Virginia Chomitz

Virginia Chomitz

(617) 636-3470
136 Harrison Avenue
Research/Areas of Interest:

My work is centered on solutions-oriented research that leverages community goals and assets to respond to priority public health issues .I have 20-plus years of experience in community-engaged and school-based research in obesity prevention, healthy eating and physical activity promotion in the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and other cities and neighborhoods in Massachusetts. Examples of my active living research include assessing the impact of school physical education and physical activity programming on PA and obesity. Examples of healthy eating research include assessing the impact of school-based food service, gardening, farm-to-school, and curricular interventions on healthy eating and obesity. My dissemination activities have focused on bringing study results to the community through reports and presentations for use in rapid quality improvement cycles. My peer-reviewed publications reflect the pragmatic research and evaluation approach I have taken to contributing to community health improvement.

My current research focuses on incorporating social determinants into promoting healthy eating and phys activity and ensuring the equitable reach and relevance of interventions for vulnerable populations. I am an active member of the Addressing Disparities in Asian Populations through Translational Research (ADAPT), a coalition of researchers and community agency leads dedicated to health equity and community health improvement in Boston Chinatown. Through this community-engagement, I am conducting research on Chinese children's healthy eating and physical activity in child-care and dental-clinic settings, as well as a study assessing relationships of health and housing conditions with residents who have recently moved to affordable housing units in Boston Chinatown. I am currently engaged with Shape Up Somerville to conduct a food system assessment designed to inform policies and programs to support healthy eating in that city. These studies set the stage for externally funded longitudinal research trials and for informing local programming and policies to address health disparities.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Tufts University, USA, 1992
  • Master of Science, Tufts University, USA, 1985
  • Bachelor of Arts, Antioch College, USA, 1981


Community-based participatory research on obesity prevention, healthy eating, and active living (HEAL) promotion; Obesity prevention through primary care, particularly pediatric dental services; Building evidence for policy: particularly the relationship of physical activity, fitness & academic achievement; Cross-cultural/international obesity prevention.