Sara Bleich is a professor of public health policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her research provides evidence to support policy alternatives for obesity prevention and control, particularly among populations at higher risk for obesity. 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.
Bleich is working on a several ongoing projects, including evaluations of the Philadelphia beverage tax, the changing restaurant environment on obesity risk, and novel strategies to reduce sugary beverage consumption, while also beginning a series of new projects that aim to improve nutrition among participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps). All of this work is empirical in nature and will include analyses that use primary data, secondary data, and quasi-experimental methods to test hypotheses.
Bleich is the past recipient of an award for most outstanding abstract at the International Congress on Obesity, in Sydney, Australia, an award for best research manuscript in the journal Obesity, and a frank Prize for Research in Public Interest Communications. She was a 2015–2016 White House Fellow, serving as a senior policy advisor to the US Department of Agriculture and the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative. Bleich holds BA in psychology from Columbia University and a PhD in health policy from Harvard.