Steven Kelder, PhD, MPH

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Beth Toby Grossman Distinguished Professor in Spirituality and Healing
Coordinator of External Affairs, Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living
steven.h.kelder@uth.tmc.edu

Dr. Kelder has more than 25 years of experience in design and evaluation of child and adolescent research, particularly interventions directed towards youth, schools, and parents. Recently, his emphasis is on interventions designed for promotion of physical activity and healthy eating, obesity prevention, and use-cigarette prevention. Dr. Kelder is one of the lead investigators for CATCH, a research-based program that guides schools, families and children in the process of being healthy, reaching more than a million Texas children.

Dr. Kelder served with Center faculty member Dr. Bill Kohl on the IOM committee on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation. The committee published its report in 2012 in conjunction with the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary special on obesity in America, Weight of the Nation

In 2014, Dr. Kelder, with Center Director Dr. Deanna Hoelscher and MPH graduate Duncan Van Dusen, initiated the CATCH Global Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity devoted to training and disseminating the CATCH portfolio of child health programs. To date, the CGF has raised over ten million dollars, with more than 85% of it going to direct service provision to preschools, K-8 schools, YMCA, Jewish community centers, and public Headstart centers.

Dr. Kelder also served with Center faculty members Dr. Cheryl Perry, Dr. MeLisa Creamer, and Dr. Melissa Harrell all of whom were senior scientific editors of the 2016 Surgeon General’s report on e-cigarettes. The report declares e-cigarette use among U.S. youth and young adults a major public health concern. 

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Current Projects

Texas Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science on Youth & Young Adults

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The overall goal of the Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS) on Youth and Young Adults is to develop an integrated program of research and training to provide scientific evidence, and a career path for regulatory scientists, to support U.S. tobacco regulation.

CATCH Middle School

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The Central Texas CATCH Middle School Project (CATCH MS) was a school-based health promotion initiative aimed at promoting physical activity, healthy eating and obesity prevention among middle school students living in central Texas.

CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health)

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CATCH is a research-based program designed to guide schools, families and children in healthy eating and physical activity.

Recent Publications

Impact of the Coordinated Approach to Child Health Early Childhood Program for Obesity Prevention among Preschool Children: The Texas Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Study

(Sharma SV, Vandewater E, Chuang RJ, Byrd-Williams C, Kelder S, Butte N, Hoelscher DM; Child Obes.; 2018)

E- cigarette specific symptoms of nicotine dependence among Texas adolescents

(Case, K, Mantey, D, Creamer, M, Harrell, MB, Kelder, S, & Perry, CL; Addictive Behaviors; 2018)

School socioeconomic disparities in e-cigarette susceptibility and use among central Texas middle school students

(Springer AE, Davis C, Van Dusen D, Grayless M, Case KR, Craft M, Kelder SH; Preventive Medicine Reports; 2018)

Dietary intake, attitudes toward healthy food, and dental pain in low-income youth

(Nicksic NE, Massie AW, Byrd-Williams C, Kelder SH, Sharma SV, Butte NF, Hoelscher DM; JDR Clinical & Translational Research; 2018)

The effect of prenatal maternal cigarette smoking on children’s BMI z-score with SGA as a mediator

(Salahuddin, M., Pérez, A., Ranjit, N., Hoelscher, D.M., Kelder, S.H.; International Journal of Obesity; 2018)

Recent News

Vaping becoming epidemic among students

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Dr. Steven Kelder spoke with Spectrum News Austin on the problematic spike of high school students vaping across the country, especially with one product called JUUL.

How System researchers are taking a multi-faceted approach to obesity

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Researchers across the UT System are working hard to gain a clearer picture of what works best to encourage and support children and adults in overcoming obesity.

UTHealth experts take part in U.S. Surgeon General’s first youth e-cigarette report

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Researchers from the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health were the senior scientific editors for the first-ever U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults, released today.