Obesity Research, the Top 20
This month, ScienceWatch.com presents a
listing of the top 20 institutions which, according to our
Obesity, attracted the highest total citations to their
papers published on the topic in
These institutions are the top 20 ranked by total cites
out of a pool of 30,223 institutions publishing on this
topic,based on the string search "obesity,"
"obese," or "overweight" in titles, abstracts, and keywords
of original articles, reviews, and proceedings papers
published between January 1, 1999 and December 31,
The resulting list of institutions includes 17 US-based organizations: 11
universities, four hospitals, and two government agencies. There are also a
European and a UK university on the list, as well as one in Japan.
Leading the group by a significant margin is Harvard University, with 2,161
papers cited a total of 90,448 times. Harvard's top-cited papers cover such
diverse topics as public health issues (disease burden, annual deaths,
sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity), comorbid diseases
metabolic syndrome), genome studies, bariatric surgery, and the role
protein hormones like leptin and adiponectin play in obesity.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rank at #2, with 685
papers cited a total of 37,176 times. Several of the authors included in
our analysis are from the CDC, including Katherine Flegal, Cynthia Ogden,
William Dietz, and Margaret Carroll. Prevalence and trends of obesity,
definitions for childhood obesity and overweight, disease burdens,
epidemics of obesity and diabetes, and the Bogalusa Heart Study are among
the highly cited paper topics from the CDC.
The #3 slot belongs to the University of Washington, with 868 papers cited
a total of 29,263 times. The role of the central nervous system in food
intake is a dominant theme in this university's highly cited papers. Other
topics include ghrelin levels after diet or
weight-loss surgery, the roles of C-reactive
protein, leptin, and adiponectin in obesity, and the relationship
between obesity and poverty.
Coming in at #4 is Columbia University, with 923 papers cited a total of
26,298 times. Among the highly cited topics here are papers on macrophage
accumulation in adipose tissue, annual deaths attributable to obesity,
body-mass index in Asian populations, metabolic syndrome, use of rimonabant
and orlistat for weight loss, and the connection between obesity and
depression or suicide.
Johns Hopkins University ranks at #5, with 978 papers cited a total of
26,272 times. Years of life lost due to obesity; studies of lifestyle
activity vs. structured aerobics in obese women; sleep disordered breathing
and insulin resistance in overweight men; TV watching, energy intake, and
obesity in kids; and studies of resveratrol in mice are among the
most-cited papers for Johns Hopkins.
The Harvard-affiliated Brigham & Women's Hospital comes in at #6, with
587 papers cited a total of 25,264 times. The hospital's most-cited topics
range from the molecular to the human scale: papers on inflammatory
biomarkers and the role of C-reactive protein in metabolic syndrome appear
alongside papers on the disease burden of obesity and the impact of being
overweight on chronic disease risk.
The #7-ranked institution is the University of Minnesota, with 1,043 papers
cited a total of 25,172 times. This university is notable for multiple
papers on bariatric surgery among its highly cited papers. Other topics
include long-term maintenance of weight loss, physical activity, and
cardiovascular disease risks. Mary Story, who is ranked at #7 by total
number of papers, hails from the University of Minnesota.
At #8 is the University of Osaka, with 368 papers cited a total of 23,465
times. Several of the most-cited authors in our analysis are from Osaka,
including Tohru Funahashi, Shinji Kihara, and Iichiro Shimomura. The role
of adiponectin in obesity and type 2 diabetes dominates Osaka's highly
cited papers. Other topics include oxidative stress in obesity and its role
in metabolic syndrome, and new criteria for "obesity disease" in Japan.
The first of two Pennsylvania institutions, the University of Pittsburgh,
ranks at #9, with 861 papers cited a total of 22,857 times. Pitt's highly
cited papers cover such topics as outcomes following Roux-en-Y gastric
bypass surgery, effects of weight loss on regional fat distribution and
insulin sensitivity, long-term weight loss and change in blood pressure,
and decreasing physical activity in black and white female adolescents.
Rounding out the top 10 is the second Pennsylvania university, the
University of Pennsylvania, with 785 papers cited a total of 21,860 times.
A great deal of Penn's focus is on the link between obesity and diabetes
via the protein resistin. Other topics garnering citations include
low-carbohydrate diets for obesity, adipose tissue as an endocrine organ,
and the regulation of food intake by AMP-kinase.
The remaining US universities on the list include Yale University (#11),
the University of North Carolina (#16), the University of California, Los
Angeles (#17), and Boston University (#20). Hospitals include Beth Israel
Deaconess Medical Center (#12), Mayo Clinic & Mayo Foundation (#15),
and UT Southwestern Medical Center (#19). The second US-based government
institution comes in at #18, the NIDDK. The UK and European institutions on
the list are UCL (#13) and the University of Helsinki (#14), respectively.