Traci Mann, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
University of Minnesota
Traci Mann grew up in Highland Park, Illinois, and went to college at the University of Virginia, where she thought she would become a mathematician or engineer. She abandoned those plans after taking her first psychology course, and went on to attain her Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University in 1995. She was a professor at UCLA for nine years before moving to the University of Minnesota and founding the Health and Eating Lab. Her research has been funded by the NIH, the USDA, and NASA, and is published in dozens of scholarly journals. She has received teaching awards at Stanford, UCLA, and the University of Minnesota, is the president of the Social Personality and Health (SPH) Network, and is an elected fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, The Society for Experimental Social Psychology, and the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Mann is uniquely qualified to provide the real truth about dieting, eating, obesity, and self-control. She is a widely cited expert, but she does not run a diet clinic or test diets, and she has never taken a penny from commercial diet companies, sat on their boards of directors, or endorsed one of their products. Because of this, her livelihood, research funding, and reputation are not dependent on her reporting that diets work or that obesity is unhealthy. This sets her apart from nearly all diet and obesity researchers and allows her to speak the truth about these topics, which she does with abandon.
She lives with her husband, Stephen Engel (who is also a professor at the University of Minnesota), and two Engelmann boys, in Edina, Minnesota.