Faculty Profile

Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Population Medicine, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Harvard Medical School
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Boston

Administrative Title(s)

Co-Director, Obesity Prevention Program, Department of Population Medicine

See publications


133 Brookline Avenue
6th Floor
Boston, MA 02215

Phone 617 509 9928

Email Elsie_Taveras@hphc.org

Society Memberships

American Academy of Pediatrics
Massachusetts Medical Society
American Medical Association
Academy Health
Ambulatory Pediatric Association
The Obesity Society
Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center for the Cancer Risk Reduction Program
Society for Pediatric Research

Research Unit(s)

Obesity Prevention Program

Research Interests

My epidemiologic studies have focused on diet, physical activity, and weight determinants in childhood, such as fast food, family dinner, and aspects of mass media. These observational analyses have led to the development and implementation of childhood obesity prevention interventions. I am particularly interested in the relationship between sleep restriction/deprivation and weight gain in children and in designing interventions to improve child sleep quality and quantity.



Matthew W. Gillman, MD, SM

Research Funding

NIH, Improving Primary Care to Prevent Childhood Obesity, PI: Matthew W. Gillman, MD, SM, To assess an innovative, sustainable primary care practice change intervention to prevent obesity among young children.

NIH, Pre- and Peri-natal Predictors of Childhood Obesity, PI: Matthew W. Gillman, MD, SM, to examine the roles of prenatal dietary and hormonal factors, infant feeding, and postnatal growth in the development of obesity in childhood

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Physician Faculty Scholars Program, Developing Culturally Tailored Interventions to Reduce Disparities in Childhood Obesity, PI. Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH, To develop and pilot test an innovative, culturally tailored intervention to prevent obesity among 2 through 5 year old, low income, minority children.

NIH, Maternal Vitamin D, Adiposity in Early Life, and Risk of Childhood Asthma, PI: Matthew W. Gillman, MD, SM, To examine associations of     maternal and child nutritional status with development of asthma-related outcomes by the age of 7 years.

CDC, Crossing Growth Percentiles in Infancy and Risk of Childhood Obesity:  Extending the HMONSS, PI: Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH, To 1) examine the longitudinal association of crossing major growth percentiles in infancy with obesity later in childhood and adolescence, and 2) link the children’s data to the prenatal records of their mothers to examine the influence on infant growth trajectories of maternal pregnancy history, including such data as pregnancy weight gain and gestational diabetes.

CDC, Early Child Feeding Patterns and Risk of Childhood Obesity: Longitudinal Analyses of Project Viva, PI: Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH, To 1) examine the longitudinal relationship between parental control of infant feeding, in particular restriction and pressure to eat, with measures of overweight and adiposity at age 3 years, and 2) examine if maternal prenatal concern about her child’s future weight and eating is associated with the use of controlling and restrictive feeding practices in early childhood and with obesity and adiposity at age 3 years.

American Diabetes Association, Improving the Quality of Pediatric Obesity Care Through the Use of Health Information Technology, PI: Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH, To develop system-level interventions that improve obesity-related health care quality and prevent obesity-related complications such as type 2 diabetes among children.

Selected Publications

Asante PA, Cox J, Sonneville K, Samuels RC, Taveras EM. Overweight prevention in pediatric primary care: a needs assessment of an urban racial/ethnic minority population.
Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2009 Oct;48(8):837-43. Epub 2009 Jun 29. [PMID: 19564448]

Taveras EM, Hohman KH, Price S, Gortmaker SL, Sonneville K. Televisions in the bedrooms of racial/ethnic minority children: how did they get there and how do we get them out?
Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2009 Sep;48(7):715-9. Epub 2009 May 6. [PMID: 19420181]

Benjamin SE, Rifas-Shiman SL, Taveras EM, Haines J, Finkelstein J, Kleinman K, Gillman MW. Early child care and adiposity at ages 1 and 3 years.
Pediatrics. 2009 Aug;124(2):555-62. Epub 2009 Jul 27. [PMID: 19651579]

Taveras EM, Mitchell K, Gortmaker SL. Parental confidence in making overweight-related behavior changes.
Pediatrics. 2009 Jul;124(1):151-8. [PMID: 19564295]

Benjamin SE, Taveras EM, Cradock AL, Walker EM, Slining MM, Gillman MW. State and regional variation in regulations related to feeding infants in child care.
Pediatrics. 2009 Jul;124(1):e104-11. [PMID: 19564255]

Taveras EM, Rifas-Shiman SL, Belfort MB, Kleinman KP, Oken E, Gillman MW. Weight status in the first 6 months of life and obesity at 3 years of age. Pediatrics. 2009 Apr;123(4):1177-83. [PMID: 19336378]

Schmidt ME, Rich M, Rifas-Shiman SL, Oken E, Taveras EM. Television viewing in infancy and child cognition at 3 years of age in a US cohort.
Pediatrics. 2009 Mar;123(3):e370-5. [PMID: 19254972]

Wright CS, Rifas-Shiman SL, Rich-Edwards JW, Taveras EM, Gillman MW, Oken E. Intrauterine exposure to gestational diabetes, child adiposity, and blood pressure.
Am J Hypertens. 2009 Feb;22(2):215-20. Epub 2008 Nov 20. [PMID: 19023272]

Taveras EM, Gortmaker SL, Mitchell KF, Gillman MW. Parental perceptions of overweight counseling in primary care: the roles of race/ethnicity and parent overweight.
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Aug;16(8):1794-801. Epub 2008 May 22. [PMID: 18497738]

Gillman MW, Rifas-Shiman SL, Kleinman K, Oken E, Rich-Edwards JW, Taveras EM. Developmental origins of childhood overweight: potential public health impact.
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Jul;16(7):1651-6. Epub 2008 May 1. [PMID: 18451768]

Taveras EM, Rifas-Shiman SL, Camargo CA Jr, Gold DR, Litonjua AA, Oken E, Weiss ST, Gillman MW. Higher adiposity in infancy associated with recurrent wheeze in a prospective cohort of children.
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 May;121(5):1161-1166.e3. [PMID: 18466784]

Taveras EM, Rifas-Shiman SL, Oken E, Gunderson EP, Gillman MW. Short sleep duration in infancy and risk of childhood overweight.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008 Apr;162(4):305-11. [PMID: 18391138]

Miller SA, Taveras EM, Rifas-Shiman SL, Gillman MW. Association between television viewing and poor diet quality in young children.
Int J Pediatr Obes. 2008 Mar 4:1-9. [Epub ahead of print] [PMID: 18608629]

Gunderson EP, Rifas-Shiman SL, Oken E, Rich-Edwards JW, Kleinman KP, Taveras EM, Gillman MW. Association of fewer hours of sleep at 6 months postpartum with substantial weight retention at 1 year postpartum.
Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Jan 15;167(2):178-87. Epub 2007 Oct 29. [PMID: 17971337]

Miller SA, Taveras EM, Rifas-Shiman SL, Gillman MW. Association between television viewing and poor diet quality in young children.
Int J Pediatr Obes. 2008;3(3):168-76. [PMID: 19086298]

Oken E, Taveras EM, Kleinman KP, Rich-Edwards JW, Gillman MW. Gestational weight gain and child adiposity at age 3 years.
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Apr;196(4):322.e1-8. [PMID: 17403405]

Oken E, Taveras EM, Popoola FA, Rich-Edwards JW, Gillman MW. Television, walking, and diet: associations with postpartum weight retention.
Am J Prev Med. 2007 Apr;32(4):305-11. [PMID: 17383561]

Taveras EM, Sobol AM, Hannon C, Finkelstein D, Wiecha J, Gortmaker SL. Youths' perceptions of overweight-related prevention counseling at a primary care visit.
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Apr;15(4):831-6. [PMID: 17426317]

Taveras EM, Field AE, Berkey CS, Rifas-Shiman SL, Frazier AL, Colditz GA, Gillman MW. Longitudinal relationship between television viewing and leisure-time physical activity during adolescence.
Pediatrics. 2007 Feb;119(2):e314-9. [PMID: 17272594]

Taveras EM, Rifas-Shiman SL, Scanlon KS, Grummer-Strawn LM, Sherry B, Gillman MW. To what extent is the protective effect of breastfeeding on future overweight explained by decreased maternal feeding restriction?
Pediatrics. 2006 Dec;118(6):2341-8. [PMID: 17142517]

Taveras EM, LaPelle N, Gupta RS, Finkelstein JA. Planning for health promotion in low-income preschool child care settings: focus groups of parents and child care providers. Ambul Pediatr. 2006 Nov-Dec;6(6):342-6. [PMID: 17116608]

Taveras EM, Sandora TJ, Shih MC, Ross-Degnan D, Goldmann DA, Gillman MW. The association of television and video viewing with fast food intake by preschool-age children.
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2006 Nov;14(11):2034-41. [PMID: 17135621]

Gillman MW, Rich-Edwards JW, Huh S, Majzoub JA, Oken E, Taveras EM, Rifas-Shiman SL. Maternal corticotropin-releasing hormone levels during pregnancy and offspring adiposity.
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2006 Sep;14(9):1647-53. [PMID: 17030976]

Taveras EM, Camargo CA Jr, Rifas-Shiman SL, Oken E, Gold DR, Weiss ST, Gillman MW. Association of birth weight with asthma-related outcomes at age 2 years.
Pediatr Pulmonol. 2006 Jul;41(7):643-8. [PMID: 16703577]


Spear BA, Barlow SE, Ervin C, Ludwig DS, Saelens BE, Schetzina KE, Taveras EM. Recommendations for treatment of child and adolescent overweight and obesity.
Pediatrics. 2007 Dec;120 Suppl 4:S254-88. Review. [PMID: 18055654]

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