Month: September 2017

Chicago Mayor Commends Collaborative Water Research Projects

Chicago Mayor Commends Collaborative Water Research Projects

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was at the signing of an MOU that outlines ways to increase collaboration between Northwestern University and Ben-Gurion University’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at the at the Water Technology & Environment Control (WATEC) Conference in Israel. The mayor’s comments about interdisciplinary […]

Pica Among Hispanic Women Living in the US

Pica Among Hispanic Women Living in the US

Our article “Pica is prevalent and strongly associated with iron deficiency among Hispanic pregnant women living in the United States” recently published in the journal Appetite. Structured interviews (n=187) were conducted with pregnant Hispanic women living in Salinas Valley, California, during their antenatal care visits; hemoglobin, serum […]

Pica, Parrots, and People – An NPR Articles Discusses Clay Eating

Pica, Parrots, and People – An NPR Articles Discusses Clay Eating

NPR journalist Carolyn Beans recently interviewed Dr. Young about a recent scientific article that documents the geophagic behavior of Amazonian parrots. The authors set out to test the two leading hypotheses about geophagy:

  1. earth is consumed to protect against toxins in the diet (i.e. secondary plant metabolites)
  2. during periods of increased nutritional demand, clay is used as a micronutrient supplement

The authors found that for the majority of parrot species observed, clay eating peaked during breeding season and was unrelated to food availability. They interpreted this to indicate that pica among parrots serves as a means of micronutrient supplementation (nutritional demands for sodium increase among birds during breeding periods). Although the study benefits from a large sample size and long data collection period, Dr. Young warned against mistaking correlation with causation. She also argues that clay analysis is needed in order add plausibility to the authors’ conclusions– we still need to know if the clay being consumed is actually high in sodium, and if parrots preferentially choose clays that richer in sodium.

Check out the full NPR coverage here.

After Nearly a Year Away, Vicky is Back – And Ready to Write Her Dissertation!

After Nearly a Year Away, Vicky is Back – And Ready to Write Her Dissertation!

For 10 productive months, Vicky was in Singida, Tanzania doing work that will ultimately inform her PhD dissertation. As part of the Singida Nutrition and Agro-ecology Project (SNAP), Vicky helped implement two surveys and completed much of the qualitative data collection. She will use data […]

Welcome to the Team, Maggie!

Welcome to the Team, Maggie!

We offer a warm welcome to Margaret Butler, an incoming Ph.D. student at Northwestern University, focusing on biological anthropology and human biology. She is passionate about biocultural approaches to anthropological research concerning human health. Her undergraduate thesis was an exploration of the variables impacting women’s […]