Campus News

UNC nutrition expert Barry Popkin to deliver Ramsey Lecture April 27

UNC nutrition expert Barry Popkin to deliver Ramsey Lecture April 27

Athens, Ga. – Nationally recognized expert on nutrition Barry Popkin will discuss how shifts in dietary intake and physical activity patterns have contributed to a world-wide obesity epidemic in the Ramsey Lecture Series on Monday, April 27 at 4 p.m. in Room S150 of the Lamar Dodd School of Art Building.

Popkin, a Distinguished Professor of Global Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will deliver a lecture titled, “The World is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies and Products That are Fattening the Human Race.”

In his recently published book by the same title, Popkin identifies familiar culprits (nutrient-poor, sugar-rich foods; larger serving sizes and less exercise)-but also introduces fresh research to demonstrate how our drinking habits have contributed to the problem. He follows the expanding waistlines of four families in the United States, Mexico and India to argue that obesity is less a result of gluttony and sloth than a confluence of factors rooted in a fundamental conflict between human biology and modern society, where more calories are consumed than expended, and governments and multinational corporations shape everyday lives. A detailed section traces the growth of modern food and beverage conglomerates.

Popkin is director of the division of nutrition epidemiology at UNC’s School of Public Health. His research focuses on dynamic changes in diet, physical activity and inactivity, and body composition. Much of his work in nutrition transition studies the rapid changes in obesity. His work and influence is responsible for program and policy options for change.

Popkin is involved in research around the world. He has an active U.S. program in understanding dietary behavior with a focus on eating patterns, trends and socio-demographic determinants. This includes involvement in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a study of environmental determinants of physical activity and inactivity patterns and obesity among 20,000 U.S. adolescents examined in 1995, 1996 and 2001. His work also includes detailed longitudinal studies that he directs in China and Russia, and involvement with longitudinal studies in the Philippines, as well as related work in Brazil and several other countries.

Popkin has a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University and serves on several scientific advisory organizations including as chair of the Nutrition Transition Committee for the International Union for the Nutritional Sciences. He has published more than 215 journal articles along with other book chapters, and books.

This event is part of the Ramsey Lecture Series and is hosted by the College of Education’s department of kinesiology. The Lamar Dodd Art School Building is located at 270 River Road. The lecture will be preceded by a reception in the lobby at 3:30 p.m. Parking will be available in the East Campus deck.