Last updated on: 5/5/2014 | Author: ProCon.org

David L. Katz, MD, MPH Biography

Title:
Founding Director of the Yale Prevention Research Center at the Yale University School of Medicine and Editor-in-Chief of Childhood Obesity
Position:
Con to the question "Is Obesity a Disease?"
Reasoning:

“I often compare obesity to drowning. Would we consider it a disease if a person were drowning? When someone is drowning, it’s not a problem with their body: Humans cannot be in the water for an arbitrary amount of time, so the problem is a mismatch between the body and the body’s environment.

I think drowning and obesity share many important characteristics. Both are about an interaction between a perfectly healthy body and the challenge of an environment in which they are maladapted. In both cases, you’re exposed to something that’s initially a good thing, but you’re exposed to too much of it for too long. In the case of water, you need it, but too much of it for too long and you drown. In the case of food, if you eat too much of it for too long, then you get fat.

In both cases, absolutely everybody is vulnerable, but people are vulnerable to varying degrees. If we’re put underwater, eventually all of us will drown, but some of us are able to hold our breath longer than others. I think that’s true about obesity: About 80 percent of the adult population of the United States is either overweight or obese. That indicates that essentially, we’re all vulnerable, but we’re not all vulnerable to the same degree.”

Elizabeth Hinwich, “Obesity ‘Disease’ Discourages Prevention,” Yale Daily News, Apr. 22, 2014

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Experts
Individuals with MDs or PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to obesity and health. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to obesity and health.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Fellow, American College of Physicians (FACP)
  • Fellow, American College of Preventative Medicine (FACPM)
  • Medical Contributor, US News & World Report, 2012-present
  • Member, Council of Advisors, Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care, 2012-present
  • Member, Medical Advisory Board, EmpowerHer.com, 2012-present
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board, KardioFit, Inc., 2012-present
  • Member, Editorial Board, ISRN Public Health, 2011-present
  • Editor-in-Chief, Childhood Obesity, 2011-present
  • Senior Medical Advisor, Mindstream Academy, 2011-present
  • Clinical Instructor, Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 2011-present
  • Medical Director, Weigh Forward, 2010-present
  • Chief Science Officer, NuVal, LLC, 2008-present
  • Founder and President, Turn the Tide Foundation, Inc., 2007-present
  • Nutrition Columnist, ‘O,’ The Oprah Magazine, 2002-present
  • Lecturer, Yale School of Nursing, 2001-present
Education:
  • MPH, Yale University School of Medicine, 1993
  • MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1988
  • BA, magna cum laude, French, Dartmouth College, 1984
Contact Info:
Phone
203-288-2228
Email
david.katz@yale.edu
Website
davidkatzmd.com
Other:
  • Founder and Director, Integrative Medicine Center, Griffin Hospital, 2000-present
  • Founding Director, Yale Prevention Research Center at the Yale University School of Medicine and Yale University School of Public Health, 1998-present
  • Lecturer, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, 1993-present
  • Associate Professor, Public Health Practice, Yale University School of Medicine, 2006-2010
  • Director of Medical Programming, Stepping Stone Spa & Wellness Center, 2006-2008
  • Consultant, National Governor’s Association, 2006-2007
  • Associate Clinical Professor, Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, 2000-2006
  • Fellow, American College of Physicians, 2003
  • Fellow, American College of Preventative Medicine, 2001
  • Director of Medical Studies, Yale University School of Medicine, 1997-2006
  • Associate Director, Preventative Medicine Residency Program, Griffin Hospital, 1996-1999
  • Assistant Clinical Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 1996-2000
  • Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 1994
  • Attending Physician, Emergency Medicine, St. Mary’s Hospital Emergency Department, 1991-1993
  • Resident, Preventative Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 1991-1993
  • Resident, Internal Medicine, Norwalk Hospital, 1989-1991
  • Intern, Internal Medicine, Norwalk Hospital, 1988-1989
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Is Obesity a Disease?