Dr. David Katz: Founding Director of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center

My NativeAdVantage:


David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP earned his BA degree from Dartmouth College (1984; in 3 years); his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1988); and his MPH from the Yale University School of Public Health (1993).  He completed sequential residency training in Internal Medicine (Norwalk Hospital, CT; 1991), and Preventive Medicine/Public Health (Yale University School of Medicine; 1993).  He is a two-time diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and a board-certified specialist in Preventive Medicine/Public Health. He has received two Honorary Doctorates (Humane Letters; L.H.D.) from the University of Bridgeport (2013), and Quinnipiac University (2015).

Dr. Katz is the founding director (1998) of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center; President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine; Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Childhood Obesity; Chief Science Officer for NuVal LLC; founding director (2000) of the Integrative Medicine Center at Griffin Hospital; and a Clinical Instructor at the Yale School of Medicine where he previously served as Director of Medical Studies in Public Health.  He is on numerous editorial and scientific advisory boards, chairing several.  A clinician, researcher, author, novelist, inventor, poet, journalist, and media personality, Dr. Katz is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions.  He has been a widely supported nominee for the position of U.S. Surgeon General, and has been recognized by Greatist.com as one of the 100 most influential people in health and fitness in the world for the past 3 years (2013-). Dr. Katz was among the original 150 thought leaders invited by LinkedIN to blog as an INfluencer, and currently ranks in the top 45 on a list that includes the President of the United States; the Prime Minister of England; the Prime Minister of India; the Secretary General of the United Nations; the President of the World Bank; Bill Gates; Richard Branson; Arianna Huffington, among many other notables.   He has appeared on most major television news programs and talk shows in the U.S., and is a frequent guest on National Public Radio programs around the country.  He is a frequent source for print journalists around the world.  He has a social media following of well over 500,000.

Dr. Katz holds 5 U.S. patents.  He has authored over 200 scientific papers and chapters, 15 books, and more than 1,000 columns and blogs. Dr. Katz and his wife, Catherine S. Katz, PhD (founder of www.cuisinicity.com) live in Connecticut.  They have 5 children, 3 dogs, and a horse.


What’s Your NativeAdVantage:

What do you do best?

Possibly horseback riding.  But vocationally- I do all I can to add years to lives, and life to years, by leveraging the phenomenal potential of lifestyle as medicine.  I have a native tendency to see the big picture, and a great respect for primacy of epidemiology (i.e., what we know) over ideology (i.e., what we wish).  Consequently, I am generally able to perceive both sides of an argument, and find common ground that is all too often neglected or overlooked by those in opposing camps.  The fundamental truths of healthy eating and healthy living have the potential to eliminate up to 80% of the chronic disease- heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, dementia, etc.- burden in the world today.  That is stunning!  But to start the process of getting there from here, we have to acknowledge- past the din and the discord, the marketing claims and the malarkey- that we know where ‘there’ is.  We do, and I suppose what I do best is invoke both science and sense to make that case, and disseminate it. 

What makes you the best?

Honestly, I don’t think I can answer this question.  I am by no means convinced that I am the ‘best,’ whatever that would really mean.  I have devoted 25 years of my life to combating trends in obesity and chronic disease, and over most or all of that span- we have had more obesity and chronic disease.  That is not a very clear mandate for me to celebrate my effectiveness!  I think time will need to elapse to know if I have accomplished anything that really matters.  Did I change minds?  Did I help facilitate progress toward the prize?  Until or unless that is clear, it’s not time to pin any medals on my chest. 

How will you become the best?

Seeing the truths others overlook.  Listening to all arguments, no matter how much I dislike them- and giving all equal consideration.  Doing my utmost to defend the fundamental truths subtended by the confluence of science and sense. 

What are your aspirations?

Personal: More recreation, with my wife and kids especially.  If anything ever illustrated the law of uinintended consequences, it was the advent of social media.  Between email and social media, we have built ourselves a prison with no key.  There is no escape from the constant flow of information.  There is no down time.  That is potentially quite toxic, and I seek to find again the peace of quiet recreation that existed before cyberspace so thoroughly infiltrated our personal space.  It’s far too easy to forget who, and what, matter most in life.  I remember- and I want to do more to live accordingly.

Business: I want to get people past the notion that we are perennially clueless about the basic care and feeding of Homo sapiens, to the common ground of fundamental understanding, and the common cause of working to get there from here.  I want to be part of the reason we turn what we know about disease prevention and health promotion into what we do routinely- as individuals, and as a culture.  I want to be part of the reason that there are no more best-selling fad diets, because everyone already knows what it means to eat well.  I want to add years to lives, and lives to years- because what it takes to do so is long established, and I have had a hand in figuring out how.  The game is afoot!-


What fascinates you?:


Evolutionary biology




The best way to predict the future is to create it.


My wife, Catherine.  That, after all, is why she is my wife.  That, plus the fact that she would have me.




New Zealand



A great pair of hiking boots

A well-made saddle

A good table saw


My family

My dogs (part of my family)

My horse


The indelible bond of common humanity

Protecting the residual beauty of this much-abused planet