PSY Speaker Series welcomes Janell Mensinger, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Nova Southeastern University

April 11, 2024 12:45 PM-1:50 PM

The Union College Psychology Department Speaker Series and Honors Colloquium welcome Janell Mensinger, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Nova Southeastern University for a public lecture entitled "New solutions for the unintended consequences of the ‘War on Obesity’: Why it is time to retire the BMI as a marker of health"

For the past 3 decades, billions of dollars have been spent in effort to fight the “obesity” epidemic. Consequently, we have witnessed increasing medical weight loss “solutions” during the 21st century. Yet, epidemiological data show simultaneously increasing rates of people with body mass index (BMI) considered “too high.” Eating disorders, once considered a rare diagnosis among privileged young, white women living in Western cultures, have also exploded across gender, race, age, class, and cultural lines. Our latest sample (N=1060) collected in February and March 2024 by first-year graduate students (29%) and their adult family and friends (71%) showed 46% reported clinically significant disordered eating. Perhaps we should not be shocked over these sobering rates of eating dysfunction and body distress. We live in a culture consumed with the latest methods to achieve health through reducing the “body habitus.” Nevertheless, eating disorder rates continue to climb, and they have among the highest mortality rates of all psychiatric diagnoses. This presentation will discuss the need for a weight-neutral perspective to health. I will propose a potential new metric for holistic well-being. With the advent of smartphone technology, capturing this metric is now almost as simple as stepping on your bathroom scale.


KARP 105

807 Union Street
Schenectady, NY 12308