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India, HIV, and Stigma Marsala

Chennai (Madras) in Southern India has long been a hot spot for HIV, but rates of new infection there (as in elsewhere in India) have thankfully been going down. Public education and associated outreach like prenatal care seems key to much of that reduction in the last decade. Yet, currently more […]

Food insecurity, depression, and 20-20 hindsight

In a university has large and diverse as some cities, health disparities emerge on campus communities just as they do off campus. I have had the privilege over the last few years to be a collaborator on a large study of diet, exercise,and friendship among undergraduates on the Arizona State […]

Shit shame? Addressing open air defecation in Mozambique

Climate problems may not be the top priority of the incoming US administration. But their effects are pretty darn obvious in places like Paquetequete neighborhood, in northern Mozambique, where the effects of draught, flooding, cyclones, pollution, and disease fully collide.  I just got back from a fascinating visit to this and […]

The Global Heart-ache of (In)fertility

The statistics say that at any time some 1.5 million married women in the US are struggling with infertility (technically failure to get pregnant after a year of regular unprotected sex). As someone who wrote a dissertation on infertility decades ago, I have had many different stories shared with me over […]

The Cutting Edge of Weight Stigma Research

Last weekend I holed up with top scholars who study weight stigma — in lovely B and B in central Vancouver where O’Canada was penned, amid glorious spring weather. The happy group consisted of two sociologists (Ellen Granberg, Deborah Carr), four psychologists (Janet Tomiyama, Brenda Major, Gina Sutin, and Eric Robinson) […]

Slum tourism, empathy, and study abroad

At Emoya Estate in Bloemfontein, South Africa, visitors can experience what it is to live in a local village — heating your own water over a fire and using “a long drop effect” outside toilet. The corrugated iron chalets may look like poor people live in them, but they are carefully […]

Fear of Flying

I am currently on a long-haul flight ON business. But not IN business. (I work at a public university, after all.) Accordingly, my 20 hour trip was spent mostly in a 16.5 inch wide seat. But I am NOT complaining. It gives me a physical way to reflect on some […]

Breast Cancer, He-roes, and the Downsides of Pink Culture

My grandmother Venecie May died of breast cancer in 1945 at the age 41, leaving behind 5 very sad and confused children. The details of her illness were only whispered around them — a dreadful, embarrassing thing. So vague were those conversations that I didn’t learn what had killed her until […]

Fat Stigma: The View from my Office Window

My office windows look out across the two main campus pedestrian malls of the largest and most diverse research university in the US. Every day, thousands upon thousands of people of all shapes and sizes stroll past. With more than 85,000 immersion students, the university population exceeds that of some small countries (including […]