Faculty Profile

Julia A. Wolfson, PhD, M.P.P.

Julia A. Wolfson, PhD, M.P.P.

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Health Management and Policy
  • Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Dr. Wolfson is a mixed-methods health policy researcher whose work lies at the intersection of health policy and health behavior. The majority of her research focuses on health and social policies and programs related to food and beverage choices, diet quality, food insecurity, and obesity and diet related disease prevention. In all her work, Dr. Wolfson’s goal is to produce evidence that contributes to social and policy change, supports the creation of a health promoting and sustainable food system, helps develop effective policies, and ultimately, improves the public’s health, particularly for the most vulnerable members of society.

Dr. Wolfson received her PhD in Health Policy from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she was a CLF-Lerner Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. She earned her M.P.P. degree from the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, and holds a B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School. Dr. Wolfson also enjoyed a prior career as a professional chef.

  • PhD, Health Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2016
  • M.P.P., University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, 2012
  • B.A., New York University, 2001

Dr. Wolfson is a mixed-methods health policy researcher whose work primarily focuses on health and social policies and programs related to food and beverage choices, diet quality, food insecurity, and obesity. She is particularly interested in the role of cooking for healthy eating, school and community cooking and nutrition education, and the relationship between different food environments (neighborhood, work, school, information, or messaging) and food choices, consumption behavior and health outcomes, particularly among vulnerable populations at high risk for diet related diseases. Current research focuses on the measurement and definition of cooking skills and behavior, food literacy/food agency, implementation of cooking skills education, nutrition assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and changes to the restaurant environment related to menu labeling regulations. 

The overarching goal of Dr. Wolfson’s work is to conduct interdisciplinary and innovative research that will contribute to social and policy change, help develop effective interventions, and ultimately, improve population health.

Dr. Wolfson is affiliated with the following UM research centers:

  • Wolfson JA, Moran AJ, Jarlenski MP, Bleich SN. Trends in Sodium Content of Menu Items in Large Chain Restaurants in the U.S. Am J Prev Med2017; 

  • Wolfson JA, Jones AD, Philbert MA. The U.S. Food Supply: The Need to Protect Biological and Nutritional Safety. Am J Prev Med2017; 

  • Wolfson JA, Clegg Smith K, Frattaroli S, Bleich SN. (2016) Public perceptions of cooking and the implications for cooking behavior in the United States. Public Health Nutrition. Jan22:1-10 (E-pub ahead of print) PMID: 26794207

  • Wolfson JA, Bleich SN, Clegg Smith K, Frattaroli S. (2016) What does cooking mean to you?: Perceptions of cooking and factors related to cooking behavior. Appetite. 97:146-54. PMID: 26654888

  • Wolfson JA, Gollust SE, Niederdeppe J, Barry CL. (2015) The role of parents in public views on how to address childhood obesity in the United States. Milbank Quarterly 93:73-111. PMID: 25752351

  • Wolfson JA, Bleich SN. (2015) Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight loss intention? Public Health Nutrition. 18(8) 1397-406. PMID: 25399031.

  • Wolfson JA, Bleich SN. (2015) Fruit and vegetable consumption and food values: National patterns in the United States by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibility and cooking frequency. Preventive Medicine. 76(0):1-7. PMID: 25847732

  • Bleich SN, Wolfson JA, Jarlenski MP, Block J. (2015) Restaurants with calories displayed on menus had lower calorie counts compared to restaurants without such labels. Health Affairs. 34:1877-84. PMID: 26526245

  • Bleich SN, Jones-Smith JC, Wolfson JA, Xiaozhou Zhu, Story M. (2015) The complex relationship between diet and health. Health Affairs. 34:1813-20. PMID: 26526238