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Christina Economos, PhD


Associate Director, John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition, & Obesity Prevention;
Associate Professor, Gerald J. &  Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and theSchool of Medicine,
Tufts University


Christina Economos is the Associate Director of the John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Prevention, the New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition, and an Associate Professor at the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the School of Medicine, Tufts University. Dr. Economos received a Bachelor of Science from Boston University, a Master of Science in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University and a doctorate in Nutrition Science from Tufts University.
Dr. Economos's research efforts have addressed the interaction between exercise, diet, body composition, bone health, and the built environment aimed at preventing osteoporosis and obesity, starting in early childhood. She is the principal investigator of multiple large-scale studies examining childhood nutrition and physical activity with the goal of inspiring behavior, policy, and environmental change to improve the health of America's children. She has worked effectively with diverse communities and has crafted, implemented, and evaluated physical activity and nutrition education curriculum. Dr. Economos's work engages theory and scientific evidence as vehicles to spark systemic, community-based change.
The research interventions that she has led include The BONES (Beat Osteoporosis: Nourish and Exercise Skeletons) Project funded by NICHD, Shape Up Somerville, EAT SMART, PLAY HARD funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The CHANGE Project with Save the Children, and Assessing and Preventing Obesity in New Immigrants, funded by the National Institutes for Health (NIH). Results from Shape Up Somerville, published in the May 2007 issue of Obesity, showed that study participants–public schoolchildren in grades 1-3–in Somerville, gained significantly less weight over the course of the 2-year intervention than their peers in two control communities.
Dr. Economos currently serves as an appointed member of the Institute of Medicine's Committee on an Evidence Framework for Obesity Prevention Decision-Making.