University of Washington School of Public Health

Strategic Faculty Hires

Obesity, Food, Physical Activity, and Health

The chronic disease of obesity is now a top public health issue. About two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, with the disease burden falling disproportionately on disadvantaged minorities and groups. The consequences on health and the associated medical, social, economic, and psychological costs require speedy and effective solutions. Both diet and physical activity play important roles. An understanding of food issues requires a multidisciplinary approach, ranging from diet and nutrition to agricultural economics to the sociology and anthropology of food. An understanding of physical activity also requires a multidisciplinary approach, ranging from the design of buildings, neighborhoods, and cities, to the economic and social factors that determine health behaviors.  And since both diet and physical activity have implications beyond public health, ranging from environmental impacts to social equity, a broad, systems approach is required.

Opportunities to build on the work currently being done at the university, within SPH, and in communities: 

Advancing the area of obesity, physical activity, the built environment, and food requires expertise in a range of disciplines from epidemiology to psychology, from urban planning to agricultural economics.  This area will benefit from broad collaborations across the University and externally; advancing knowledge through research; and applying knowledge to practice through engagement in Seattle, the region, nationally, and/or globally.

If you have questions about the obesity, food, physical activity and health faculty position, please contact the chair of the committee, Professor Andrew Dannenberg or Professor Glen Duncan

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