Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health


Professor Shiriki Kumanyika

Co-chair, International Obesity Task Force of the International Association for the Study of Obesity

Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, United States

Professor Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, is Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and in the Nutrition Section of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She is also President-elect of the American Public Health Association and one of the joint chairs of the Policy and Prevention arm of the World Obesity Federation (formerly known as the International Association for the Study of Obesity’s International Obesity Task Force.

Professor Kumanyika’s research and policy-related activities focus on obesity prevention and control in children and adults. She founded and chairs the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network, a national network that seeks solutions to the higher than average risk of obesity and related diseases in racial/ethnic minority and low-income populations. She has authored or co-authored more than 300 research articles and other publications on nutrition, obesity, and other public health topics.

Professor Kumanyika has extensive experience as a public health advisor in the US and internationally. From 2008 to 2011, she was Vice Chair of the US Health Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2020. She is currently a member of the Community Preventive Services Task Force of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and has served on several IOM panels related to obesity prevention, including as chair of a committee to develop an evidence framework for obesity prevention decision-making. For the WHO, Professor Kumanyika has served as Vice Chair of an expert panel on Diet, Nutrition and Chronic Diseases (2003), chaired or co-chaired other expert panels on nutrition and obesity issues, and is currently a member of the Diet and Health Subgroup of the Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group.