Yang Yu obtained her PhD and MPH from the University of Pittsburgh where she received substantial training on weight management and behavior change theories and practices. Her current research focuses on the disordered eating behaviors such as loss of control eating and binge eating in patients with severe obesity who are seeking or have undergone bariatric surgery. Through examining the physiological and psychosocial mechanisms underlying disordered eating behaviors, more tailored interventions can be developed to improve post-surgical weight loss outcome. She also has examined the overlapping between disordered eating behaviors and smoking, alcohol misuse and illicit drug use among bariatric patients.

Previously, Yu studied psychosocial and behavioral factors that contribute to weight loss among Chinese patients who have undergone sleeve gastrectomy. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases and Obesity and American Journal of Health Behavior.

Yu Y., Burke L.E., Shen Q.W., Imes C.C., Sun R., Groth S., Zhang W., & Kalarchian M.A. (2020). A Qualitative Exploration of Patients' Experiences with Lifestyle Changes After Sleeve Gastrectomy in China. Obesity Surgery, 30 (8), 3127-3134. PMID: 32385666 DOI: 10.1007/s11695-020-04653-7