Randomized controlled trial research on behavioral strategies to encourage healthier eating, increased physical activity and avoidance of tobacco smoke.
Epidemiological research into the association of primordial prevention (adherence to federal nutrition, physical activity and tobacco control guidelines in healthy individuals) with specific health outcomes (cancer outcomes, cardiovascular disease, diabetes)
Experimental research designed to tease out the mechanisms by which aggregating concurrent health risks (e.g. sedentariness, smoking, low-fiber intake) yields cumulative increases in negative health outcomes
Dr. McCarthy has devoted most of his 30-year career to intervention studies designed to encourage members of special populations to adhere to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (African American adult women, low-income middle school students, low-income patients of community health centers) and to be smokefree (WIC participants, aerospace workers, Korean and South Asian immigrants, residents of homeless shelters). He has also conducted epidemiological investigations of tobacco use in special populations (adolescents, Asian subpopulations, residents of homeless shelters). Dr. McCarthy received the 1994 American Cancer Society Capitol Dome award for his career of public service, the 1994 Health Fitness Leader award from the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, and the 2013 American Cancer Society St. George Medal for his exemplary volunteer activities. He received his research training at Yale University (Psychology Ph.D.) and the University of Illinois (Psychology, M.A.).
Teaching. Dr. McCarthy teaches "Obesity, Physical Activity and Nutrition" (HS M255 / CHS M234). He also teaches Psychology 217 -" Behavioral Determinants of Primary Prevention: An Intervention Approach."
Research. Dr. McCarthy co-directed the Center for Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD), which focused on home and neighborhood environmental approaches to reducing heart disease risk in the mostly immigrant Mexican American residents of East Los Angeles. For 11 years he was chief evaluator of California's tobacco use education efforts in the state's public middle and high schools. He and his UCLA and community partner colleagues are currently examining telephone counseling and lay health worker modalities for providing low-cost, high-impact lifestyle counseling to low-income patients of local community health centers to reduce their risk of cancer and diabetes through loss of excess body weight.
Service. He has been a member of and chaired regional and state committees on nutrition and wellness for the American Cancer Society. He continues to volunteer for the American Cancer Society, especially to promote public policies that promote more healthful lifestyle choices. He chaired a Health Advisory Committee for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District for 7 years. His enthusiasm for promoting healthful eating practices extends to his clothes. He has the sartorial distinction of wearing more fruit and vegetable-theme neck ties than any other faculty member.
Ph.D. Admissions Committee for the Dept. of Health Policy & Management
Please check with the faculty member or their office about availability to serve during current academic period.