Leonard H. Epstein, an internationally recognized expert on childhood weight control, has been awarded the Hoebel Prize for Creativity by the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior.

The award honors a member of the society for an exceptional level of creativity and excellence in research on ingestive behavior.

Epstein, a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, was the first researcher to demonstrate that childhood obesity treatment outcomes improve when television viewing is reduced. He developed innovative approaches to reducing television-watching that improved standard approaches to pediatric obesity treatment. He also pioneered the use of exercise as a component of obesity treatment, as well as the well-known Traffic Light Diet, which divides foods into categories according to the colors of a traffic signal.

Epstein has more than $22 million in funding at UB. One project is an $8.8 million federal grant designed to make family-based weight-loss programs more accessible, partly through using counselors in primary care offices.