La Salle Psychology Professor Discusses Health Issues


Dr. Edie Goldbacher spoke to a journalism class about healthy eating and obesity.


Dr. Edie Goldbacher, Assistant Professor of Psychology at La Salle University, talked last Thursday about healthy eating. She specializes in eating behavior, weight, and people who have weight or eating problems. Goldbacher also supervises a clinic at La Salle- The Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight Clinic, located on West Campus.

Dr. Goldbacher gave a PowerPoint presentation on such topics as the causes of obesity, such as environmental and behavioral factors. She noted that such environmental factors as availability of food, cost of food and the advertising of food products are all strong forces that could cause people to become obese. Mindless eating and ineffective eating patterns were the two behavioral factors that she claimed can cause obesity. “Genetics loads the gun, the environment pulls the trigger,”  is what Goldbacher credited as the main cause of obesity, meaning genes have a role in the onset of obesity, but a person’s environment is the real factor.

The Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight Clinic was the next topic of Goldbacher’s discussion. Mostly every worker at this clinic is a student-in-training, whom are supervised by Goldbacher.

“We’re really providing an important service to members of the community,”  she claimed. The clinic only serves members of the Germantown community, who are mostly middle-aged African-American women, according to Goldbacher.

The marketing of the clinic is an issue that the University of Pittsburgh alum addressed.

“We could use some help with that. A lot of times it’s word of mouth.”

Goldbacher also brought up the fact that obesity has increased since the 1990s. She also noted that weight bias/discrimination has increased by about 60% over the past decade.

“A lot of people can lose weight, but it’s hard to keep that weight off,” is what she noted towards the end of her discussion.

Supervising the clinic at La Salle and teaching her students is what Goldbacher is passionate about. Hopefully, she can help change the eating habits of some of the local community members.

Related articles about obesity: New York Times and USA Today.


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