Jonathan Blitstein, Ph.D.

Duke-RTI Scholar


Jonathan L. Blitstein joined the WFPC as a Duke-RTI Scholar. He is a public health psychologist and research methodologist in RTI’s Social Policy, Health, and Economic Research Unit. His research is aimed at promoting healthy eating among children and adolescents and other vulnerable populations. This work includes evaluating the impact of nutrition education programs, studying the associations between shopping habits and dietary intake, and evaluating the impact of social marketing campaigns.

Blitstein is currently the principal investigator of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded study examining the effect of front‐of‐package nutrition labels on low‐income parents' comprehension of product healthfulness and on consumers' purchasing decisions. He is also co-investigator on ACCESS Community Health Care Network’s Food For Health study, a High Innovation for Low Resource Communities initiative designed to improve glycemic control among food insecure patients with diabetes by connecting them with food and nutrition resources and nutrition education at primary care center visits. Blitstein served as a statistical consultant on the design of the national evaluation of the Cooking Matters for Adults program for Share our Strength and for the Medical Research Council of South Africa on a school-based social marketing program to reduce diabetes risk factors in disadvantaged communities of the Western Cape Province.

Blitstein is an expert in conducting program evaluations using group-randomized trials, experimental and quasi-experimental designs, and complex statistical models. He has contributed to studies on nutrition and food assistance, obesity prevention, tobacco control, violence prevention, infectious disease prevention, and other public health topics.

Blitstein joined RTI in 2004. Previously, he worked on community-based, public health research projects at the University of Memphis and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a three-time recipient of the RTI President’s Award.