Captain Heidi Michels Blanck, M.S., Ph.D., is chief of the Obesity Prevention and Control Branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity.
Dr. Blanck has more than 14 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 recently served as Acting Division Director (2012-2013) and continues to provide leadership to the agency and department. Dr. Blanck 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 including the use of electronic health records, applied research, and guidelines development related to the topics of body mass index (BMI) and obesity-related behaviors including sugar-sweetened beverages.
Dr. Blanck’s work focuses on changes in environments and policies across multiple settings (i.e., childcare, schools, medical care, and communities) with an emphasis in improving health equity. She is senior adviser to the CDC’s extramural Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research & Evaluation Network and is a senior member of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research.
Dr. Blanck received her Ph.D. from Emory University in Nutrition and Health Sciences where she also holds an adjunct professor position.