Steven Kelder, PhD, MPH

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Beth Toby Grossman Distinguished Professor in Spirituality and Healing
Austin Associate Regional Dean

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.

Drs. 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

Predictors of Severe Obesity in Low-Income, Predominantly Hispanic/Latino Children: The Texas Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Study

(Salahuddin M, Pérez A, Ranjit N, Kelder SH, Barlow SE, Pont SJ, Butte NF, Hoelscher DM; Preventing Chronic Disease; 2017)

Exposure and engagement with tobacco and e-cigarette related social media among Texas adolescents

(Hébert ET, Case KR, Kelder SH, Delk J, Perry CL, Harrell MB; J Adolesc Health; 2017)

Efficacy of a Community- Versus Primary Care-Centered Program for Childhood Obesity: TX CORD RCT

(Butte NF, Hoelscher DM, Barlow SE, Pont S, Durand C, Vandewater EA, Liu Y, Adolph AL, Pérez A, Wilson TA, Gonzalez A, Puyau MR, Sharma SV, Byrd-Williams C, Oluyomi A, Huang T, Finkelstein EA, Sacher PM, Kelder SH; Obesity (Silver Spring); 2017)

The associations of large-for-gestational-age and infant feeding practices with children's BMI z-score trajectories: The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B)

(Salahuddin M, Pérez A, Ranjit N, Hoelscher DM, Kelder SH; Clinical Obesity; 2017)

Efficacy of a Community- vs. Primary Care-Centered Program for Childhood Obesity: TX CORD RCT

(Butte, N.F., Hoelscher, D.M., Barlow, S.E., Pont, S., Durand, C, Vandewater, E.A., Liu,Y., Adolph, A.L., Pérez, A., Wilson, T.A., Gonzalez, A., Puyau, M.R., Sharma, S.V., Byrd-Williams, C., Oluyomi, A., Huang, T., Finkelstein, E.A., Sacher, P., Kelder, S.H; Forthcoming Obesity;

Recent News

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.

Somehow, Texas Is Still Getting Fatter

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DALLAS OBSERVER - Dec. 14, 2015 - Texans are now officially three times as fat as they were in 1990, when the obesity rate was 10.7 percent.

The Q&A: Steven Kelder

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TEXAS TRIBUNE - Sept. 28, 2015 - With each issue, Trib+Health brings you an interview with experts on issues related to health care. Here is this week's subject: Dr. Steve Kelder.

Kelder appointed Associate Regional Dean of UTSPH Austin Regional Campus

CDC recognizes CATCH program with Pioneering Innovation Award

The program was honored at the CDC’s Weight of the Nation Conference in Washington, D.C on May 8.