Taniya Nagpal, PhD

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation - Academic Programs


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation - Academic Programs


Area of Study / Keywords

Maternal Health; Obesity; Stigma; Adherence; Physical Activity


Bachelor's of Health Sciences (2014) - The University of Western Ontario

PhD Kinesiology (2019) - The University of Western Ontario

Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2019 - 2021) - The University of Ottawa, Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

I was born in India, and immigrated with my family to Canada in 1996. I grew up in Mississauga, Ontario. As a first generation Canadian to pursue academia in my family, I am so grateful for the opportunities that I have had; in addition to my research interests, I am also passionate about being engaged in activities that aim to promote and improve accessibility to research opportunities for students who are from underrepresented backgrounds. I am actively involved with various health promotion organizations such as Obesity Canada (Education Team Member), American College of Sports Medicine (Pregnancy and Postpartum Special Interest Group Executive), International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity (Co-Chair Children and Families Special Interest Group) and Exercise is Medicine Canada (Co-Director, On Campus Program). If not in the office or teaching, I can be found spending time with my family, at yoga, hiking, or watching Harry Potter and Disney movies.


My research program explores psychosocial factors, such as weight stigma, and the relationship with biopsychosocial outcomes and adherence to health behaviours like physical activity in the reproductive years (preconception, pregnancy, postpartum). Applying an intersectional lens, this research specifically aims to understand and conceptualize experiences of stigma (e.g., sources of stigma, person-informed strategies to reduce stigma) individuals may encounter in the reproductive years, and among those who may have intersecting stigmatized identities or biopsychological health conditions. Working closely with maternal healthcare providers, we will also develop and test resources and continuing education opportunities to improve weight related attitudes, sensitive discussions with a focus on reducing stigma, and improving lifestyle counselling incorporating physical activity. Additionally, this research program includes designing and testing inclusive physical activity interventions in the reproductive years, applying evidence-based and person-informed behaviour change strategies to improve adherence.

Select Recent Publications:

T.S. Nagpal, S.C.S. Souza, M. Moffat, L. Hayes, T. Nuyts, R.H. Liu, S. Dervis, A. Bogaerts, K.B. Adamo, H. Piccinini-Vallis, N. Heslehurst. (2022). Does prepregnancy weight change have an effect on subsequent health outcome? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 23(1): e13324. https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.13324

T.S. Nagpal, R.H. Liu, M. Myre, L. Gaudet, J. Cook, D.F. da Silva, K.B. Adamo. (2022). Weight stigma and prenatal physical activity: Exploring the perspectives of pregnant women living with obesity. Midwifery, 104: 103186. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2021.103186

T.S. Nagpal, J.A. Tomiyama, A.C. Incollingo Rodriguez. (2021). Beyond body mass index: Weight stigma concerns during pregnancy and prenatal complications. Primary Care Diabetes, 15(6): 1107-1109. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pcd.2021.07.002

A.C. Incollingo Rodriguez, T.S. Nagpal. (2021). The WOMBS Framework: A review and new theoretical model for investigating pregnancy-related weight stigma and its intergenerational implications. Obesity Reviews, 22(12): e13322https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.13322


If you are interested in learning more about this research, including potential opportunities to volunteer and for undergraduate thesis projects please email Dr. Taniya Nagpal: tnagpal@ualberta.ca No previous research or lab experience required, just a curiosity in the research area and a willingness to learn.

Visit our lab website- LEA(p)P(p)S: https://sites.google.com/ualberta.ca/leappps
Learning from Experiences, Adherence (preconception)Pregnancy(postpartum), Stigma