Public Engagement

General Public

Fat Studies: Bodies, Culture, Health

Monday, June 16, 2014 at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang College 65 West 11th Street Room B500, New York, NY 10011

The CDC has identified obesity as a serious public health problem for both children and adults in the U.S. The causes of obesity are myriad and complex. And the more we learn about the science of how our bodies burn fuel, convert excess fuel to fat, and what that fat can contribute to health problems, the more we challenge old ideas. Calories in = energy used is no longer a simple formula.

The more we learn about the connection between obesity and health, the more we understand that it is not food alone that contributes to the problem. The concept of an “obesity epidemic,” prevalent in public debates, is quite complex not only from a public health point of view, but also in terms of cultural and social issues. How did this discourse develop and how does it influence policy decisions at the local and national level? What is the impact of popular and visual culture? What are the implications from a psychological point of view? What initiatives can be effective in helping individuals to establish a healthy and constructive relation to food and their body image?

Moderated by Fabio Parasecoli, Coordinator of Food Studies, will explore new approaches to these issues.

Panelists include:

 - Lisa Rubin, associate professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research 

 - Leah Sweet assistant professor of Art History at Parsons The New School for Design

 - Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, assistant professor of History and Co-founder, Healthclass2.0

 - Christine C. Caruso, assistant professor at Touro College of Pharmacy. 

Sponsored by the Food Studies Program at the New School for Public Engagement in collaboration with in collaboration with the SoFAB Institute as a part of the Culinaria Query and Lecture Series.

Image: Cindy Baker, Personal Appearance, 2008-2012

Event Type

Lectures and Panel Discussions


General Public


Schools of Public Engagement, The New School for Social Research, Parsons School of Design


Food Studies, Health, Wellness and Therapy, Social Sciences



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By Train:
The 4, 5, 6, N, R, Q and L to 14th St./Union Square.
The A, C and E to 14th St. and 8th Ave.
The 1, 2 and 3 to 14th St. and 7th Ave.
The F and M to 14th St. and 6th Ave.
PATH train to 14th St. and 6th Ave.