Faculty Profile

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

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

Associate Professor, Department of Family and Social Medicine

Areas of Research: Nutrition, Obesity, Diet-related diseases, Food environments, Health Disparities, Public Health, Community Health, Family Medicine

Professional Interests

Sean C. Lucan, MD, MPH, MS 

Dr. Sean Lucan is a practicing family physician in the Bronx, NY treating children and adults in the Montefiore Health System.  He is also an award-winning public-health researcher--at Albert Einstein College of Medicine--who has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and commentaries on food-related issues.  Additionally, Dr. Lucan has co-authored one textbook on nutrition and another on biostatistics, epidemiology, preventive medicine, and public health.

Dr. Lucan earned his MD and MPH degrees at Yale before completing residency training in Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Pennsylvania.  After residency, he completed a fellowship in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, where he earned an MS in Health Policy Research.  Dr. Lucan was a fellow at the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) from 2016 to 2018.

A focus of Dr. Lucan's research is how different aspects of urban food environments influence what people eat, and what the implications are for obesity and chronic diseases, particularly in low-income and minority communities.  Another focus of his work is the critical examination of both clinical guidance and public-health initiatives related to nutrition.

Dr. Lucan was PI on a new-investigator grant from the New York State Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program (“Promoters and barriers to obesity and chronic disease-promoting diets in urban, low-income, minorities”) and PI on a training grant from the Einstein-Montefiore Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (“Translating nutritional knowledge to community dietary practices & improved health: the role of neighborhood food environments”).  He was supported by four consecutive NIH/NIMHD Loan Repayment Program (NIH LRP) contracts for Health Disparities--all projects examined influences on diet in vulnerable communities.  Dr. Lucan is PI on an NIH/NICHD-funded study:  “Local food sources around home and school and adolescent dietary intake.”   

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

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, Maroko AR, Sanon O, Frias R, Schechter CB. Urban farmers' markets: Accessibility, offerings, and produce variety, quality, and price compared to nearby stores. Appetite. Jul 1 2015;90:23-30, PMCID: 4410073.

Lucan SC. Thinking Outside The (Lunch) Box. JAMA. Jan 2016;315(1):27-29, PMCID 4714705.

Lucan SC, Maroko AR, Sanon OC, Schechter CB. Unhealthful Food-and-Beverage Advertising in Subway Stations: Targeted Marketing, Vulnerable Groups, Dietary Intake, and Poor Health. Journal of Urban Health. Mar 07 2017, PMID 28271237

Parsons A, Spurrell-Huss E, Lucan SC. How Health Systems Can Promote Healthier Eating. Annals of Family Medicine. Nov 2017;15(6):583, PMCID: PMC5683874.

Lucan SC, Maroko AR, Seitchik JL, Yoon D, Sperry LE, Schechter CB. Sources of Foods That Are Ready-to-Consume ('Grazing Environments') Versus Requiring Additional Preparation ('Grocery Environments'): Implications for Food-Environment Research and Community Health. Journal of Community Health. Mar 14 2018, PMID 29541958

Lucan SC. When Food Isn’t Medicine - A Challenge for Physicians and Health Systems. Preventive Medicine Reports. Jun 2018;10:62-65, PMCID: PMC6047223.

Ginsburg ZA, Bryan AD, Rubinstein EB, Frankel HJ, Maroko AR, Schechter CB, Cooksey Stowers K, Lucan SC. Unreliable and Difficult-to-Access Food for Those in Need: A Qualitative and Quantitative Study of Urban Food Pantries. Journal of Community Health. Jul 17 2018, PMID 30019196

Lucan SC, Maroko AR, Seitchik JL, Yoon DH, Sperry LE, Schechter CB. Unexpected Neighborhood Sources of Food and Drink: Implications for Research and Community Health. American Journal of Preventive Medicine Aug 2018;55(2):e29-e38, PMCID: PMC6054902.

Lucan SC, Maroko AR, Patel AN, Gjonbalaj I, Abrams C, Rettig S, Elbel B, Schechter CB. Change in an Urban Food Environment: Storefront Sources of Food/Drink Increasing Over Time and Not Limited to Food Stores and Restaurants. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Nov 2018;118(11):2128-2134, PMCID: PMC6204078.

Bryan A, Ginsburg ZA, Rubinstein EB, Frankel HJ, Maroko AR, Schechter CB, Cooksey Stowers K, Lucan SC. Foods and Drinks Available From Urban Food Pantries: Nutritional Quality by Item Type, Sourcing, and Distribution Method. Journal of Community Health. Nov 17 2018, PMID 30448877

Lucan SC, Local Food Sources to Promote Community Nutrition and Health: Storefronts Businesses, Farmers’ Markets, and a Case For Mobile Vending. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Nov 14 2018, PMID 30447973



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 http://bit.ly/IePzn5

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

Lucan SC. Dietary management of hypertension: what works vs. what matters. American Family Physician. Jan 15, 2016; 93(2):84-86

Lucan SC. Lesser LI. In Reply: Foods Containing Saturated Fat: Dietary Limits Are Still Essential. American Family Physician. Mar 2016;93(6):438-442

Lucan SC. Dramatic Decreases In BMI Percentiles; But Valid Conclusions Can Only Come From Valid Analyses. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. Sep 2018;50(8):850, PMID 30077581



Google Scholar - http://goo.gl/DXe6W6

PubMed - http://1.usa.gov/QVmu4E

ResearchGate - http://bit.ly/1fy0Vmh

Doximity - http://bit.ly/1phX4YW

Scopus - http://bit.ly/1R82YhH

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-4447-9709
ResearcherID: B-3815-2009
Scopus Author ID: 6505604148

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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

Research Information

In the News

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