More than two-thirds of the adult population and nearly one-third of the child population in the U.S. is classified as over-weight or obese. In response to this, Dr. Tony Kemerly, professor in the Department of Exercise Science, has performed extensive research on methods to reduce the obesity epidemic. His most recent book, “Acting Like an Animal: Playful Strengthening and Stretching Activities for Kid People,” focuses on the childhood obesity issue by providing exercises geared toward children combined with facts about animals to give children a fun and educational way to get healthy. His focus is more on how bodies are perceived in society and the messages received about those bodies from pop culture. The main types of bodies he focuses on are gendered bodies and obese bodies. His methods battle some of the mainstream ideas to conquer obesity such as prescription drugs, creams or fad diets. In addition, Kemerly studies human perceptions of the obese individual and how that influences treatment of this growing sector of the population. His papers have critiqued the cultural messages in a Stephen King novel (The Long Walk), Harry Potter, the television shows “Supernatural,” and “Angel,” and yoga and masculinity.
Expertise: childhood obesity, treatment and prevention of obesity, gender and body studies in TV, film, and pop culture