Speaker: Speaker: Edmund Seto, MS, PhD; Associate Professor, UW Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences
Lecture Summary: Numerous studies have examined the association between the built environment and risk factors for obesity. In particular, exposures to different food environments have been found to be associated with various aspects of diet. One methodological challenge in these studies is the accurate assessment of exposures to different food environments not only within the subject's neighborhood, but all places the individual spends time. Additionally, dietary assessment based on questionnaires, diaries, or recall each have limitations. Recently, the use of personal computing technologies, such as smartphones, has shown promise in potentially solving both of these methodological challenges. In this talk, Dr. Seto describes a study in which smartphones were used to video-record study participants' meals, and the phone's GPS and Google Places were used to assess exposure to the food environment.
About the Winter Seminar Series: Food equity, defined as access to safe, affordable, and nutritious foods, is increasingly being viewed as a basic human right. While access to healthy foods can be compromised by war and conflict, geography and climate change, it can also be affected by inequities in socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, education, and income and for groups that are low income, elderly, or chronically ill. Diet quality, weight status, and even life expectancy are determined by where people live because their food environment defines how—and where—they get their food. Locally within Seattle and King County, sharp disparities in diet quality and health have been observed. The rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases and the role of the environment, as well as health equity and social justice, are themes that the UW Population Health Initiative are addressing and each is connected to foods and nutrition. The Winter 2017 Seminar will address all of these issues directly, drawing on population health experts from within and outside the UW. The seminar is open to all UW faculty, staff, and students.