Speaker: Jesse Jones-Smith; Associate Professor, UW Health Services and Nutritional Sciences Program
Lecture Summary: Prevention of childhood obesity is a public health priority, but one that has proven exceedingly difficult. Increasingly, approaches aimed at the structural causes of childhood obesity are being considered. Low family income and community resources are risk factors that may in fact be structural causes of obesity. In this lecture, I will present my research that uses natural experiment approaches to explore what happens to childhood obesity risk when families and communities experience a change in their economic resources.
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.