Post-COVID solutions to improve health in the US subject of new book by CUNY professor


Public virtual event hosted by the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy brings Dr. Nicholas Freudenberg into conversation with Drs. Marion Nestle and Mary T. Bassett


Credit: Oxford University Press

March 1, 2021 (New York City)–The ways in which the American economic and political systems have failed to protect citizens of all ages and backgrounds–and the opportunities we have as a nation post-Covid to change our policies and processes in order to improve public health for everyone–is the subject of a new book by CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) Distinguished Professor Nicholas Freudenberg.

In AT WHAT COST: Modern Capitalism and the Future of Health (on sale March 16 from Oxford University Press), Dr. Freudenberg argues that the world created by 21st century capitalism is incapable of solving our most serious public health problems, from Covid-19 to climate change to opioid addiction. However, Freudenberg also shows that though the road is steep, human and planetary well-being constitute a powerful mobilizing idea for a new social movement, one that will restore the power of individual and community voice to our democracy.

On Tuesday, March 16, CUNY SPH will host a virtual public event about the ideas in the book, featuring Dr. Freudenberg in conversation with Drs. Marian Nestle (Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University) and Mary Bassett (Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York University). The event is being co-sponsored by the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute (of which Dr. Freudenberg is the director) and Scholars Strategy Network-NYC Chapter , a national network of scholars active in public policy, based at Harvard University. The event will be moderated by CUNY SPH Dean Ayman El-Mohandes.

“Nick Freudenberg’s timely new book continues our school’s contribution to an understanding of how social, economic, and political factors shape patterns of health and diseases and how public health professionals can contribute to creating healthier lives and a healthier planet,” Dean El-Mohandes noted.

The event takes place from 4:00-5:30 PM EST, and the link to attend is:

Dr. Mary T. Bassett is the Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, as well as the FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health. With more than 30 years of experience in public health, Dr. Mary Travis Bassett has dedicated her career to advancing health equity. Dr. Bassett also served for four years as Commissioner of Health for New York City.

Dr. Marion Nestle is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York University. Her research and writing examine scientific and socioeconomic influences on food choice and its consequences, emphasizing the role of food industry marketing. In 2011, the University of California School of Public Health at Berkeley named her as Public Health Hero. She received the James Beard Leadership Award in 2013, and in 2014 the U.S. Healthful Food Council’s Innovator of the Year Award.


The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH) is committed to teaching, research and service that creates a healthier New York City and helps promote equitable, efficient and evidence-based solutions to pressing health problems facing cities around the world. Located on 125th Street and Lenox Avenue, the School is now celebrating its fifth anniversary as the public school of public health in New York City and drawing on the resources and supporting CUNY, the nation’s largest, oldest and most diverse urban public university.

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