Food Insecurity and Obesity: Why are They Common Bedfellows?^
^Sustainable Food Systems Track course
Instructor: Dr. Sharon Akabas
Fulfills requirement: Nutrition and Health/Hunger (NHH) OR Case Study (CS)
Dates: May 8, 15, 22, 29, June 5 (Module 4, 5 sessions)
Time: 6:10 – 8:10 PM
Room location: Schermerhorn Extension 652
Course number: ENVB 0425 N
Call number: 68454
Food insecurity is defined at the federal level in the United States as “a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.” In New York City, at least one in ten residents is food insecure (e.g., in Staten Island), and in some boroughs the rate is one in five (e.g., in Brooklyn). Coexisting nationally with these high rates of food insecurity are rising rates of overweight and obesity. This course will examine the common etiologic factors to the current rates of food insecurity and obesity. It will also examine how a food system that is more sustainable can also lead to a reduction in food insecurity and obesity, and lower carbon and water imprints of our food system.
About the Instructor
Dr. Sharon Akabas is the Director of the MS Program in Nutrition and Associate Director for Educational Initiatives at the Columbia University Medical Center Institute of Human Nutrition. Dr. Akabas’ primary interests are in education of health professionals about the importance of nutrition as a modality in disease prevention and treatment. She works with professionals from almost all healthcare sectors to develop programs and curricula that focus on childhood obesity. These collaborations include organizing symposia for practicing health care professionals, working with community groups to develop obesity prevention programs, and working with a wide range of groups to identify, understand, and lessen bias towards overweight children and adults.