Eating Like the World Depends on It
David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM
Founding Director, Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, Yale University; Founder/President, True Health Initiative
The world of nutrition has long been roiled by fractious debate, legitimate and otherwise, regarding everything from methods of inquiry to public health messaging. The simple reality of our time is that debates about diet for human health are increasingly moot as our options dwindle in tandem with rainforests, glaciers, biodiversity, and aquifers. The impact of our prevailing diets on the planet is fast becoming the only thing that really matters. There will be no point in debating diet for human health on a planet no longer hospitable to human habitation – and we are blithely, and blindly, blundering in that very direction. Obligated to reconcile the exigencies of public and planetary health – as highlighted in the report of the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health – our pseudoconfusion on the topic of “best diets” for health must yield to a new suite of questions. What are the components making up the environmental footprint of our dietary patterns? What is the best way to measure each? Which matters most? Can they be aggregated? What are the confluences and conflicts between diet for optimal human health, and diet for minimal environmental impact? This talk will explore these issues, and distill them into practical and actionable guidance.
David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM earned his BA degree from Dartmouth College (1984); 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 and Preventive Medicine/Public Health.
He is the founding director (1998) of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, Past-President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and Founder/President of the True Health Initiative, a non-profit organization established to promote messages about healthy, sustainable diet and lifestyle in the service of adding years to lives and life to years around the globe.
He is the Founder (2016) and CEO of his own start-up company, Diet ID™. Diet ID is a new digital dietary intake assessment tool, powered by Diet Quality Photo Navigation. This innovative tool is used to help doctors, hospital systems, dietitians, coaches, and wellness companies quickly and efficiently assess nutrition in their clients.
Katz directed the development of the Overall Nutritional Quality Index® used in the NuVal® nutritional guidance system, the world’s most robustly validated nutrient profiling system. He serves as Chief Science Officer for Better+ Therapeutics, a digital therapeutic platform devoted to the use of diet and lifestyle for the treatment and reversal of chronic disease.
The recipient of many awards for his contributions to public health, he has received three honorary doctorate degrees. Dr. Katz has held faculty positions at the Yale University Schools of Medicine and Public Health and served as Director of Medical Studies in Public Health at the Yale School of Medicine for nearly a decade. He currently holds an appointment as adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine.
He holds 5 U.S. patents with other patents pending, and invented the research method known as “evidence mapping.” He has published roughly 200 scientific articles and textbook chapters, and 16 books to date, including multiple editions of leading textbooks in both Preventive Medicine and nutrition. Prominent as a journalist and commentator addressing matters of health and medicine, Dr. Katz has been quoted in most major magazines and newspapers, and has appeared widely on radio and television – and served as a regular on-air medical contributor for Good Morning America/ABC News for over two years.
He has delivered addresses at major universities and conferences throughout the United States and countries around the world on six continents. Widely recognized for his abilities as an orator, Dr. Katz has been hailed by peers as “the poet laureate of health promotion.” In 2018, Katz was named conference chair for the annual Art & Science of Health Promotion conference. Recognized globally for expertise in nutrition, weight management and the prevention of chronic disease, he reaches a social media following of nearly one million.
He and his wife, Catherine, founder of Cuisinicity.com, live in Connecticut. They have 5 children.