Temple University

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Robert C. Whitaker

Bob Whitaker headshot

Professor, Public Health
Professor, Pediatrics


Center for Obesity Research and Education (CORE)
3223 N. Broad Street, Suite 175
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Office: 215-707-8676
Fax: 215-707-6475


  • MPH, University of Washington School of Public Health
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, University of Washington
  • MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • BA, Chemistry, Williams College


Robert C. Whitaker, MD, MPH, is Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Pediatrics at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. His research focuses on the life-course development and inter-generational transmission of health and well-being. He conducted seminal research on biopsychosocial risk factors for childhood obesity, including parental obesity, gestational diabetes, parent-child feeding interaction, depressive symptoms, food insecurity, insecure attachment, and neighborhood safety. He has also evaluated early life obesity prevention strategies designed to support children’s social and emotional development. His more recent work is focused on the life-course development of flourishing. Current studies examine resilience to the impact of adverse childhood experiences on adult health and functioning and the impacts of trauma-awareness training for early childhood educators.

He served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Prevention of Obesity in Children and Youth and on its Committee on Obesity Prevention Policies for Young Children. Prior to joining Temple University, Dr. Whitaker was a Senior Fellow at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., and was a Senior Visiting Research Scholar at the Center for Health and Wellbeing at Princeton University. During the 2013-2014 academic year, he was a Visiting Research Scholar at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Research Interests

  • Adolescent Health
  • Behavioral Health Services
  • Childhood Development
  • Chronic Disease Prevention
  • Community Based Program Evaluation
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Epidemiology
  • Family Relationships
  • Health Disparities
  • Health Promotion
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Mental Health
  • Metabolism
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Physical Activity
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Stress