Researchers – University of Copenhagen

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Line Hillersdal

Line Hillersdal

Medical anthropologist interested in health and wellbeing in everyday life. my research areas include the lived experience of obesity, the culture of food and eating, the body in biomedical context, patient involvement, prevention and  complex intervention research. Strong qualitative and quantitative skills covering a wide range of research methods: reviews, qualitative interviews, participatory methods and questionnaire methodology. 

Primary research areas

Obesity, food and eating, interdisciplinarity, culture of science, phenomenology of the body in biomedical contexts.

Current research


I this project I follow the design process of the screening tool and describe how the screening tools is conceptualized and materialized within collaborative research teams in the interdisciplinary research project COUNTERSTRIKE -COUNTERacting Sarcopenia with proTeins and exeRcise – Screening the CALM cohort for lIpoprotein biomarKErs.

By combining ethnographic fieldwork and exploratory workshops I analyse how the inclusion of social science and humanities researchers will impact the design process and output.

COUNTERSTRIKE is funded by Danish Innovation Foundation and it is an extension of the CALM project funded by the UCPH Excellence Programme. Read more about CALM

Governing Obesity

I am currently affiliated to the large research consortia: Governing Obesity, which is an interdisciplinary research project at Copenhagen University involving five faculties. See Excellence Programme for Interdisciplinary Research (2016). The overall aim of Governing Obesity is to provide novel means and methods to treat and prevent obesity and its consequences via effective interventions at the societal and individual level, from an early stage towards the morbidly obese individuals, while avoiding unintended and negative effects.

As a part of the Humanistic Health Research Group at the SAXO institute I contribute to this research by exploring how health and illness are shaped, experienced, and understood in scientific practices considering aspects of compliance and intervention in practice.

My current post doc project: Obesities: Exploring and Practicing Interdisciplinarity analyses interdisciplinary knowledge production on obesity with a focus on the cultures of medicine asking how scientific claims are negotiated and interpreted in interdisciplinary settings. Through ethnographic field work I explore how obesity as a phenomena is crafted and handled in interdisciplinary research teams and the diverse ways obesity emerge as an object of intervention are analysed.

Previous research Food and Eating through the lived body I recently finished my PhD on the complexity of eating experience. Eating is under described and commonsensical to the extent that it transcends ethnographic description. In my research I explored what makes up hunger and fullness across different persons, bodies, techniques and places: Obesity surgery patients, food performance participants and military conscripts.

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