I am a medical sociologist in the Health Behaviours team, focusing on the relationship between obesity, stigma, and public perceptions. I have a PhD in sociology from the University of Cambridge, where my research focused on the relationship between disease visibility and social visibility in the lives of people affected by vitiligo or alkaptonuria (AKU) in the US. I am currently working on a project that addresses the reluctance that GPs often feel to discuss weight with patients in clinical settings, and the responses that patients typically give during those discussions.
I am interested in the political model of obesity, and how it often directly opposes the medical model by rejecting any correlations between obesity and poor health outcomes. I am also interested in how obesity is framed by the media, and the ways in which a re-framing of obesity could decrease stigma by shifting blame away from the individual and towards the various known socio-economic causes of it (i.e. food poverty). In addition, I am interested in how neoliberalism and austerity measures have contributed to the rise of obesity in the UK, and how they are often overlooked by those who favour the "personal responsibility" model which centres the individual as morally culpable and wholly responsible for their condition.