Steven Gortmaker, PhD

Photo of Stephen Gortmaker, PhDDr. Steven Gortmaker is Professor of the Practice of Health Sociology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He directs the Harvard Prevention Research Center, funded by the CDC, including the Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN). The mission of the Prevention Research Center is to work with community partners to design, implement, and evaluate programs that improve nutrition and physical activity, and reduce obesity and chronic disease risk among children, youth, and their families; and to reduce and eliminate disparities in these outcomes. A wide variety of intervention materials are available on the Prevention Research Center’s website:, including downloadable sample lessons from our school curriculum Planet Health and Eat Well and Keep Moving, the afterschool curriculum Food and Fun, and our out-of-school-time intervention materials, OSNAP.

Research with colleagues has documented the “energy gap” responsible for recent increases in obesity among children and youth in the United States, and the important role played by excess intake of sugar sweetened beverages. Dr. Gortmaker has been an author or coauthor of more than 200 published research articles, including the first report in the United States concerning the obesity epidemic among children and youth and both of the recent obesity series in the Lancet. He is co-director CHOICES.