Dr. Sara Bleich is a Professor of Public Health Policy in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is also the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
Dr. Bleich serves as a Co-Investigator for the CHOICES (Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study) Project. This project is focused on understanding and modeling the cost-effectiveness of interventions that can improve children’s nutrition and physical activity and reduce the prevalence of obesity, which includes modeling work, evidence reviews, and simulation modeling of the cost-effectiveness of a wide variety of interventions, from restaurant calorie menu labeling to sugar sweetened beverage excise taxes. Dr. Bleich participates in development of the microsimulation model, intervention strategies for analysis and integration of equity metrics into the CHOICES model and framework.
Dr. Bleich’s scholarship lies at the nexus of health policy and health services research. Her research provides evidence to support policy alternatives for obesity prevention and control, particularly among populations at higher risk for obesity. This work is composed of three complementary streams of inquiry: 1) pathways for change in major drivers of calorie intake, 2) health provider opportunities to improve obesity care, and 3) novel environmental strategies for obesity prevention. A signature theme throughout her work is an interest in asking simple, meaningful questions about the complex problem of obesity which can fill important gaps in the literature. Her research has been published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs, and American Journal of Public Health and has been featured in outlets such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio.
Dr. Bleich is the past recipient of an award for “most outstanding abstract” at the International Conference on Obesity in Sydney, Australia, an award for “best research manuscript” in the journal Obesity, and an award for excellence in public interest communication from the Frank Conference. Sara was recently appointed as a White House Fellow (2015-2016) where she was a Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative. She holds degrees from Columbia (BA, Psychology) and Harvard (PhD, Health Policy).