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John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health logo

Dr. Joel Gittelsohn

Dr. Joel Gittelsohn is a Professor in the Center for Human Nutrition and the Johns Hopkins Global Center on Childhood Obesity, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. For the past 22 years, Dr. Gittelsohn has focused his work on developing, implementing and evaluating community-based programs for the primary prevention of chronic disease in disadvantaged ethnic minority populations.  Dr. Gittelsohn’s primary work in the past decade has been the development, implementation and evaluation of combined environmental and behavior-change approaches to improve diet and reduce risk for chronic disease.  He has led multiple food source-centered intervention trials aimed at improving the food environment and providing skills and nutrition education needed to support healthy food choices in Majuro atoll, on three American Indian reservations, in Baltimore City, for Native Hawaiian communities (Novotny PI). Dr. Gittelsohn developed a multi-institutional (food store, school, health services) program for diabetes prevention in First Nations, which is currently being extended to five American Indian communities and includes a worksite component (OPREVENT).  These programs have shown success in increasing knowledge, healthy food purchasing and consumption of healthy promoted foods at the consumer level, and maintaining sales at the retail level.