Hong Xue, PhD


Dr. Hong Xue is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Administration and Policy. Xue’s work has been funded by NIH, NSF, and foundations (e.g., U54, R01, and VFHY large grant). He is a recent recipient of the prestigious Translational Scholar Award from the NIH funded Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research. He is the Director of the Big Data and Systems Science Modeling Lab. Dr. Xue conducts interdisciplinary research in public health and in particular, integrates economics, nutrition, epidemiology, and systems science in studying multilevel mechanisms and factors (e.g., from policy to behavior) related to obesity and non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs), and smoking (including e-cigarettes). His primary research interests are in health economics, nutritional epidemiology, systems science and modeling, (childhood) obesity, mHealth, and big data and machine learning. He is a leading expert in systems modeling of obesity epidemiology. He is interested in systems approach-oriented economic and nutritional epidemiological research on obesity and NCDs prevention and control in domestic and international settings. Before coming to Mason, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Behavior, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, and and Associate Member of the Massey Cancer Center.


Research Interests

  • Childhood obesity
  • Health economics
  • Nutritional epidemiology
  • Systems simulation modeling
  • Smoking
  • Spatial analysis
  • Big data analytics

Select Publications

Xue H, Maguire RL, Liu J, Kollins SH, Murphy SK, Hoyo C, Fuemmeler BF. Snacking frequency and dietary intake in toddlers and preschool children. Appetite. 2019 Nov 1;142:104369. PMID: 31302102

Wang Y, Xue H, Sun M, Zhu X, Zhao L, Yang Y. The obesity epidemic, prevention and control in China. The Lancet Global Health. VOLUME 7, ISSUE 9, PE1166-E1167, SEPTEMBER 01, 2019 Sep 1;7:1166 1167,  DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(19)30276-1

Jia P. Xue H, Cheng X, Wang YG, Wang Y. Association of neighborhood built environment with childhood obesity: evidence from a 9-year longitudinal, nationally representative ECLS-K dataset in the US. Environment International. 2019 Jul;128:158-164. PMID: 31055202

Xue H, Slivka L, Huang TT, Igusa T, Wang Y. Applications of systems modeling in obesity research. Obesity Review. 2018 Sep: 9 (19): 1293–1308. PMID: 29943509

Xue H, Cheng X, Jia P, Wang Y. Road intersection density and Childhood obesity risk in the U.S.: A national longitudinal study. 2019 Oct 9;178:31-37. PMID: 31605806

Chen H, Xue H, Huang TT, Wang YC, Liu Y, Wang Y. Obesity and economic intervention options in the United States: a systems dynamics simulation study. Public health. 2018 Aug;161:20-28. PMID: 29857248

Yang Y, Xue H, Liu S, Wang Y. Is the decline of active travel to school unavoidable by-products of economic growth and urbanization in developing countries. Sustainable Cities and Society. 2019 Feb; 47: 101446. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2019.101446

Xue H, Cheng X, Zhang Q, Wang H, Zhang B, Qu W, Wang Y. Temporal growth and spatial distribution of the fast food industry and its relationship with economic development in China — 2005-2012. Preventive Medicine. 2017 Sep;102:79-85. PMID: 28694060

Wang Y, Xue H, Huang L, Zhang D. A Systematic Review of Application and Effectiveness of mHealth Interventions for Obesity and Diabetes Treatment and Self-Management. Adv Nutr. 2017 May 15;8(3):449-462. PMID: 28507010

An R, Xue H, Wang L, Wang Y. Projecting the impact of a nationwide school plain water access intervention on childhood obesity: a cost-benefit analysis. Pediatric Obesity. 2018 Nov;13(11):715-723. PMID: 28941217

Select Active Grant

“Systems modeling & simulations for effective tobacco control and prevention policies among youth”, Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, 7/1/2018-6/30/2021, $457,000




  • PhD, Nutritional Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University
  • PhD, Economics, Virginia Tech