Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP is a dual board-certified pediatrician and obesity medicine physician and registered dietitian. She practices general pediatrics at Children’s Primary Care Medical Group where she also leads a healthy weight clinic called the W.E.L.L. Clinic. In addition, she is the Senior Advisor for Healthcare Solutions for the American Council on Exercise and a member of the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Obesity. She is the author of five books including the soon-to-be-released The Picky Eater Project: 6 Weeks to Happier, Healthier Family Mealtimes, authored with Sally Sampson of ChopChop Magazine and published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Muth graduated from UCLA with majors in psychology and physiological sciences with college honors, summa cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a Master of Public Health in nutrition at University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill completing her master thesis on childhood obesity screening in schools based on her work at the CDC’s Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity. She graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine where she was awarded the Davis Pediatric Student Scholar, recognition given to the most promising medical student planning to specialize in pediatrics. She completed her training in pediatrics at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital in the Community Health and Advocacy Training track.
Title: Pediatrician, COI Private Sector Co-Chair
When did you know that you wanted to become a physician?
As a college student I became extremely interested in human health, nutrition, exercise, and the incredible privilege and opportunity that medicine offers to be able to make a positive impact on people’s lives and health.
How did you become involved in the COI?
I first learned about the COI several years ago. A cutting edge, multi-sector initiative, its mission to optimize kids’ health through collaboration and community-level changes inspired me and I couldn’t wait to be involved. In 2012, I joined the healthcare and media domains. In 2015 I was thrilled when the opportunity to serve as co-chair opened up and that my medical group, Children’s Primary Care Medical Group, supported me in serving in this capacity. I’m grateful to be involved with the COI and the exciting work of helping the County of San Diego be the healthiest place to raise kids by pushing an agenda to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Why do you stay involved with the COI?
The COI is a great model of collective impact and how working together across domains can help to achieve our shared mission of preventing and reducing childhood obesity and improving kids’ health. I am committed to helping all children have the opportunity to eat healthfully, be active, and thrive. I think that the COI is a powerful entity which helps us to make that ideal possible for more kids.
What do you love about of your job?
My favorite part of being a pediatrician is getting to know the kids and families that come to my office. I love watching them grow and develop and I also like serving as kind of a coach for parents who are on this most incredible adventure of parenting. I love that as part of the COI I can advocate for changes that will positively impact my patients in the communities where they live, learn, and play.
What are three words that describe you?
Passionate, Persistent, Caring
What is your favorite place in San Diego?
Moonlight Beach in Encinitas
What do you do for fun?
Hang out with my kids and husband doing anything active.
Travel. We especially love National Parks.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I am most proud of my two kids. I love being their mom and all of the fun (and challenges) that come along with that.
What are your three greatest passions?
I am passionate about promoting (and practicing) health through nutrition, physical activity, and healthful behavior changes in fun, innovative, and (hopefully effective) ways. My mission is to help create and support environments that make the healthy choice the easy (and fun!) choice.
I am passionate about pursuing new adventures and experiences with my family and learning new lessons from each of them along the way.
I am passionate about pediatrics and the incredible and rewarding privilege it offers me to help kids (and their families) thrive.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
As a kid I really struggled to eat healthfully and be active and was affected by childhood obesity. I had a few turning points, but the most significant one was when my mom and I hiked down and out of the Grand Canyon when I was a junior in high school. We weren’t sure if we could do it, but at the end of the day, we made it! It was from that experience that I was convinced of the power of prevention, especially physical activity and nutrition, to optimize physical and mental health.