Interview with David Katz, M.D., Founder True Health Initiative

by Alexina Cather, MPH

David Katz, M.D. MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM, Founding Director Yale University Prevention Research Center/Griffin Hospital, Founder True Health Initiative, President American College of Lifestyle Medicine

Dr. David Katz, is the founding director of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, Immediate Past-President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and Founder/President of the True Health Initiative. He earned his BA degree from Dartmouth College, his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and his MPH from the Yale University School of Public Health. Katz is the recipient of many awards for his contributions to public health, he has received three honorary doctorate degrees. He is regarded globally for expertise in nutrition, weight management and the prevention of chronic disease.

Where you grew up: Born in Los Angeles. Grew up on Cape Cod; and in Rockland County, NY

Where you live now: Hamden, CT

Background and education: BA, French, Dartmouth College, 1984; MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1988; MPH, Yale, 1993

Food policy/food as medicine hero: Walter Willett, Danielle Nierenberg and Michael Pollan

One word to describe our food system: Selfish

One word to describe our healthcare system: Careless

Your favorite food: Bread (GREAT bread)

Your breakfast this morning: Haven’t had it yet, but it will be mixed berries and whole grain cereal

Your last meal on earth: A kiss

Must-have healing food/ingredient: Lentils

Food policy, health, food as medicine book, website(s) social media/blog must-follow/read: True Health Initiative

Your elevator pitch for food as medicine? Add years to your life, add life to your years, save the planet doing it

Which widespread nutritional misconceptions worry you the most? That there is any legitimate basis for widespread nutritional misconceptions

What do you see as the next step for food as medicine? The rising volume of a global chorus of experts asserting agreement about the fundamental truths, reorienting our culture to focus on what is good for people and planet alike

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