and management in food insecure populations, with an emphasis on type 2 diabetes, a highly prevalent and serious health condition affecting approximately 10% of adults, and more than 20% of food insecure adults. (Hill et al., 2013 Diabetes Care) In order to reduce negative health consequences associated with food insecurity, individuals must have the means, capability, and opportunity to access, obtain, prepare, and consume nutrient-dense foods. The care model we envision developing consists of a therapeutic food box (containing perishable and non-perishable foods adapted from the standard Emergency Food Assistance Program for clients with, or at risk of, diet-sensitive disease), delivered in combination with one or more of the following: i) food preparation aids (e.g., can openers, recipes), ii) diabetes self-management support and/or prevention education (e.g., delivered by an educator/health professional or trained paraprofessional), and/or iii) referral to appropriate extant services (e.g., SNAP, WIC, health services), all of which will be tailored to address clients’ specific health, economic, and social circumstances, and made available at their preferred point of food distribution (one of three CFBSA locations).

    Development of the proposed care model will be accomplished in phases. In Phase I, we will characterize the diet quality, sources of food, and challenges related to food procurement and preparation of up to 200 adult clients of the CFBSA. Phase II is focused on developing and iteratively refining a prototype “therapeutic food box” (based on the existing 3-4-day emergency food box currently provided to clients of the CFBSA) that will be enhanced with related materials and support designed to reduce risk of diet-sensitive disease (n=20 adults). In Phase III, we will conduct a pilot study (n=25 adults with pre-diabetes or diabetes) in which the refined prototype food box + enhancements will be evaluated (feasibility, acceptability, cost)

Curriculum Vitae

 VIDEOS: