Date(s) - January 29, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
LSC 382, Lory Student Center
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Why are women more likely to be obese than men?
Insights from a study of health in transition in the South Pacific
Obesity emerged as a global public health issue over three decades ago, largely blamed on social and economic transitions that contributed to ubiquity of high-calorie diets and sedentary lifestyles. These sociobehavioral risk factors do not explain, however, the near-universal pattern of greater obesity prevalence in women as compared to men. This talk will examine the obesity disparity between men and women in Vanuatu, a rapidly developing Pacific Island nation. Of particular focus is how changing socioeconomic environments contribute to changes in diet, physical activity, and particularly chronic stress, and how differences in experience of chronic stress may shape the male/female obesity disparity in Vanuatu.
About the Speaker
Kathryn Olszowy is a biological anthropologist who studies how evolution, culture, and the environment shape chronic disease risk in human populations. Her field research is centered in the Republic of Vanuatu, a low-income country in the South Pacific undergoing rapid social, demographic, and epidemiological change. Dr. Olszowy’s work on obesity in Vanuatu has been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and has appeared in peer-reviewed outlets including the American Journal of Human Biology.