Skip to Main Content
Brian D. Elbel

Brian D. Elbel, MPH, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Population Health

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine


I use behavioral economics to investigate how individuals make decisions about their health, in particular how public policy and the environment affects obesity and related chronic disease. Using statistical and econometric methods and diverse data sources, including surveys, sales data, and administrative data, we seek to inform policy on obesity prevention.

I have investigated the role of the food environment and the built environment, including neighborhoods, on childhood obesity. I also study the impact of several public policies on health:

  • policies mandating calorie labeling in restaurants
  • food policies in schools
  • New York City’s one-time proposal of limiting the size of sugar-sweetened beverages served in restaurants
  • policies supporting the development of supermarkets in high-need areas

As the founding director of NYU Langone’s Comprehensive Program on Obesity, I am spearheading an initiative designed to determine causes of obesity and develop new treatment and prevention strategies. This institution-wide initiative features the DataBridge, an infrastructure for integrating data from population health, clinical, and basic science research using big-data analytics.

I also serve as chief of the Section on Health Choice, Policy and Evaluation in the Department of Population Health.



Academic office

227 East 30th Street

Sixth Floor

New York, NY 10016

Is this your profile?
These focus areas and their associated publications are derived from medical subject headings from PubMed.
represents one publication
*Due to PubMed processing times, the most recent publications may not be reflected in the timeline.

Associate Professor, Department of Population Health

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine

Assistant Dean for Strategic Research Initiatives, Office of Science and Research

Director, Comprehensive Program on Obesity

Director, Section on Health Choice, Policy and Evaluation, Department of Population Health

PhD from Yale University

MPH from Yale University

Elbel, Brian; Tamura, Kosuke; McDermott, Zachary T; Wu, Erilia; Schwartz, Amy Ellen

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020 Jan; 28(1):65-72

Rummo, Pasquale E; Feldman, Justin M; Lopez, Priscilla; Lee, David; Thorpe, Lorna E; Elbel, Brian

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020 Jan; 28(1):31-39

Bragg, Marie A; Pageot, Yrvane K; Amico, Angela; Miller, Alysa N; Gasbarre, Angela; Rummo, Pasquale E; Elbel, Brian

Pediatric obesity. 2019 Dec 25; e12606

Anastasiou, Elle; Feinberg, Alexis; Tovar, Albert; Gill, Emily; Ruzmyn Vilcassim, M J; Wyka, Katarzyna; Gordon, Terry; Rule, Ana M; Kaplan, Sue; Elbel, Brian; Shelley, Donna; Thorpe, Lorna E

Science of the total environment. 2019 Nov 21; 135322

Lucan, Sean C; Maroko, Andrew R; Abrams, Courtney; Rodriguez, Noemi; Patel, Achint N; Gjonbalaj, Ilirjan; Schechter, Clyde B; Elbel, Brian

Public health nutrition. 2019 Nov 04; 1-14

Cardozo, Rodrigo Arce; Feinberg, Alexis; Tovar, Albert; Vilcassim, M J Ruzmyn; Shelley, Donna; Elbel, Brian; Kaplan, Sue; Wyka, Katarzyna; Rule, Ana M; Gordon, Terry; Thorpe, Lorna E

BMC public health. 2019 May 30; 19(1):666

Bragg, Marie A; Miller, Alysa N; Kalkstein, David A; Elbel, Brian; Roberto, Christina A

Appetite. 2019 May 02; 140:41-49