Dr. Diane Tyler, professor of clinical nursing and director of the Nurse Practitioner Programs at The University of Texas at Austin, has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, an organization that promotes health policy and practice.
The academy is composed of about 1,500 nursing leaders in education, management, practice and research. Fellows are chosen annually to recognize their efforts in advancing the profession of nursing. New fellows were inducted at the academy's meeting Nov. 11-13 in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Billye Brown, former dean of the School of Nursing, was honored as a "Living Legend." Three alumni of the school also were inducted as Fellows. The school has 16 Fellows, seven of whom are emeritus.
Tyler has worked to improve health care for adults and children through her research and scholarship. A target for her clinical practice and research is prevention of childhood obesity in Hispanic families.
"Working with parents to implement individual and family behavior change is a critical element in improving the health of this population given the characteristics of childhood obesity," she says.
Preventive care with early intervention is the logical approach, especially because there is evidence that once an individual is obese it is very difficult to lose and maintain weight loss, according to Tyler. Minority children are at greatest risk for being overweight and among school-age children, Mexican-American children are most likely to be overweight, she says.
Helping overweight children obtain healthier lifestyles was the focus of her $368,000 study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The research focused on reasonable weight-loss goals, physical activity, dietary management -- and most important -- family involvement.
Read more about Tyler's obesity prevention program.