Putting the culture back into acculturation: Towards a synthesis of cognitive anthropology and population health

Craig Hadley
Date and Time: 
Friday, March 8, 2013 - 2:15pm

Department of Anthropology
Main Quad - Building 50
Room 51A (Colloquium Room)

The increase in food prices in 2008 and 2011 led to renewed interest in the relationship between food prices and wellbeing. Scholars from multiple disciplines have brought their various methodological approaches to the question of whether high food prices negatively impact on wellbeing. Surprisingly the results of these studies have been quite mixed. In this talk, I add to existing studies, which are based on simulations and self-reported data, by exploring the relationship between food prices and women’s body mass index among a sample of ~1.5 million low-income women from 58 different countries. I use these data to test a variety of hypotheses found in the literature about the relationship between poverty, food prices, urban dwellers, and the degree to which individuals are net food consumers.


Craig Hadley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Emory University. His research centers on the social and cultural production of health and is at the intersection of anthropological demography, population studies, public health nutrition, and population health. He is interested in issues of food insecurity and how uncertain and unpredictable household environments influence physical and mental wellbeing across the life course and across generations. This interest is motivated by the observations that food insecurity and hunger are increasing in many parts of the world, that 850 million people go to bed hungry each night, and hunger kills more people than HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, combined. Recent increases in the demand for meat, volatility in regional and local production, and non-food used of grains will all place upward pressure on food prices. This trend will have a dramatic impact on access to food. Understanding the consequences of these changes and the impact of food insecurity on population health motivated much of my research program. With colleagues, he is also examining the occurrence of food insecurity among refugees and immigrants to the US and examining how insecure access to food might generate health disparities. Finally, much of his research also touches on issues of infant and young child feeding practices, and how cultural norms around infant feeding impact on health and demographic outcomes. In Ethiopia and Tanzania he is exploring the potential intergenerational transmission of infant and young child feeding behaviors.

EcoGroup (Anthro 364): Ecology and Environment Winter Colloquium Series