National Childhood Obesity Foundation®
Foundation Board of Advisors

Dimitri Christakis; M.D., MPH

Dr. Christakis is a pediatrician and epidemiologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, WA. He is currently a Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the Child Health Institute at the University of Washington in Seattle, and Associate Editor of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The author of over 100 peer reviewed publications and one textbook of pediatrics, Dr. Christakis is currently researching the effect of media usage on young children's cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social development. Funding for his research has come from a number of federal agencies as well as foundations. His most recent studies in this area have found an association between television and video viewing before the age of three years and attentional and cognitive problems at age seven. Dr. Christakis is currently piloting interventions designed to both reduce, modify, and optimize television viewing in preschool children as well as provide constructive and developmentally appropriate alternatives to screen time for children. His book, The Elephant in the Living Room: How to make Television work for your Family was recently published by Rodale ( Dr. Christakis' work has been featured on the Today show, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, as well as all major print magazine and newspapers. He holds an A.B. degree from Yale University in New Haven, CT, and a M.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA.


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