Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD

Director, Rudd Center for Obesity & Food Policy (Principal Investigator)

Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Research Overview

Dr. Schwartz is Director for the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies. Dr. Schwartz’s research and community service address how home environments, school landscapes, neighborhoods, and the media shape the eating attitudes and behaviors of children.

Dr. Schwartz earned her PhD in Psychology from Yale University in 1996. Prior to joining the Rudd Center, she served as Co-Director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders from 1996 to 2006. She has collaborated with the Connecticut State Department of Education to evaluate nutrition and physical activity policies in schools and preschools throughout the state. She co-chaired the Connecticut Obesity Task Force and has provided expert testimony on obesity-related state policies. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Food Bank.

Dr. Schwartz has received research grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health to study school wellness policies, the preschool nutrition environment, the effect of food marketing on children, the relationship between food insecurity and nutrition, and how federal food programs can improve the accessibility and affordability of healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods. In 2014, Dr. Schwartz received the Sarah Samuels Award from the Food and Nutrition Section of the American Public Health Association. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has profiled Dr. Schwartz’s life and career.


BA 1984 Psychology Haverford College
MS 1992 Psychology Yale University
MPhil 1993 Psychology Yale University
PhD 1996 Psychology Yale University

Recent Publications

Contact Information
Mailing AddressRudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity
1 Constitution Plaza, Suite 600
Hartford, CT 06103