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Hanna Wellish '12, a student in the JBS Environmental Health and Justice Program, creates a short video about the students' work with Worcester Roots.

Food, Lifestyle and Health

students cooking

At a Glance

Program Overview

Through hands-on inquiry into the science of nutrition and the current health care system, students will delve into the diabetes epidemic as an embodiment of various social, biological, behavioral, and environmental factors.  The journey into this multi-dimensional and timely public health issue will span biological, social, historical, economic, nutritional, health and policy domains.  What is the connection between food and health? In what ways is obesity closely linked to type 2 diabetes? What exactly is diabetes and what is its socioeconomic impact? How have we as a society responded to this growing public health issue? What are the policy implications and how do we understand them?  What are some effective strategies for combating this growing health concern at the individual level?  At the level of social and health policy?

Exploration will entail additional inquiry through weekly hands-on food labs where students will participate in menu planning, food selection, cooking, as well as food sampling.  Students will learn the physiology of how diet and exercise can curb the rising prevalence of diabetes and the role of prevention in the care of chronic health conditions.  

Through the lens of diabetes, students will explore the health care landscape more broadly and gain insight into the current health care system and how it addresses citizen's healthcare issues.  Students will contemplate continuity, change, and complexity to consider how systems of health care delivery are situated within a context of local, national, and global inequalities and struggles for justice.

Students will also visit health care facilities across the greater Boston area that are working to address diabetes. Throughout students will gain knowledge and skills applicable to a wide array of present health and health care issues preparing them for a career in the contemporary health care sector.