DIPA’s Finalist: Learn more about Misty Hawkins

Prof. Misty Hawkins  is one of the finalist of the 3rd edition of the Danone International Prize for Alimentation for her projet : Enabling Neurocognitive Ability to Behaviorally Limit Excess Alimentation: Intervention Matching to Skills: The ENABLE AIMS Pilot Trial

One of Misty HAWKINS primary goals has been to develop a programmatic line of inquiry to better understand how neurocognitive factors are linked to obesity, a disorder that may be conceptualized as a failure of healthy alimentation (e.g., overnutrition, hyperalimentation).

Specifically, we live in societies where many individuals are hungry from lack of sufficient food intake, while still others are overfed but undernourished. Across all nutritional statuses, all people are faced with decisions about food intake, and these decisions involve the brain and its neurocognitive functions. The behavioral medicine research program focuses primarily on neurocognitive factors and their roles in cardiometabolic disease, like obesity, and vice versa.

The goal of this proposed randomized clinical trial (RCT) of behavioral weight loss is to test if early intervention can mitigate neurocognitive risk for poor treatment response. This trial is the first of its kind and advances the science of neurocognitive risk of weight loss difficulties and their potential treatment. Her approach ensures that the neurocognitive testing and weight loss protocol can be delivered by trained non-experts, improving its scalability and future dissemination potential.

The vision of alimentation and holistic health for Misty HAWKINS is one that acknowledges people living in bodies with brains that interface with their environments, as they strive toward nourishment. The interplay between neurocognition and nourishment is at the center of her work.

Misty Hawkins - DIPA 2023