Public Health/Nutrition
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Interdisciplinarity & Health: 10 Posts to Celebrate National Public Health Week

NPHW 2014 runs April 7-11, but the work of public health continues far beyond that.

NPHW 2014 runs April 7-11, but the work of public health continues far beyond that.

During April’s first full week each year, the American Public Health Association celebrates National Public Health Week, a time to bring together communities from sea to shining sea to focus on the contributions and aspirations of public health. National Public Health Week 2014 focuses on the following themes:

  • Be healthy from the start. From maternal health and school nutrition to emergency preparedness, public health starts at home.
  • Don’t panic. Disaster preparedness starts with community-wide commitment and action.
  • Get out ahead. Prevention is now a nationwide priority. Let us show you where you fit in.
  • Eat well. The system that keeps our nation’s food safe and healthy is complex.
  • Be the healthiest nation in one generation. Best practices for community health come from around the globe.

In celebration of all that public health is, does, and can do, I offer up these ten previously published posts on the theme of health:

Featured in a 1909 spread, this image created a villainous image of "Typhoid Mary," cracking skulls into a skillet.

1. Typhoid Mary: Public Health Menace or Plucky Bad Ass?

Commonly known as “Typhoid Mary,” Mary Mallon was incarcerated for a total of 26 years in isolation on North Brother Island for unknowingly spreading typhoid through her cooking. Her story reveals the ways in which society and medicine shape one another and how we each, as public health citizens, view and respond to disease.


Studious_Featured2. “Graduate School Will Kill You” and Other 18th Century Health Advice for the Studious

William Buchan’s 18th century domestic medicine manual includes a host of recommendations for “the studious,” which ring as true today as they did 250 years ago, at least to those who spend the majority of the work day sitting…


Hippie Eating3. Before You Set a New Year’s Resolution, Read Eating Right in America

Revealing how the dietary advice of four 20th century dietary reform movements promotes more than nutrients alone, Charlotte Biltekoff’s Eating Right in America: The Cultural Politics of Food and Health is an important resource for those in public health and dietetics to consider the broader cultural and social influence of nutrition science.


Fresh Fruit Broken Bodies Image4. Review: Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies Astutely Addresses Structural Solutions

In this engrossing ethnography, medical anthropologist and physician, Seth M. Holmes (who is Assistant Professor at my alma mater, UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health) reveals through poignant thick description the life experiences, structural inputs, and health outcomes of Triqui migrant farmworkers.


Taft Horse5. Presidential Obesity: Taft, Bathtubs, and the Medicalization of Corpulence

In the article, “Corpulence and Correspondence: President William H. Taft and the Medical Management of Obesity,” Providence College’s Deborah Levine analyzes letters in which the 27th president of the United States corresponded with Dr. Nathaniel E. Yorke-Davies, an English diet expert, chronicling Taft’s efforts to lose weight while in the harsh spotlight of American politics and popular culture.


Emily Public Health6. The Ins & Outs, Highs & Lows of Public Health Nutrition

This post summarizes reflections on my own public health education and professional experience in worksite wellness.



Books and Apples7. Talk to Me Baby! Encouraging Dialogue between Nutrition Science and Food Studies

Now is an exciting time for all things food, a time when much change is afoot. One such development is an open door for translational, interdisciplinary, and cooperative research between food studies and nutrition science.


Vegetables8. Meat is Bad and The World is Flat: Thoughts from the Critical Nutrition Symposium

The 2013 Critical Nutrition Symposium critically examined what is missing from conventional nutrition science research and practice, discussed why it matters, and brainstormed how to move forward in an informed and balanced way.


Food Blog9. No Room for Debate: The World of Food is Full of Women

Written after the final presidential debate in October 2012, this post examines how women have made (and are making) their mark in the world of food, as food producers, consumers, and change-makers.


Image from: Which Came First: The Fear of Cholesterol or the Egg?

While the health-related reputation of eggs has oscillated over the course of the 20th century, moderation is a long-lasting and resilient recommendation for good health and a delicious diet.


Beyond reading these ten posts, you can participate in National Public Health Week from anywhere by:

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