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Dr Keumseok Peter Koh

Interdisciplinary Quick Talks: Health and the City

Dr Keumseok Peter Koh

Dr Keumseok Peter Koh
Assistant Professor
Department of Geography

Food Environment and Health in East Asian Cities


Despite the heterogeneity in their historical, political and socioeconomic milieu, many East Asian cities have achieved remarkable economic development and elevated public health during the past decades. However, rapid urbanization and accompanying changes in lifestyle and the built environment have also triggered the rapid increase in the burden of obesity and other diet-related chronic diseases (DRCDs) in East Asian cities. Geographers have been trying to investigate the associations between food, food environment and chronic diseases using both quantitative and qualitative research approaches. New research methods such as Geographic Information System (GIS), participatory systems science, and big data analytics as well as cross-regional analysis are now encouraged to utilise for future research on food, food environment and health in the East Asian context.


Dr Keumseok Peter Koh studies the associations between health conditions/diseases and their risk factors at various levels of geographies using various types of data including but not limited to public health surveys, census data, and spatial data. He is currently working on many research projects regarding food environment, food security, food culture, and chronic diseases in the East Asian context using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Dr Koh received his BA and MA degrees in Economics from Seoul National University, South Korea and his PhD degree in Geography from Michigan State University, USA. He also had a postdoctoral training in public health at The Ohio State University. Prior to his PhD training in the U.S., Dr Koh was a staff journalist at Seoul Shinmun Daily, a major newspaper based in Seoul, South Korea, covering urban issues and policies.