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Maya Adam, MD    

Expert on Child Nutrition, Lecturer at Stanford School of Medicine and the Program in Human Biology & Innovator in Online Learning

Maya Adam MD is the Director of Health Education Outreach at Stanford's Center for Health Education and the Faculty Lead for the Digital Medical Education International Collaborative in South Africa. Adam has been teaching at Stanford University since 2009.

At the Stanford Center for Health Education, Adam creates online educational content for use in under-served populations, including those in low- and middle-income countries. Adam leads five massive open online health education courses, serving more than 450,000 international learners. In South Africa, her team collaborates with UNICEF and the National Department of Health to create digital educational content for community health workers and mothers as part of the Road to Health initiative. Adam is the author of Food Love Family: A Practical Guide to Child Nutrition.

Dr. Adam spent numerous summers working in a community health care clinic in South Africa and was the recipient of an African Service Fellowship/Amy Biehl Fellowship from Stanford University’s Haas Center for Public Service.

She received her medical degree from the University of British Columbia and her bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University. Before her medical studies, she spent almost 10 years as a professional ballet dancer in Germany. Today, Dr. Adam is a passionate cook and the mother of three young children.

Speech Topics


Food and America: Repairing a Broken Relationship

Over the past 30 years, slowly but surely, America's relationship with food has turned toxic. Where once, there was love, familiarity and happy dependence, now there is contempt and mistrust. The intimacy we once shared with the things that nourish us has been replaced by almost total anonymity. Is it any wonder that we’re at war with our food? With the rise of the obesity epidemic and a barrage of conflicting nutrition messages, we’ve come to see eating as a combat sport. In a land where French fries and Buffalo wings lurk on every street corner, far too many of us feel that food is lying in wait for us – ready to attack at the slightest lapse of willpower. In a part of the world that believes in “every man for himself”, we find ourselves isolated in our struggles to control the uncontrollable. Because, by design, we are biologically programmed to over-consume high calorie foods when they’re available, we often feel we're fighting a losing battle.

Americans and their food are in need of some good couple’s counseling. Someone needs to hit the reset button. We can re-kindle the love, the symbiosis and the good health of our honeymoon days with food. Let me show you how.

Nourishing Our Nation

Childhood obesity is an epidemic threatening not only to shorten children’s lives, but also bankrupt a nation forced to cope with increasing obesity-related medical costs. Maya Adam discusses the implications of this public health crisis, and outlines positive solutions for educating the nation about the issue and shifting the culture of eating in America.

Feeding the Next Generation

One in three American children is currently overweight or obese, and processed food is a major contributor to the growing problem. Maya Adam explores strategies for raising healthy, happy children, and offers the skills and inspiration to revive basic cooking literacy throughout the country.

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