Dr. Katz is an internationally known expert in nutrition, weight management and chronic disease prevention who this year became the first inductee into the Marketing Disease Prevention in America Hall of Fame. He’s the founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, editor-in-chief of the journal Childhood Obesity, and president-elect of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. A frequent guest on Good Morning America and Dr. Oz, and often quoted in newspapers and magazines, he’s been tabbed by peers as “the poet laureate of health promotion.”
As Berreth lecturer, Dr. Katz gave a rousing inspiring science-based presentation on the “actual causes of premature death” – poor diet, lack of physical activity and tobacco use -- while attendees ate a lunch prepared from one of his wife’s healthy recipes. When just about everybody’s hand shot up when asked if they’d lost someone close due to preventable disease, Katz remarked: “It’s not about an anonymous public. It’s about us and the people we love.” On diet, he said, “unjunk yourself,” and urged people to pay attention to food labels because “the shorter the ingredient list, the better.” On the lack of physical activity in schools, he remarked, “The remedy for rambunctiousness is recess, not Ritalin.”
“He was one of the best public speakers I have ever heard and was also very persuasive,” remarked one NPHIC member. “Very engaging speaker with great data, mixed with humor and poetry,” said another. “He had it all.”
The Berreth Lecture is in honor of NPHIC’s founder, Donald Berreth, who as the CDC’s public affairs director in 1989 envisioned an organization linking the CDC to state public health communicators.