Dr. Scharffenberg was born in Shanghai, China in 1923. He graduated from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1948 and from Harvard’s School of Public Health (MPH) in 1956. He served as the nutritionist on the secretariat of the Interdepartmental Committee of Nutrition for National Defense at the National Institutes of Health, and has been a Professor of Nutrition at Loma Linda University for 63 years. He has also been a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA on infectious diseases. He has been director of the San Bernardino, California Health Department and the director of the International Nutrition Research Foundation in Riverside, California.
Despite his being "retired" he continues to speak passionately about nutrition and the Adventist Health Message. His online interviews have reached millions of viewers.