iOS app Android app

Rajiv Narayan
Since losing 100 lbs. 6 years ago, Rajiv has been passionate about obesity policy, public health, and wellness. The question that guides his work is: How can I pay forward the privilege of good health?

Rajiv Narayan is a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at the University of Oxford completing an MSc in Medical Anthropology and a recent graduate of UC Davis, where he was a Regents Scholar and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Rajiv is also a Contributing Curator to Upworthy, where he has driven over 85 million pageviews to meaningful content in the areas of healthcare reform, food and wellness and more.

Rajiv has worked in policy and program evaluation firm Social Policy Research Associates and healthcare reporting at Close Concerns. In college he was the Senior Fellow for Health Policy at the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, a platform from which he both worked with and represented students across the country. Rajiv also completed a fellowship year with the Center for American Progress program Young People For, where he was trained in organizing and progressive leadership development. Rajiv worked on an urban farm in Milwaukee, interned at the California State Assembly, and taught classes on the Social Theory of Eating Disorders at UC Davis. He has researched obesity legislation in Argentina, food stamps in California, the racial dynamics of obesity policy in Southern States, and fat acceptance activism in California. He has written for Policy Mic,The California Aggie, Next New Deal, and the Huffington Post. Rajiv is an avid social media user, and was invited by the White House to live-tweet the 2013 State of the Union Address. In his spare time, Rajiv enjoys long-distance running and hiking; he completed his first full marathon and climbed Yosemite’s Half-Dome in 2013.

Entries by Rajiv Narayan

What You Won't See in the Media Coverage of a New Weight-Loss Drug

(3) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 12:35 PM

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made headlines for its approval of another obesity drug. News outlets worked hard to translate the meaning of this story, but they left out something important: heads.

After facing public backlash over the withdrawal fen-phen in 1997, the FDA...

Read Post

Evolving Views: A New and Improved Flip-Flopping

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 4:36 PM

Former Senator John Kerry's fateful pronouncement that he voted for supplemental funds to Iraq and Afghan military operations before he voted against them gave him the damning and unshakeable label of flip-flopper. To frame him that way against a candidate who openly called himself the Decider proved to dim Mr....

Read Post

Answering Mark Bittman: Why Does Beyoncè Think It's OK to Sell Pepsi?

(64) Comments | Posted January 28, 2013 | 10:47 AM

New York Times food journalist Mark Bittman asked, "Why Do Stars Think It's OK to Sell Soda?" By stars, he means Beyoncé, and by soda, Pepsi. The question refers to the $50 million advertising collaboration inked by the two in early December, despite Bey's status as...

Read Post

Obesity Epidemic: What the NYC Soda Ban Is and Isn't

(14) Comments | Posted January 16, 2013 | 3:35 PM

Months after proposing a maximum beverage size of 16 ounces for sweetened beverages -- what infamy mangled the NYC Soda Ban -- Mayor Bloomberg found approval in an 8-0 vote by the New York City Board of Health. One board member abstained, finding the measure "not comprehensive enough."...

Read Post

Thanksgiving: Should America Cut Back Due to Obesity Crisis?

(1) Comments | Posted November 21, 2012 | 9:59 AM

This article is everything that's wrong with the way we talk about obesity.

That's a tricky argument to make because Cameron gets a lot right. He is correct that Thanksgiving does not cause obesity. He is further true that dieting has a low success rate. Truer still...

Read Post

Bipartisanship Is Not Always Democratic

(1) Comments | Posted May 20, 2012 | 4:11 PM

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Republican Leader McConnell,

Nearly half the Senate delivered a letter to you both on Tuesday urging to bring the "Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012" to floor consideration "as soon as possible." Better known as the Farm Bill, and what really...

Read Post

The Farm Bill Is a Food Bill

(1) Comments | Posted October 20, 2011 | 4:49 PM

Every 5 to 7 years, the most important cluster of legislation to food in this country is debated and reauthorized in Congress. For the past three decades, this omnibus package has been referred to as the Farm Bill. Containing ten titles ranging from funding and regulation for...

Read Post

Lose 10 Pounds Instantly

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2010 | 2:43 PM

1. Stand up straight

2. Smile

These aren't frivolous pieces of advice either, both are usually the first hints beauty stylists give to their clients on photo-shoots. What's more interesting about the above is that they do a great job of exposing the disconnect between what we think of health...

Read Post

Advice From 4-Year Olds

(1) Comments | Posted March 18, 2010 | 11:00 AM

The first time I tried to lose weight, I attempted to follow a fairly straightforward piece of advice: avoid sugar and junk foods. What I love about that advice is that it's powerfully simple, maybe even common-sense. It's also damned hard to follow. If you're overweight, and eating junk food...

Read Post

Hitting the Gym vs. Hitting the Books: How Your Next Workout Will Improve Your Grades

(1) Comments | Posted March 10, 2010 | 4:11 PM

There's this pervasive false dilemma that passes for common sense among college students: Should I workout and improve my health, or should I study to improve my grades? If you're in college and you're asking that question, you probably already know which side you're going to take. After all, you...

Read Post

Quick Workouts, Better Results

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2010 | 2:25 PM

Have you ever put off going to the gym because you didn't have the time? Can't even jog outside because that midterm you have on Tuesday demands your constant attention? This isn't Family Feud, but I'd be willing to bet that time is the number one excuse for not working...

Read Post