Monica L. Wang, ScD, MS


Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Background & Research Interests

Dr. Wang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health and an Instructor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Wang obtained her doctorate in Social and Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health from Harvard. Her research interests include addressing racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in obesity and chronic diseases and the design, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of culturally-tailored programs and policies that promote healthy eating and physical activity among underserved children and families. Dr. Wang is the Principal Investigator on a K-01 award from the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage purchase and consumption among children and families.

Dr. Wang has served as an evaluation consultant for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. In 2010, she was awarded the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship to support her work to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among youth in collaboration with Sociedad Latina. Her research has been supported by NIH, CDC, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau Training Grant, and the Ellen Feldberg Gordon Fund for Eating Disorders Research. She currently sits on the advisory committee of the Massachusetts legislative task force to reduce sugary drink consumption and promote water consumption.


Since 2010, Dr. Wang has taught in-person and online courses on the social and behavioral determinants of health (ID 538, HCM 708, PH201x) at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the obesity epidemic (SB800) at the Boston University School of Public Health.

Other Affiliations

  1. Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health
  2. Co-chair, Obesity and Eating Disorders Special Interest Group, Society of Behavioral Medicine

Honors and Awards

  1. Excellence in Teaching Award, Boston University School of Public Health, 2016
  2. Early Career Investigator Award, Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2016
  3. Junior Faculty Research Poster Award, Boston University School of Public Health, 2014
  4. Dissertation Award, Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders, 2012
  5. Teaching Assistance Award, Harvard School of Public Health, 2010
  6. Doctoral Student Award, Glickenhaus Fund, Harvard School of Public Health,  2009, 2010

Select Peer-reviewed Publications

  1. Lindsay AC, Sussner KM, Greaney ML, Wang ML, Davis RE, Peterson KE. Using Qualitative Methods to Design a Culturally Appropriate Child Feeding Questionnaire for Low-Income, Latina Mothers. Journal of Maternal & Child Health. 2012 May;16(4):860-6.
  2. Austin SB, Spadano-Gasbarro JL, Greaney ML, Blood EA, Hunt AT, Richmond TK, Wang ML, Mezgebu S, Osganian SK, Peterson KE. Effect of the Planet Health intervention on eating disorder symptoms in a large-scale dissemination to Massachusetts middle schools. Prev Chronic Dis 2012; 9: E171. Designated by Medscape, LLC as a Journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.
  3. Wang ML, Walls C, Peterson KE, Richmond TK, Greaney ML, Spadano-Gasbarro J, Blood E, Mezegebu, S, McCormick MC, Subramanian SV, Austin SB. Dietary and physical activity factors related to eating disorder symptoms among middle-school youth. Journal of School Health. 2013 Jan; 83(1):14-20.
  4. Austin SB, Richmond TK, Spadano-Gasbarro J, Greaney ML, Blood EA, Walls C, Wang ML, Mezgebu S, Osganian SK, Peterson KE. The Contribution of School Environmental Factors to Individual and School Variation in Disordered Weight Control Behaviors in a Statewide Sample of Middle Schools. Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention. 2013; 21(2):91-108.
  5. Wang ML, Peterson KE, McCormick MC, Austin SB. Environmental factors associated with disordered weight control behaviors among youth: a systematic review. Public Health Nutrition. 2013; Jun 19:1-14. [Epub ahead of print]
  6. Wang ML, Peterson KE, Richmond TK, Spadano-Gasbarro J, Greaney ML, Mezgebu S, McCormick M, Austin SB. Family practices associated with disordered weight control behaviors in a multi-ethnic sample of middle-school youth. Academic Pediatrics. 2013. Jul-Aug;13(4):379-85.
  7. Wang ML, Lemon SC, Olendzki B, Rosal MC. Beverage Consumption Patterns and Associations with Metabolic Risk Factors among Low-Income Latinos with Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  2013 Aug 30. pii: S2212-2672(13)01115-5. [Epub ahead of print].
  8. Richmond TK, Spadano-Gasbarro JL, Walls CE, Austin SB, Greaney ML, Wang ML, Mezgebu S, Peterson KE. Middle school food environments and racial/ethnic differences in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption: Findings from the Healthy Choices study. Preventive Medicine. 2013 Sep 10. pii: S0091-7435(13)00327-7. [Epub ahead of print].
  9. Wang ML, Lemon SC, Welch G, Rosal MC. Development and Validation of the Lifestyle Self-Efficacy Scale for Latinos with Diabetes (LSESLD). Ethnicity & Disease. 2013 Autumn; 23:428-435.
  10. Lemon SC, Wang ML, Wedick NM, Estabrook B, Druker S, Schneider K, Li W, Pbert L. Weight gain prevention in the school worksite settings: Results of a multi-level cluster randomized trial. Preventive Medicine. 2013 Dec 14. pii: S0091-7435(13)00464-7. [Epub ahead of print].
  11. Lemon SC, Schneider KL, Liu Q, Wang ML, Magner R, Estabrook B, Druker S, Pbert L. Weight Loss Motivations: A Latent Class Analysis Approach. American Journal of Health Behavior. 2014 July/August;38(4):605-613.
  12. Wang ML, Lemon SC, Whited M, Rosal MC. Who benefits from diabetes self-management interventions? The influence of depression in the Latinos en Control Trial. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 2014 Mar 25. [Epub ahead of print]
  13. Richardson M, Waring ME, Wang ML, Nobel L, Cuffee Y, Person SD, Hullett S, Kiefe CI, Allison A. Weight-based discrimination and medication non-adherence among low-income African-Americans with hypertension: how much of the association is mediated by self-efficacy? Ethnicity & Disease. 2014 Spring;24(2):162-8.
  14. Wang ML, Druker S, Gapinski MA, Gellar L, Schneider K, Osganian S, Olendzki B, Pbert L. The Role of Social Support vs. Modeling on Adolescents’ Diet and Physical Activity: Findings from a School-based Weight Management Trial. Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior. 2014;2:132.
  15. Wang ML, Pbert L, Lemon SC. Influence of family, friend and coworker social support and social undermining on weight gain prevention among adults. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Sep; 22(9):1973-80.
  16. Wang ML, Lemon SC, Whited MC, Rosal MC. Who benefits from diabetes self-management interventions? The influence of depression in the Latinos en Control trial. Ann Behav Med. 2014 Oct; 48(2):256-64.
  17. Wang ML, Gellar L, Nathanson BH, Pbert L, Ma Y, Ockene I, Rosal MC. Decrease in Glycemic Index Associated with Improved Glycemic Control among Latinos with Type 2 Diabetes. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Dec 26.
  18. Little TV, Wang ML, Castro EM, Jiménez J, Rosal MC. Community health worker interventions for Latinos with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Curr Diab Rep. 2014 Dec; 14(12):558.
  19. Alker HJ, Wang ML, Pbert L, Thorsen N, Lemon SC. Impact of school staff health on work productivity in secondary schools in Massachusetts. J Sch Health. 2015 Jun; 85(6):398-404.
  20. Wang ML, Goins KV, Anatchkova M, Brownson RC, Evenson K, Maddock J, Clausen KE, Lemon SC. Priorities of Municipal Policy Makers in Relation to Physical Activity and the Built Environment: A Latent Class Analysis. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2015 Jun 13.
  21. Wang ML, Arroyo J, Druker S, Sankey HZ, Rosal MC. Knowledge, Attitudes and Provider Advice by Pre-Pregnancy Weight Status: A Qualitative Study of Pregnant Latinas With Excessive Gestational Weight Gain. Women Health. 2015 Oct; 55(7):805-28.
  22. Kreuter MW, Wang ML. From Evidence to Impact: Recommendations for a Dissemination Support System. New Dir Child Adolesc Dev. 2015; (149):11-23.
  23. Wang ML, Gallivan L, Lemon SC, Borg A, Ramirez J, Figueroa B, McGuire A, Rosal MC. Navigating to health: Evaluation of a community health center patient navigation program. Prev Med Rep. 2015; 2:664-8.
  24. Fitzpatrick SL, Wischenka D, Appelhans BM, Pbert L, Wang M, Wilson DK, Pagoto SL. An Evidence-based Guide for Obesity Treatment in Primary Care. Am J Med. 2016 Jan; 129(1):115.e1-7.
  25. Lemon SC, Wang ML, Haughton C, Estabrook D, Frisard C, Pagoto SL. Methodological Quality of Behavioral Weight Loss Trials: A Systematic Review. Obesity Reviews. Obes Rev. 2016 Jul;17(7):636-44
  26. Haughton CF, Wang ML, Lemon SC. Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Meeting 5-2-1-0 Recommendations among Children and Adolescents in the United States. Journal of Pediatrics. 2016 Aug;175:188-194.e1.
  27. Rosal MC, Wang ML, Moore Simas TA, Bodenlos JS, Crawford SL, Leung K, Sankey HZ. Predictors of Gestational Weight Gain among White and Latina Women and Associations with Birth Weight. Journal of Pregnancy. 2016: 8984928.
  28. Kozak AT, Buscemi J, Hawkins MAW, Wang ML, Breland JY, Ross KM, Kommu A. Technology-based Interventions for Weight Management: Current Evidence and Future Directions. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2016 Oct 25. [Epub ahead of print]
  29. Rosal MC, Haughton CF, Estabrook B, Wang ML, Chiriboga G, Nguyen O, Person S, Lemon SC. Fresh Start, a Postpartum Weight Loss Intervention for Diverse Low-income Women: Design and Methods for a Randomized Clinical Trial. BMC Public Health. 2016 Sep 9;16:953.
  30. Wang ML, Lemon SC, Clausen KE, Whyte JA, Rosal MC. Design and methods for a community-based intervention to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among youth: H2GO! Study. BMC Public Health. 2016 Nov 9;16(1):1150.
  31. Wang ML, Haughton CF, Frisard C, Pbert L, Geer C, Lemon SC. Perceived weight status and weight change among an adult U.S. sample. Obesity. 2017 Jan;25(1):223-228.

Book contributions

  1. Rosal MC, Wang ML, Bodenlos, J. (2013). Culture, Behavior and Health. In: KA Riekert, JK Ockene, L Pbert (eds). The Handbook of Health Behavior Change, Fourth Edition. Chapter 6, pp. 109-136. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
  2. Lemon SC, Bowen DJ, Rosal MC, Pagoto SL, Schneider KL, Pbert L, Wang ML, Allen JD, Ockene JK. (2013). Translational Research Phases in the Behavioral and Social Sciences: Adaptations from the Biomedical Sciences. In: Riekert KA, Ockene JK, Pbert L (eds). The Handbook of Health Behavior Change, Fourth Edition. Chapter 24, pp. 483-497. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Education and Training

BA, Tufts University (summa cum laude), Medford, MA
MS, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
ScD, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston MA
Postdoctoral Training, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA