Jean Wiecha Senior Research Scientist Harvard School of Public Health
Jean Wiecha, Ph.D., combines expertise in nutrition science with experience in academe, government, and community based organizations. She is a Senior Research Scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Society, Human Development and Health. In 1998, she helped found the HSPH Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity where she continues to serve as co-principal investigator. The Center has conducted both epidemiological and community-based research of national significance over the past ten years, with an overall goal of improving children’s nutrition and physical activity and reducing chronic disease risk.
Dr. Wiecha’s primary focus at this time is her work with the YMCA of the USA. Her specific focus has been on developing and evaluating nutrition and physical activity standards and interventions for YMCA child care, after school, and youth day camp programs that will be disseminated nationally in the next few years.
Dr. Wiecha has been conducting community based research on child health for 20 years. Her work has focused on childhood obesity and on environmental and policy influences on nutrition, diet, and physical activity. She is co-author of Planet Health, an award -winning middle school curriculum that has been shown to be effective in preventing both obesity and eating disorders.
Prior to joining the Harvard School of Public Health in 1993, Dr. Wiecha worked on nutrition policy for state government and on community health among the homeless, migrant farmworkers, and Native Americans. She is a professional fine artist as well as a scientist.