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Dec. 8, 2022

221 Why Fitness is a Social Justice Issue with Natalia Mehlman Petrzela

221 Why Fitness is a Social Justice Issue with Natalia Mehlman Petrzela

Here in the United States we have an obsession with exercise, at the same time that we have an obesity epidemic. People are often judged based on whether or not, and how much, they exercise. And yet, there are systems and structures in place that make...


Here in the United States we have an obsession with exercise, at the same time that we have an obesity epidemic. People are often judged based on whether or not, and how much, they exercise. And yet, there are systems and structures in place that make it difficult for so many people to incorporate regular exercise into their lives. My guest today, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, has a new book out that takes a look at this issue and makes recommendations for what we can do to make positive changes in our society that will improve our overall health and life satisfaction. In today’s episode, Natalia talks about:

  • Some of the structural impediments that make it difficult for so many to maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • The connections between socioeconomic status and exercise
  • The rise of labor-saving products and the increase in the sedentary lifestyle
  • The relationship between race and fitness
  • The changing views of fitness in the US
  • How a “suburban housewife” sounded the alarm about a growing health crisis and got the ear of President Eisenhower
  • Why fitness is a social justice issue

To learn more about and follow Natalia Mehlman Petrzela:

www.nataliapetrzela.com
www.amazon.com/Fit-Nation-Americas-Exercise-Obsession/dp/022665110X
www.instagram.com/nataliapetrzela
https://www.facebook.com/nataliapetrzela/
twitter.com/nataliapetrzela


About Natalia Mehlman Petrzela

Natalia Mehlman Petrzela is a historian of contemporary American politics and culture. She is the author of CLASSROOM WARS: Language, Sex, and the Making of Modern Political Culture (Oxford University Press, 2015), and FIT NATION: The Gains and Pains of America’s Exercise Obsession (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming Jan 2023). She is co-producer and host of the acclaimed podcast WELCOME TO YOUR FANTASY, from Pineapple Street Studios/Gimlet and the co-host of PAST PRESENT podcast. She is a columnist at the Observer, and a frequent media guest expert, public speaker, and contributor to outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and the Atlantic.

Natalia is Associate Professor of History at The New School, co-founder of the wellness education program Healthclass 2.0, and a Premiere Leader of the mind-body practice intenSati.cHer work has been supported by the Spencer, Whiting, Rockefeller, and Mellon Foundations. She holds a B.A. from Columbia and a Ph.D. from Stanford and lives with her husband and two children in New York City.

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