All are invited to the MRC Epidemiology Seminar:
This will be a hybrid seminar.
The in-person event will be held in MRC Epidemiology Unit Meeting Rooms 1&2, Level 3 Institute of Metabolic Science, CB2 0SL. To attend this please register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mrc-epidemiology-unit-seminar-michael-widener-tickets-348092723707.
To join this seminar online please register at https://mrc-epid.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUodeqoqTMsGtYiTljGY6poVlb1eslem7ZM#/registration. After registration you will receive a confirmation email with a link to join the event.
In quantitative health geography, researchers often struggle to incorporate contextual factors that influence health behaviours. This is especially true in studies using GPS data, where human trajectories are described, analyzed, and related to relevant outcomes, but which commonly fail to address the social and environmental mechanisms that impact movements. While it is impossible to fully understand the motivations of individuals, theories exist to support geographers in their use of trajectory data to conduct analyses that better get at relevant underlying mechanisms.
In this talk, Dr Widener will introduce the Food Activities, Socioeconomics, Time-use, and Transportation (FASTT) Study, a project that integrates concepts of time geography with theories from food and health geographies. In March 2019, FASTT collected time-use diaries, GPS trajectory data, and dietary/health questionnaires from partnered-parents in households from two Toronto neighbourhoods – one urban and one suburban. These data are used to explore questions about time pressure and dietary behaviour, the division of food and household labour, and the role of the built environment in food shopping. He will present findings from initial analyses and discuss implications for future work.
Michael J. Widener is a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Transportation and Health at the University of Toronto – St. George. He also serves as the Director of Health Studies at University College, and as an Associate Professor in Geography and Planning, with a cross-appointment in Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Outside of UofT, Dr. Widener serves on various journals’ editorial boards, is a member of CIHR’s College of Reviewers, co-leads the Social and Health Factors Cluster of the Network of European Communication & Transportation Activity Researchers, and co-chairs the Prioritizing Populations theme of the Mobilizing Justice Partnership.
Dr. Widener is a health geographer whose research focuses on how public health affects, and is affected by, movement and transportation systems. His primary project at the moment is an exploration of how time pressure, transportation options, and divisions of household labour impact access to food and dietary behaviours. Additional studies are focused on the links between mobility, mental health, and isolation for older adult populations, and on how advanced geospatial technologies (like GPS) can be used to provide useful insights for public health policy. In the classroom, Dr. Widener teaches courses on geographic information science, mapping health data, and spatial statistics at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
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