Professor Melvin Delgado Authors Social Justice and the Urban Obesity Crisis: Implications for Social Work

in Faculty, SSW News Releases
July 3rd, 2013

Melvin Delgado, professor and chair of Macro Practice at BUSSW, recently authored the book Social Justice and the Urban Obesity Crisis: Implications for Social Work. In his new book, Dr. Delgado focuses on urban obesity in populations of color—among the hardest hit in the United States—and dissects the issue from individual, family, group, community, and policy perspectives. After an overview surveying the history of urban obesity in communities of color, anti-obesity policies and programs, and the role of social work in addressing this threat, Dr. Delgado moves through the social, ecological, environmental, and spatial aggravators of urban obesity, such as the food industry’s nefarious advertising strategies, which promote unhealthy choices and behaviors; the failure of local markets to provide good food options; the lack of safe spaces in which to exercise; and the paucity of health education. He analyzes recent, national statistics in terms of obesity among various groups; explores the connection between food stamps and obesity; and reveals the financial and social consequences of this issue for society as a whole. Dr. Delgado concludes with recommendations for effective health promotion programs, such as youth-focused interventions, community gardens, and community-based food initiatives, and a unique consideration of urban obesity in relation to acts of genocide and the integrity of national defense.