The Center for Pediatric Behavioral Medicine was established by Leonard H. Epstein, PhD, chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, who is one of the world’s foremost experts in the area of childhood obesity.
Epstein developed the Stoplight Diet Plan to help families instill healthy eating habits in overweight children, and it remains one of the few plans shown to produce long-term success for obese children. He also was the first researcher to demonstrate a relationship between television watching and childhood obesity.
Ongoing research at the center focuses on the role of the dopaminergic system and food habitation in obesity, health behavior change and determinants of eating, physical activity, and drug self-administration, and is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Extramural support to the center since 2001 exceeds $23 million.