Y. Claire Wang, MD, ScD


My research surrounds the theme of using modeling to integrate the evidence base to inform prevention policy and practice guidelines. Specifically, I am interested policy, economic and environmental approaches to modify behavioral risk factors (e.g. diet, physical activity, and other health behavior) and their impact on disease burden in the whole population and between demographic subgroups.

My research focuses on the obesity epidemic in adults and in children. I co-direct the Obesity Prevention Initiative at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. My current research and collaboration aims to design, test, and evaluate various population-wide strategies and policies on their impact on energy balance, weight status, and downstream health consequences. One key aspect I have worked on is the intake of sugar-sweetened beverage among U.S. adults and youth. I led several projects to evaluate the health and economic impacts of population-level interventions to curb sugar-sweetened beverages, including levying excise taxes or imposing portion size restrictions as proposed in New York City.

In addition, I have led or guided research projects related to the cost-effectiveness assessments of various disease prevention practices, such as guidelines for blood pressure and cholesterol screening as part of pediatric services and the use of novel imaging technologies to screen for atherosclerosis in asymptomatic adults.

General Expertise

Food Policy, Obesity, Decision analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, disease simulation modeling, preventive cardiology


Harvard School of Public Health, Health Policy & Management
Doctor of Science in Decision Sciences, 2005

Harvard School of Public Health, Epidemiology
Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology, 2001

National Taiwan University
Medical Degree, 2000

Positions & Affiliations



Y. Claire Wang, Associate Professor
Department of Health Policy and Management
Columbia Mailman School of Public Health
600 W 168th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10032
(212) 305-7359 | Email Me


I direct the Comparative Effective & Outcomes Research Track of our MPH Program at the Department of Health Policy & Management, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. I also teach Decision Analysis for Clinical and Public Health Practices and Economic Evaluation of Medical Technologies.

Selected Publications

Wang YC, Gortmaker SG, Sobol AM, Kuntz, KM. Estimating the Energy Gap among US Children: A Counterfactual Approach. Pediatrics. 2006 118(6):1721-1733.

Wang YC, Lipsitch M. Consequences of Upgrading within an Existing Antimicrobial Class. Proceedings of National Academy of Science. 2006 103(25):9655-9600.

Studdert DM, Mello MM, Gawande AA, Brennan TA, Wang YC. Disclosure of Medial Injury: An Improbable Risk Management Strategy. Health Affairs. 2007 26(1):215-226.

Wang YC, Colditz GA, Kuntz, KM. Forecasting the Obesity Epidemic in the Aging United States Population. Obesity. 2007 15(11):2855-2865.

Wang YC, Bleich S, Gortmaker SG. Increasing Caloric Contribution from Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and 100% Fruit Juices among US Children and Adolescents, 1988-2004. Pediatrics. 2008 121:e1604-e1614.

Bleich SN, Wang YC, Wang Y, Gortmaker SL. Increasing Consumption Of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages among US Adults: 1988-1994 to 1999-2004. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009; 89:1-10.

Wang YC, Ludwig DS, Sonneville K, Gortmaker SG. Impact of Change in Sweetened Caloric Beverage Consumption Energy Intake Among Children and Adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2009; 163(4):336-343.

Groot Koerkamp B, Wang YC, Hunink MGM. Cost-effectiveness Analysis for Surgeons. Surgery. 2009 Jun; 145(6):616-22.

Lightwood J, Bibbins-Domingo K, Coxson P, Wang YC, Goldman L. Forecasting the future economic burden of current adolescent overweight: an estimate of the Coronary Heart Disease Policy Model. American Journal of Public Health. 2009; 99(12): 2230-2237.

Wang YC, Gortmaker SG, Taveras EM. Trends and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Severe Obesity among U.S. Children and Adolescents, 1976-2006. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity. 2011; 6(1): 12-20.

Wang YC, Cheung AM, Bibbins-Domingo K, Prosser LA, Cook NR, Goldman L, Gillman MW. Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Blood Pressure Screening In Adolescents in the United States. J. Pediatr. 2011 158(2):257-264.

Freedman DC, Wang YC, Dietz WH, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS. The Tracking and Variability of LDL Cholesterol Levels among Children and Adolescents: The Bogalusa Heart Study. Pediatrics. 126(2):266. 2010.

Gallagher D, Larson EL, Wang YC, Richards B, Weng C, Hametz P, Begg MD, Chung WK, Boden-Albala B, Akabas SR. Special Report: Identifying Interdisciplinary Research Priorities to Prevent and Treat Pediatric Obesity in New York City. Clinical and Translational Science. 2010; 3(4):172-177.

Moran A, Gu D, Zhao D, Coxson P, Wang YC, Chen C-S, et al. Future Cardiovascular Disease in China: Markov Model and Risk Factor Scenario Projections From the Coronary Heart Disease Policy Model-China. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2010 May 1, 2010; 3(3):243-52.

Levy DT, Friend KB, Wang YC. A Review of the Literature on Policies Directed at Reducing Youth Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. Adv. Nutr. 2:182S-200S, 2011.

Iribarne A, Easterwood R, Russo MJ, Wang YC. Integrating Economic Evaluation Methods into Clinical and Translational Science Award Consortium Comparative Effectiveness Educational Goals. Academic Medicine 2011:86.

Cradock AL, McHugh A, Mont-Ferguson H, Grant L, Barrett JL, Wang YC, Gortmaker SL. Effect of School District Policy Change on Consumption of Sugar-sweetened Beverages among High School Students, Boston, Massachusetts, 2004-2006. Preventing Chronic Diseases. 2011; 8(4):A74.

Bleich SN, Wang YC. Consumption of Sugar-sweetened Beverages among Adults with Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2011; 34:551-555.

Iribarne A, Easterwood R, Wang YC, Russo MJ, Argenziano M. A Minimally Invasive Approach is more Cost-Effective than a Traditional Sternotomy Approach for Mitral Valve Surgery. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2011; 142(6):1507-1514.

Wang YC, McPherson K, Marsh T, Gortmaker SL, Brown M. Health and Economic Burden of the Projected Obesity Trends in the US and the UK. The Lancet. 2011; 378:815-25.

Hall KD, Sacks G, Chandramohan D, Chow CC, Wang YC, Gortmaker SL, Swinburn B. Quantifying the impact of energy imbalance on body weight change. The Lancet. 2011; 378:826-37.

Wang YC, Coxson P, Shen Y, Goldman L, Bibbins-Domingo, K. Potential Impact on Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases from a One-Penny-per-Ounce Excise Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. Health Affairs. 2012; 31(1):199-207.

Wang YC, Orleans T, Gortmaker SL. Reaching the Healthy People Goals for Reducing Childhood Obesity: Closing the Energy Gap. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2012; 42(5):437-444.

Gortmaker SL, Sobol AM, Lee R, Duncan DT, Cradock AL, Wang YC. Disparities in Youth Physical Activity in the United States: 2003-2006. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2012 May;44(5):888-93

Wang YC, Graubard BI, Rosenberg MA, Kuntz KM, Zauber A, Kahle L, Schechter CB, Feuer EJ. Derivation of Background Mortality by Smoking and Obesity in Cancer Simulation Models. Medical Decision Making. 2013; 33 (2): 176-197

Wang YC, Vine S. Caloric Impact of A 16-ounce Portion Size Cap on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Served in Restaurants. American Journal for Clinical Nutrition. 2013; 98(1)  [First published ahead of print June 12, 2013 as doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.054833]

Wang YC, Hsiao A, Orleans CT, Gortmaker S. The Caloric Calculator: Average Caloric Impact of Childhood Obesity Interventions. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013; 45(2): e3-e13

Swaminath A, Bhadelia N, Wang YC. Cost-effectiveness of QuantiFERON testing prior to initiation of biologic therapy in inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory Bowel Disease. 2013; 19(11):2444-2449

Swart E, Redler L, Fabricant PD, Mandelbaum BR, Ahmad CS, & Wang YC. Prevention and Screening Programs or Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Young AthletesA Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, 2014: 96(9), 705-711

Bleich SN, Wolfson JA, Vine S, Wang YC. Diet-Beverage Consumption and Caloric Intake Among US Adults, Overall and by Body Weight. American Journal of Public Health. 2014; 104 (3): e72-78.

Andreyeva T, Luedicke J, Wang YC.  State-Level Estimates of Obesity-Attributable Costs of Absenteeism. 2014 [In Press]

© 2014