Speakers

Cmdr. Heidi Michels Blanck

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Division Chief, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commander Heidi Michels Blanck, MS, PhD, U.S. Public Health Service, is Chief of the Obesity Prevention and Control Branch at CDC in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. Dr. Blanck received her PhD from Emory University in Nutrition and Health Sciences. She has more than 11 years of CDC experience as a public health epidemiologist and has authored over 50 papers and reports in the areas of weight management, nutrition, physical activity and environmental exposures. She currently oversees CDC’s monitoring of state obesity prevalence and key behavioral, environmental and policy supports for healthy eating and active living. Staff within the branch focus on national, state, and local surveillance, applied research, and guidelines development related to the topics of body mass index (BMI) screening & counseling, sugar drinks, calorically-dense foods and snacks, television viewing & screentime, water access, and food and beverage labeling. The branch focuses on changes in environments and policies across multiple settings (i.e., childcare, schools, medical care, worksites and communities) with an emphasis in improving health equity. Additional initiatives include a community-based childhood obesity research demonstration project. She is Senior Advisor to the CDC's Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research & Evaluation Network and a member of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research.