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Message From The Chair

Donna Ferriero, MD, MS

Donna Ferriero, MD, MS

For more than 100 years, our department has distinguished itself in educating the next generation of physicians, delivering excellent clinical care to young patients, and constantly improving treatment options through biomedical research.

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Andrea Garber, PhD, RD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Contact Info

Box 0503

3333 California St.,Suite 245

San Francisco, CA 94143

Phone: : (415) 514-2180

Fax:  (415) 476-6106



  • 1992. University of Wisconsin Madison, Nutrition B.S.                 
  • 1999, University of Wisconsin Madison, Clinical Nutrition, Ph.D.            
  • 2000, University of California San Francisco, Registered Dietitian, R.D.          

Clinical Expertise

  • Eating Disorders
  • Obesity 

Research Interests

  • Clinical interventions for obesity treatment
  • Eating disorders treatment
  • Refeeding in anorexia nervosa
  • Menu labeling policy
  • Fast food

UCSF Program Affiliations

  • Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health (“WATCH”) Program
  • Adolescent and Young Adult Eating Disorders Program
  • Center for Obesity Assessment, Study and Treatment (COAST)



Dr. Garber is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), with a joint appointment in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). She is a nutritionist, with a PhD in Human and Clinical Nutrition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Registered Dietitian (RD) from UCSF. She is the Chief Nutritionist for the UCSF Eating Disorders Program and Childhood Obesity (“WATCH”) Program. Dr. Garber is a theme director for nutrition in the School of Medicine curriculum at UCSF. Her research focuses on obesity and eating disorders. She is currently the Principal Investigator on a study of adolescents with anorexia nervosa and a study of California’s menu labeling legislation in fast food restaurants. In the community, Dr. Garber has been a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Childhood Obesity Task Force, co-Chair of the Mayor’s Shape Up initiative, and an invited participant to Governor Schwarzenegger’s Obesity Summit.


Current Research

Dr. Garber is the Principal Investigator on an eating disorders study funded by the NIH through the Clinical Translational Research Institute at UCSF. Co-Investigators on this project, now in its 9th year, include Drs. Moscicki, Shafer and Buckelew. The study investigates feeding protocols in patients who are hospitalized due to complications from malnutrition. The current recommendations for refeeding call for starting with a lower calorie diet and advancing slowly to avoid refeeding shifts (electrolyte imbalances). The first published findings from this study demonstrated these recommendations are too conservative. Study subjects were initially losing weight in the hospital and not gaining significant weight until 8 days in the hospital. A second examination is underway to compare these lower calorie diets to higher calorie diets. Preliminary findings indicate that higher calorie diets are safe, effective and well-tolerated with selective electrolyte (phosphate) replacement. Future investigations will focus on optimal diet composition to safely maximize nutritional recovery. 

Dr. Garber’s other research program is in menu labeling, examining the effects of legislation passed in California and pending federally. This work is being done is collaboration with Dr. Julie Downs at Carnegie Mellon University. Menu labeling legislation aims to curb obesity by requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information. However, recent studies show that customers don’t order fewer calories on average in response to the information. Drs. Garber and Downs investigated such behavior among adolescents in a 2009 study funded by the National Science Foundation. Indeed, preliminary findings indicate that adolescents living in poorer neighborhoods may forego calorie information to get more for their money. Their current work focuses on changes in industry behavior, such as changes in menus to feature lower calorie items.   

Recent Publications (PubMed)

Last updated 02-19-2015