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Sara N. Bleich, PhD

  • Professor - Adjunct

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
677 Huntington Ave.
Boston, Massachusetts 02115


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PhD, Harvard University, 2007
BA, Columbia University, 2000


My research aims to reduce the escalation of obesity and its related diseases by exploring important research questions related to the intersection between public policy and obesity prevention/control. My research focuses on three main areas: 1) drivers of obesity, 2) disparities in physician practice patterns of obesity care, and 3) novel environmental strategies to reduce caloric intake.

Honors and Awards

Best research manuscript in the journal Obesity, The Obesity Society, 2012  

Most Outstanding Abstract, International Conference on Obesity 2006 – Sydney, Australia (“Does utilization of hypertensive treatment among Mexican adults depend on supply side infrastructure or insurance status?”)

Harvard GSAS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2006 – 2007

Harvard Graduate Prize Fellowship, 2003 - 2006

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Training Grant (T32), 2002-2003

  • adult and childhood obesity (assessment, global trends, causes, health consequences, prevention)
  • policy analysis
  • access to care for chronic diseases
  • health disparities
  • vulnerable populations
  • international health
  • obesity-related risk communication
  • complex data analysis

Selected publications from the last 5 years:

  • Bleich SN, Wolfson JA, Vine S, Wang YCW (2014). Heavy adults who drink diet beverages consume more calories from food than heavy adults who drink sugary beverages. American Journal of Public Health. 104(3): e72-78.

  • Bleich SN, Rutkow L (2013). Improving obesity prevention at the local level - emerging opportunities. New England Journal of Medicine. 368: 1761-1763.

  • Bleich SN, Bennett WL, Gudzune KA, Cooper LA (2012). Impact of physician body mass index on obesity care and beliefs. Obesity. 20(5): 999-1005.

  • Bleich SN, Herring BJ, Flagg FF, Gary-Webb TL (2012). Reduction in purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages among low income, black adolescents after exposure to caloric information. American Journal of Public Health. 102(2): 329-335.

  • Bleich SN, Simon AE, Cooper LA (2012). Impact of patient-provider race concordance on rates of weight-related counseling in visits by black and white obese individuals. Obesity. 20(3): 562-570.