Dr. Sacks is Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in the Nutrition Department of Harvard Chan School of Public Health; Professor of Genetics & Complexes Diseases; and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sacks led the panel designing the DASH Study, which crafted a healthful eating pattern and demonstrated that it lowered blood pressure more effectively than any previous dietary treatment. Subsequently Dr. Sacks led the DASH-Sodium study, which determined the dose-response effect of dietary sodium on BP. These multi-center National Heart Lung and Blood Institute trials found major beneficial additive effects of low salt and a dietary pattern rich in fruits and vegetables on blood pressure. Dr. Sacks was Co-Chair of the OmniHeart Trial that found that variations of the DASH diet that are higher in protein or unsaturated fat and lower in carbohydrate further improved blood pressure and lipid risk factors.
He also led the seminal PoundsLost trial which showed the percentage of calories from fat or carbohydrate had no effect on long term weight loss. Dr. Sacks led the OmniCarb trial, which studied the effects of glycemic index and load on cardiovascular risk factors. Currently, he is co-investigator of the MIND study, a randomized trial of a diet that combines features of the Mediterranean and DASH diets to preserve cognition in older people, funded by the National Institute on Aging.