State of the Unions conference, Brussels; Credit: FEPS

In the coming months, Nationhood Lab will be engaged in a variety of initiatives, from convenings and presentations to collaborations with partner organizations engaged in the protection of the American experiment. Watch this space as the project unfolds ahead of the United States’ 250th birthday in 2026.

Nationhood Lab has joined researchers from the University of Illinois-Chicago and the Minneapolis-based HealthPartners Institute to study regional differences in various indices of health via the American Nations model. In the summer of 2023 the core research team — Ross Arena from UIC, HealthPartners president Nico Pronk, and Nationhood Lab director Colin Woodard and their collaborators — published four scientific papers the peer-reviewed journals Progress in Cardiovascular Disease and Current Problems in Cardiology probing differences in rates of obesity, diabetes, physical inactivity, and other metrics. In late September Woodard presented the work of Nationhood Lab and the utility of the American Nations model at a meeting of the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering’s working group on obesity solutions. In the fall of 2023 the team had six additional papers published or accepted — including two in the American Journal of Medicine — which explored regional differences in sleep disturbances, disabilities, and the Social Vulnerability Index, as well as the overlap of physical inactivity to the density of church congregations and the opportunities that could afford in interventions. Additional research is underway and multiple papers are in-review that leverage the insights in American Nations to better understand and mitigate a wide range of regional health disparities in the United States.