David S. Ludwig
Secondary Faculty

David S. Ludwig

Professor in the Department of Nutrition


Other Positions

Professor of Pediatrics

Pediatrics-Boston Children's Hospital

Harvard Medical School


Dr. Ludwig is a practicing endocrinologist and researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital. He holds the rank of Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. Dr Ludwig Founded the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) program at Children's Hospital, one of the country’s oldest and largest multidisciplinary clinics for the care of overweight children. He also directs the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Children’s Hospital. His research focuses on the effects of diet on hormones, metabolism and body weight. In particular, he developed a novel “low glycemic load” diet (i.e., one that decreases the surge in blood sugar after meals) for the treatment of obesity and prevention of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In addition, he conducted some of the original studies linking sugar-sweetened beverages and fast food to obesity. Described as an “obesity warrior” by Time Magazine, Dr. Ludwig has fought for fundamental policy changes to improve the food environment. He received the E.V. McCollum Award (2008) of the American Society for Nutrition and the Oded Bar-Or Award (2015) of The Obesity Society. Dr. Ludwig is Principal Investigator on numerous grants with 20 years of continuous NIH funding, including a current K24 mid-career mentoring grant. He has published over 150 scientific articles and serves as Contributing Writer for JAMA. Dr. Ludwig has written 2 books for the public, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Always Hungry? Conquer Cravings, Retrain Your Fat Cells, and Lose Weight Permanently (Grand Central Publishing, 2016). He appears frequently in national print and broadcast media.

First Incumbent, The John Fielding Crigler, Jr. Chair in Pediatric Endocrinology
Children's Hospital Boston

The E.V. McCollum Award for Clinical Research
American Society for Nutrition

Oded Bar-Or Award for Pediatric Obesity Research
The Obesity Society


Obesity and Impaired Metabolic Health Increase Risk of COVID-19-Related Mortality in Young and Middle-Aged Adults to the Level Observed in Older People: The LEOSS Registry.

Stefan N, Sippel K, Heni M, Fritsche A, Wagner R, Jakob CEM, Preißl H, von Werder A, Khodamoradi Y, Borgmann S, Rüthrich MM, Hanses F, Haselberger M, Piepel C, Hower M, Vom Dahl J, Wille K, Römmele C, Vehreschild J, Stecher M, Solimena M, Roden M, Schürmann A, Gallwitz B, Hrabe de Angelis M, Ludwig DS, Schulze MB, Jensen BEO, Birkenfeld AL.

Front Med (Lausanne). 2022. 9:875430. PMID: 35646955


Experts question USDA recommendations around dairy

The science underpinning the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) recommendation of three servings of dairy per day is thin, according to experts from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In a February 14, 2020 WebMD.com article, Walter…

Advice for a healthy diet

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health nutrition researchers Walter Willett and David Ludwig spoke to the Boston Globe Magazine for an August 25, 2019 article exploring current trends in healthy diet advice.