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Faculty Profile

Sean C. Lucan, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Sean C. Lucan

Associate Professor of Clinical Family & Social Medicine, Department of Family and Social Medicine


Professional Interests

Sean C. Lucan, MD, MPH, MS- Dr. Lucan completed his MD and MPH degrees at Yale before entering residency in Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Pennsylvania (PENN).  He stayed at PENN to complete a research fellowship in the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, where he earned an MS in Health Policy Research.  Dr. Lucan’s research focuses on how different aspects of urban food environments may influence what people eat, and what the implications are for obesity and chronic diseases, particularly for low-income and minority communities.  Dr. Lucan is a four-time recipient of NIH Loan Repayment for Health Disparities Research, and recipient of a 5-year K23 grant from the NIH (the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development), assessing how local food sources around home and school relate to adolescent dietary intake.  His current work involves measuring, modeling, and mapping neighborhood food environments in the Bronx, as well as critically examining long-held beliefs in the field of Nutrition.  Dr. Lucan is a practicing family physician at Montefiore.


Research Interests - Nutrition, Obesity, Diet-related diseases, Food environments, "Food deserts", Mapping, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Multi-level modeling, Famers' Markets, Street vendors, Mobile food vendors, Non-intuitive food sources, Grocery quality, Supermarket accessibility, Produce availability, Corner stores, Fruit-and-vegetable intake, Fast-food consumption, Snacking, Sugar-sweetened beverages, Sugars, Calories, Red Meat, Dietary Fat, Saturated fat, Sodium, Cholesterol, Whole foods ... and debunking nutritional myths and unsubstantiated dietary dogma.


Selected Publications


Lucan SC, Barg FK, Long JA. Promoters and barriers to fruit, vegetable, and fast-food consumption among urban, low-income African Americans--a qualitative approach. American Journal of Public Health. Apr 2010;100(4):631-635,  PMID 20167885

Lucan SC, Karpyn A, Sherman S. Storing empty calories and chronic disease risk: snack-food products, nutritive content, and manufacturers in Philadelphia corner stores. Journal of Urban Health. May 2010;87(3):394-409, PMCID: 2871092

Lucan SC, Maroko A, Shanker R, Jordan WB. Green Carts (Mobile Produce Vendors) in the Bronx-Optimally Positioned to Meet Neighborhood Fruit-and-Vegetable Needs? Journal of Urban Health. Oct 2011;88(5):977-981,  PMID 21691925

Lucan SC, Mitra N. Perceptions of the food environment are associated with fast-food (not fruit-and-vegetable) consumption: findings from multi-level models. International Journal of Public Health. Jul 20 2011,  PMID 21773839

Lucan SC, Barg FK, Karasz A, Palmer C, Long J. Lucan SC, Barg FK, Karasz A, Palmer CS, Long JA. Concepts of Healthy Diet Among Urban, Low-Income, African Americans. Journal of Community Health. Nov 19 2011,  PMID 22101636

Lucan SC, Mitra N. The food environment and dietary intake: demonstrating a method for GIS-mapping and policy-relevant research. Journal of Public Health 2011 (DOI: 10.1007/s10389-011-0470-y)

Lucan SC, Barg FK, Karasz A, Palmer C, Long J. Perceived influences on diet among urban, low-income, African Americans. Ameican Journal of Health Behavior. Sep 2012;36(5):700-710,  PMID 22584097

Lucan SC, Maroko AR, Bumol J, Torrens L, Varona M, Berke EM. Business List vs Ground Observation for Measuring a Food Environment: Saving Time or Waste of Time (or Worse)? Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Jul 16 2013,  PMID 23871107

Lucan SC, Varona M, Maroko AR, Bumol J, Torrens L, Wylie-Rosett J. Assessing mobile food vendors (a.k.a. street food vendors)-methods, challenges, and lessons learned for future food-environment research. Public Health. Jul 25 2013,  PMID 23891280

Lucan SC, Maroko AR, Bumol J, Varona M, Torrens L, Schechter CB. Mobile food vendors in urban neighborhoods-Implications for diet and diet-related health by weather and season. Health & Place. Mar 11 2014;27C:171-175,  PMID 24631725

Lucan SC, Hillier A, Schechter CB, Glanz K. Objective and self-reported factors associated with food-environment perceptions and fruit-and-vegetable consumption: a multilevel analysis. Preventing Chronic Disease. 2014;11,  PMID 24674635

Lucan SC. Concerning Limitations of Food-Environment Research: A Narrative Review and Commentary Framed around Obesity and Diet-Related Diseases in Youth. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Oct 14 2014. PMID 25443565

Lucan SC, DiNicolantonio JJ. How calorie-focused thinking about obesity and related diseases may mislead and harm public health. An alternative. Public Health Nutrition. Nov 24 2014:1-11, PMID 25416919



Katz DL, Elmore JG, Wild DMG, Lucan SC. Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Preventive Medicine, and Public Health. Philadelphia, PA, Saunders/Elsevier. 4th edition.  Publication Date: February 25, 2013 | ISBN-10: 1455706582 | ISBN-13: 978-1455706587

Katz DL with Friedman R and Lucan SCNutrition in Clinical Practice, 3rd Edition. Philadelphia, PA. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Publication Date: September 12, 2014 | ISBN-10: 1451186649 | ISBN-13: 978-1451186642



Lucan SC. Coronary artery disease prevention: as easy as 1, 2, 3?  American Family Physician. Nov 15 2010;82(10):1167,  PMID 21121526

Lucan SC. Patients eat food, not food categories or constituents. American Family Physician. Jan 15 2011;83(2):107-108, PMID 21243984

Lucan SC. Which "placebo effect"? (and why it matters). Family Medicine. Feb 2011;43(2):125,  PMID 21305431

Lucan SC. Lower CVD mortality and alcohol: Is it what’s in the drinks? Or something else? BMJ, May 28, 2011

Lucan SC. Fruit-and-vegetable consumption may not be “inadequate”. American Journal of Public Health, Aug 16, 2012, PMID 22897535

Lucan SC. That it’s red? Or what it’s fed/how it’s bred? The risk of meat, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012 Aug;96(2):446, PMID 22821371

Lucan SC, Gustafson A, Jilcott Pitts SB. The concept of "rural food deserts" is still meaningful. Childhood Obesity. Oct 2012;8(5):484-485,  PMID 23061503

Lucan SC. Egg on their faces (probably not in their necks); The yolk of the tenuous cholesterol-to-plaque conclusion. Atherosclerosis. Nov 12 2012,  PMID 23182841

Lucan SC. Attempting to reduce sodium intake might do harm and distract from a greater enemy. American Journal of Public Health. Feb 2013;103(2):e3,  PMID 23237159

Lucan SC, Chambers EC. Better measurement needed to move food-environment research forward. Obesity (Silver Spring). Jan 2013;21(1):2-3,  PMID 23401317

Lesser LI, Lucan SC. The ethics of hospital cafeteria food. The virtual mentor : VM. 2013;15(4):299-305,  PMID 23566778 

Lucan SC, DiNicolantonio JJ. Standardizing Portion Sizes May Not Benefit Human or Environmental Health. American Journal of Public Health. Oct 16 2014:e1,  PMID 25320889




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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Block, Room 410
Bronx, NY 10461

Tel: 718.430.3667
Fax: 718.430.8645

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Media Coverage

The Huffington Post published a letter by Dr. Sean Lucan urging parents and schools to work to get healthy foods and healthy-food education into schools.

The New York Times published an op-ed co-written by Dr. Sean Lucan that argues for the consumption of natural foods, rather than packaged foods full of added sugars.

More media coverage