Director, Intervention and Policy Division
Department of Nutrition
Gillings School of Global Public Health
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Dianne Ward’s research focuses on the prevention of obesity through multi-component school and community interventions that promote physical activity and healthy eating. Understanding the determinants of physical activity in youth and exploring measurement issues involved in the study of physical activity are important components of her work. Dr. Ward recently completed an NIH research project, Linking Child Care to Home, and was recently funded by RWJ to develop a measure of the diet and physical activity environments at child care. She led the team that developed NAP SACC, Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care, a highly regarded program that is now utilized by many states. She was recently funded to develop a parenting intervention for preschool parents focused on promotion of healthy weight.

Dr. Ward holds a doctorate in physical education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is professor and director of the Intervention and Policy Division in the Department of Nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is a Fellow of both the UNC Highway Safety Research Center and the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

Dr. Ward has published extensively. She is a Fellow in the American College of Sport Medicine and in 2001 received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Health and Human Performance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.