Helena Laroche, MD, MS

Contact Information

Office: 161 VAMC Building 42 
Phone: 319-158-7711 
Faculty Profile

Brief description of current research:

Dr. Laroche’s research is focused on obesity prevention and treatment at a family and community level.  Her studies have examined family dynamics around food and physical activity and interventions to prevent obesity in the microenvironments of schools and cafeterias and directly with families.  Recent studies have focused on 1) combining health coaching using motivational interviewing with connection to community resources to help families improve healthy behaviors linked to obesity 2) Changing college cafeterias to promote healthy eating 3) examining the influence of the built environment on physical activity and diet using new techniques such as google street view 4) promotion of changes in school concession stands – including a guide to making changes that is available on the prevention research center website. 

3 most influential diabetes/obesity/metabolism publications:

  • Laroche HH, Davis MM, Forman J, Palmisano G, Heisler M. What about the Children? The Experience of Families Involved in an Adult-focused Diabetes Intervention, Public Health Nutr. 2008;11(4):427-36. PMID:17686202. doi: 10.1017/S1368980007000791.
  • Laroche HH, Wallace RB, Snetselaar LG, Hillis S, Steffen LM. Changes in Diet Behavior when Adults become Parents, Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (previously the Journal of the American Dietetic Association). 2012 June;112(6):832-839. PMID:22551676. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.02.024.
  • Laroche HH, Ford C, Anderson K, Cai X, Just DR, Hanks AS, Wansink B. Concession Stand Makeovers: A Pilot Study of Offering Healthy Foods at High School Concession Stands, Journal of Public Health (Oxford). 2015;37(1):116-124. PMID:24623802. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdu015.


"I love working with people in communities to solve hard problems one step at a time."