Ameena Batada, Dr.P.H.

Professor of Health & Wellness

Contact Information

  • 232-5164
  • 465 Sherrill Center

Office Hours

  • Tuesday 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
  • Note:

Ameena Batada, Dr.P.H., is a professor in the Health and Wellness Department at the University of North Carolina Asheville. Many years ago, as a rising senior in college, she conducted research to investigate the pre-school conditions in former Bantustan areas of the Northern Transvaal, South Africa. Since then Dr. Batada has been interested in improving child health and education, particularly among disenfranchised populations.

At UNCA, Dr. Batada works with several community partners to evaluate health and education programs, to conduct research to support policy advocacy, and to implement intervention studies in schools, churches, and other settings. She also researches the content of foods marketed to children, from kids’ meals to food dyes in grocery store products. Since joining UNCA in 2011, Dr. Batada enjoys working with students on these applied research projects. Before joining UNCA, Dr. Batada was director of education, research, and outreach at Sesame Workshop India in New Delhi, and prior to that she worked at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), advocating for limits on junk-food marketing to children and for national school nutrition standards.

Faculty Statement & Equity Training

As a publicly-engaged teacher-scholar who is committed to advancing health equity and justice, my goal has not been to become an expert in an academic field but rather to be able to use my teaching and research skills to work in solidarity with the people and communities who are transforming their and all our lives. I acknowledge that I have benefited in many ways from the systems of oppression and displacements of peoples and their identities about which/whom I teach and research. Central to my trajectory are these acknowledgments and my commitment to a more authentic and just existence as a professional and as a person.

As part of my professional development, I have participated in Racial Equity Institute (REI) trainings, including Groundwater Approach, program-related and community organization trainings facilitated by Ambrose Consulting and Tepayec Consulting, as well as a Whiteness at Work workshop series with The Adaway Group.


  • Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) in health communication from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2005)
  • Master of Public Health in maternal and child health with a certificate in international health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) (1999)
  • Bachelor of Arts in international studies with a minor in chemistry from UNC-CH (1995)

Courses Taught

UNC Asheville:

  • HWP 250 Health Parity: Domestic and Global Contexts
  • HWP 310 Community Health Promotion: Theory and Practice
  • HWP 316/317 Maternal and Child Health/Child & Adolescent Health
  • HWP 335 Health Communication
  • HWP 459 Senior Seminar in Health and Wellness Promotion
  • HWP 373 Global Health
  • HON3 73 Mass Media & Health in the USA
  • INTS 271 Art & Science of Meditation
  • MLA 540 Global Health

Master of Public Health:

  • Methods & Measures (Intro to Epidemiology)
  • Community Health Transformations
  • Place-Based Theory and Practice
  • Place-Based Research & Evaluation Methods


Peer-Reviewed (*Involves Student or Community Partner Co-Authors)

*Batada A., Thomas A.E., Holtz D. (In press). Utilizing a Data-to-Action approach to cultivate policy research and advocacy skills in community-engaged health promotion courses. Pedagogy in Health Promotion.

*Batada A. and Thomas A.E. (2021). Soft drinks and premiums with children's meals marketed on the websites of the top restaurant chains worldwide. Public Health Nutrition. 24(11): 3437-3441. 

Chiang E.S., Rioridan K.M., Himelein M.J., Batada, A., Mulhollem, M.L., Padilla M.A. (2020). Elementary physical education: Cost is personal and social. Archives of Psychology. 4(3):1-13.

*Batada A. and Lewis O. (2018). Community leadership and participation to increase food access and quality: Notes from the field. In Food and Poverty:  Food Insecurity and Food Sovereignty among America’s Poor, eds, L. Hossfeld, B. Kelly, and J Waity. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.

Solomon C., Batada A., Zillante A., Hudak K., Kennedy, A. & Racine E.F. (2018). Food cost is the least of my worries: A qualitative study exploring food and beverage purchasing decisions among parents enrolled in the WIC program. Journal of Hunger and Environment.

Racine E., Kennedy A., Batada A., Story M. (2017). Foods and beverages available at SNAP-Authorized drugstores in sections of North Carolina. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 49(8): 674-683.

*Batada A., Chichester K., Himelein M.J., and Chess R. (2017). “Learning How to See”: Faculty Members’ Use of Unnamed Contemplative Practices. The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry. 4(1):143-163.

Batada A. (2017). Utilizing Contemplative Practices with Undergraduate Students in a Community-Engaged Course on Health Disparities. Pedagogy in Health Promotion. Online: 1-6.

Wray A. and Batada A. (2017). Contemplative Pedagogy: Equipping Students for Everyday Social Activism. The Arrow. 4(2):29-46.

*Batada A., Grier-McEachin J. and Avery K. (2017). Partnering on the PRAISE Program: Putting Health Equity into Practice. Health Equity. 1(1):7-14.

Racine E., Batada A., and Story M. (2016). Availability of Healthier Food in SNAP-Approved Dollar Stores. Journal of American Nutrition and Dietetics. 116(10):1613-20

Racine E.F., Batada A, Solomon CA, Story M. (2016). Availability of Foods and Beverages in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Authorized Dollar Stores in a Region of North Carolina. Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 116(10):1613-20.

Batada A. and Jacobson M. (2016). Artificial Food Colors in Grocery Store Products Marketed to Children. Clinical Pediatrics. 55(2):1113-1119.

Batada A., Banerjee S. and Subramanian M. (2016). Opening New Doors: Sesame Workshop in India in eds, C. Cole and J. Lee, The Sesame Effect:The Global Impact of the Longest Street in the World. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

Batada A., Bruening M., Marchlewicz E., Story M., and Wootan M.G. (2012). Poor nutrition on the menu: Children’s meals at America’s top chain restaurants. Childhood Obesity. 8(3): 251-254.

Batada A., Joshi I., Sharma G., and Mehta S. (2010). The Galli Galli Sim Sim story pond: Inspiring children as storytellers in India. Young Children. November.

Batada A., Sharma G. (2010). Developing contextually-appropriate early childhood education materials for rural Jharkhand, India. ARNEC Connections. December.

Batada A. (2010). Making learning fun and making fun educational. Navtika: Journal of Early Childhood Education. August.

Batada A., Seitz M.D., Wootan M.G. and Story M. (2008). Nine out of 10 food advertisements shown during Saturday morning children's television programming are for foods high in fat, sodium, or added sugars, or low in nutrients. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 108(4):673-8.

Batada A. and Borzekowski D.L.G. (2008). SNAP! CRACKLE! WHAT? Recognition of cereal advertisements and understanding of commercials' persuasive intent among urban, minority children in the US. Journal of the Children and the Media. 2(1): 19-36.

Batada A. and Wootan M.G. (2007). Nickelodeon markets nutrition-poor foods to children. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 33(1):1-3.

Batada A. and Chandra A. (2006). Urban African American adolescent voices on stress: The Shifting the Lens project. The Prevention Researcher. 13(S): 3-7. Available from: URL:

Chandra, A. and Batada A. (2006) Exploring stress and coping among urban African American adolescents: The Shifting the Lens study. Preventing Chronic Disease. 3(2):1-10. Available from: URL:

Community Reports, Guides, and Other Publications (many of which included significant work by UNCA students/classes)

Batada A., Ross K, and Jones, J. (2020). “More Hours, More Money, More Respect”. Report to the Family Friendly Affordable Buncombe Coalition. Asheville, NC

Batada A. & Ross K. (2015-2019). Annual PRAISE Report. Asheville, NC.

Batada A. (2016-2019). Report on Bounty & Soul Client Survey. Asheville, NC.

Batada A., Dickhaus G, Holtz D. (2018). 12 Baskets Café Interview Study Report. Asheville, NC.

Batada A. (2017). Report on Homeless Survey for the Homeless Initiative Action Committee (HIAC) Strategy to End Homelessness. Asheville, NC.

Batada, A. (2016). Report on the Rider, Employer, and Caseworker Support for Extended Bus Service to Just Economics. Asheville, NC.

Batada A. (2014). Exploring Food: A Community-Based and Collaborative Project to Learn About Perceptions of Healthy Eating Among Food Decision-Makers in Communities of Lower Wealth in Western North Carolina: Final Report to the Community Transformation Grant Project. Asheville, NC.

Batada A. and Wootan MG. (2013). Obesity on the menu II: Nutritional quality of children’s meals at America’s top restaurants.

Batada A. and Wootan MG. (2009). Better-For-Who? Revisiting company promises on food marketing to children. Available at: URL:

Wootan MG, Batada A., and Marchlewicz E. (2008). Obesity on the menu: Nutritional quality of children’s meals at America’s top restaurants.

Batada A. and Wootan MG. (2008). Food and beverage marketing survey: Montgomery County Public Schools.

Batada A. Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP) Video Project: Video and workshop booklet. (2003). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Center for Adolescent Health.

Chandra A and Batada A. (2004). Who’s holding the camera? Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Center for Adolescent Health.

Confronting teen stress: Up to the challenge in Baltimore City. (2004). A. Batada and A. Chandra, Eds. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Center for Adolescent Health.