Ronette Briefel

Ronette Briefel

Senior Fellow
Areas of Expertise
  • Food security
  • Evaluation of obesity prevention efforts
  • Behavioral health 
  • Public health
  • Nutrition epidemiology
  • Dietary and nutrition surveillance
  • Nutrition
  • Nutrition and Food Assistance Programs
  • Childhood Obesity
  • Food Security and Hunger
About Ronette

Ronette Briefel is an expert in dietary and nutrition assessment and population-based strategies to prevent disease and promote health.

Briefel's expertise covers childhood obesity, food insecurity, chronic disease epidemiology, and analysis and interpretation of national survey data to study low-income and high-risk populations. She has led national studies on the food consumption patterns and nutrient intakes of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers; evaluations of the school food environment, school meals, and children’s diet and obesity; and evidence-based reviews of children’s dietary guidance. Briefel is leading an evaluation of five unique demonstration projects to end childhood hunger for USDA, and was principal investigator for the 2011-2014 Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children evaluation. She also serves as a corporate adviser and reviewer for research in the areas of nutrition, obesity, and public health.

In the past five years, Briefel has served on numerous expert panels to address childhood obesity—the External Scientific Panel of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research, the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight Early Obesity Prevention Policy Roundtable Series, and the CDC Expert Panel on Complementary Feeding Practices in the U.S. She currently serves on the USDA Nutrition Evidence Library Technical Expert Collaborative for the Dietary Guidance Development Project for Infants and Toddlers from Birth to 24 Months and Women Who Are Pregnant. She has also served on four committees of the Institute of Medicine—the Committee on Evaluating Obesity Prevention Efforts, the Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States, the Committee on Dietary Risk Assessment in the WIC Program, and the Committee on National Statistics Project on Enhancing the Data Infrastructure in Support of Food and Nutrition Programs, Research, and Decision Making. Briefel was the 2011 recipient of the Elaine Monsen Nutrition Research Award, which recognizes an outstanding body of research literature in the field of dietetics, food, and nutrition, from the American Dietetic Association Foundation.

Briefel presents and publishes widely in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Journal of Nutrition, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of the American Medical Association, and others. She is a member of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Nutrition. She has a Dr.P.H. in chronic disease epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh and is a registered dietician.

Key Projects
  • Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study 2008

    We collected data on infants’ and toddlers’ food choices and dietary supplement usage, nutrient impact of choices, food sources of nutrients, feeding practices, infant an toddler growth and developmental milestones, physical activity and screen time, and participation in WIC.

Related Videos
  • WIC breastfeeding policy inventory video
    WIC Breastfeeding Policy Inventory

    This video sheds light on the comprehensive range of policies and practices that WIC agencies use to promote breastfeeding. Mathematica's study, the first to examine WIC agencies' breastfeeding policies, surveyed 90 state-level agencies and nearly 1,800 local WIC agencies.