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Anne Needham Thorndike, MD

General internist at Massachusetts General Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her clinical and research interests are in the prevention and treatment of obesity through lifestyle modification.

  • Phone: 617-726-1843
Primary Care
Department of Medicine


  • Heart Center
  • Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Center
Clinical Interests
Metabolic syndrome
Obesity medicine
Lifestyle modification
Smoking cessation
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Education
MD, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Residency, University of Chicago Hospitals
Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
Board Certifications
Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine
Patient Age Group
Accepting New Patients

ResearchDr. Thorndike's current research focuses on population-based approaches that utilize behavioral economics strategies to promote healthy food choices in worksite and community environments.


Selected publications:

  1. Thorndike AN, Sonnenberg L, Riis J, Barraclough S, Levy DE. A 2-phase labeling and choice architecture intervention to improve healthy food and beverage choices. American Journal of Public Health. 2012:102:527-533. PMCID: PMC3329221.
  2. Levy DE, Riis J, Sonnenberg LM, Barraclough SJ, Thorndike AN. Food choices of minority and low-income employees: a cafeteria intervention. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2012;43:240-248. PMCID: PMC3422505
  3. Thorndike AN, Riis J, Sonnenberg L, Levy DE. Traffic light-light labels and choice architecture: promoting healthy food choices. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2014;46:143-149. PMCID: PMC3911887.

Go with green

“CHOOSE WELL, EAT WELL,” a simple, inexpensive nutrition program launched at the MGH in 2010, has proven successful in encouraging healthier choices at the hospital’s largest cafeteria, the Eat Street Café.

Preventing obesity in the supermarket aisle

A year ago while I was rearranging the beverage display at Compare Supermarket in Chelsea, I thought to myself: “How did I get from medical school to the supermarket aisle?” The complete story is long- too long for this article- but my path from internal medicine residency and primary care practice to community-based research reflects an evolution in my thinking about prevention and health.

Eat right everywhere at the MGH

The success of the Choose Well, Eat Well traffic light labeling program – launched in the MGH Eat Street Café in 2010 – recently earned the hospital a grant from the Donaghue Foundation to expand the program to reach all patients and visitors.

Color-coding, rearranging food products improves healthy choices in hospital cafeteria

A simple program involving color-coded food labeling and adjusting the way food items are positioned in display cases was successful in encouraging more healthful food choices in a large hospital cafeteria.

"Traffic light" food labels, prominent positioning of healthy items produce lasting purchase choice changes

The use of color-coded "traffic light" food labels and changes in the way popular items are displayed appear to have produced a long-term increase in the choice of more healthful food items among customers in a large hospital cafeteria.

One Hawthorne Place
Suite 111
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-1843
Fax: 617-726-2203

One Hawthorne Place
Suite 111
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-1843
Fax: 617-726-2203

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