Phillip Joy

Phillip Joy, PhD (Health), PDt, M.Sc

Assistant Professor
Evaristus 323

I am a registered dietitian with the Nova Scotia Dietetic Association (NSDA) with a focus on gender, sexuality within nutrition, dietetics, and health.

Research and Professional Interests

My research is qualitative and is often framed within poststructural and social constructivism frameworks. I also use arts-based methodologies, such as photovoice, cell-philming, and comics. Such methodologies can disrupt the foundations of nutrition and health research by allowing by involving the emotions, the senses, the creativity, and the bodies of participants. Art can challenge and subvert social norms and contribute to social transformation through the expression of new perspectives.

My main areas of research include: 1) LGBTQ+ nutrition, body image, and health, 2) Community advocacy and social disruption and, 3) Pedagogy, curriculum, and training.

Sustainable Development Goals for Phillip Joy: Good Health and Well Being; gender equality; reduced inequalities

Current Research Projects

If you are interested in any of these projects or are a student interested in doing queer research in nutrition and dietetics please email me.

The objectives of this research were 1) to explore gender and sexual orientation priorities within the Canadian dietetic profession and 2) to access the changing needs of 2SLGBTQ+ communities in terms of their nutritional health and body image during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funded by MSVU Internal Grant

Compassion has been recognized by many 2SLGBTQ+ people as a component of their happiness and well-being. Throughout this research, we seek to understand through personal narratives how experiences of compassion shape the lives, health, and well-being of 2SLGBTQ+ people.

Findings from the study will be shared through a comic book anthology.

Funded by SSHRC: Insight Grant

This research uses an arts-based method called cell-philming in which participants use their cell phones to create videos to will explore how body image is produced and reproduced through the beliefs, values, and practices of GBTQ men within the “puppy play” or “pup” community. We propose to explore how identification with this form of BDSM role-play informs how a person experiences their body.

We seek to answer the following research questions:

  1. How do GBTQ men experience their bodies and their body image within the pup community?
  2. What are the values and beliefs about men’s bodies within the pup community?
  3. How does identifying with the pup community contribute to body image?

Funded by SSHRC: Insight Development Grant

Featuring uplifting narrative short films, Wicked Bodies will help to reduce stigma, generate hope, and invite more open conversation among those struggling with disordered eating, eating disorders and body dysmorphia.  “Wicked Bodies gives 2SLGBTQIA+ voices the mic to share their own lived experience authentically”, stimulating conversation to challenge and disrupt rigid body ideals, improving the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Funded by SSHRC: Connections Grant

This project is a community partnership with Eating Disorders Nova Scotia (EDNS). Our aims ​were to give voice to people within the queer communities, to recognize that queer people need ED support and to understand how best to reach queer communities, and to see how EDNS can better provide services for queer clients.

View our Final Report here 

Funded by CLARI

FoodNOW logoNutrition is very important to the wellness of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Nutritional status and antiretroviral treatment (ART) play a key role in keeping immune function high and stopping HIV from turning into AIDS. Poverty, marginalization, racism, violence, stigma, poor nutrition, and HIV create a “perfect storm” that often causes harm to the health of PLWHA. FoodNOW (Food to eNhance Our Wellness) commits to a community-based approach in looking at the needs and wants of PLWHA in Nova Scotia as they relate to food, policy, and programs.

Click here to learn more about FodNOW.

Teaching Areas

NUTR 1106: Introduction to Nutrition
NUTR 3407: Introduction to Client Care
GAHN 6602: Contemporary Issues in Food, Health, and Disease

Selected Scholarly Publications


Through the Looking Glass: A Poststructural and Queer Exploration of Gay Men’s Nutrition and Bodies using Photovoice

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Joy, P., & McSweeney-Flaherty, J. M. (2022). Moving Dietetics Forward with Queer Pedagogy: A Post-Structural Qualitative Study Exploring the Education and Training Experiences of Canadian Dietitians for LGBTQ Care. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Joy, P., Numer, M., Kirk, S. F., & Aston, M. (2021). Embracing a New Day: Exploring the Connections of Culture, Masculinities, Bodies, and Health for Gay Men through Photovoice. Journal of Bodies, Sexualities, and Masculinities, 2(2), 10-38.

Joy, P. Zahavich, J., Kirk, S. (2021). Gendered bodies and physical education (PE) participation: Exploring the experiences of adolescent students and PE teachers in Nova Scotia. The Journal of Gender Studies.

Littler, C. and Joy, P. (2021). Queer considerations: Exploring the use of social media for research recruitment within LGBTQ communities. Research Ethics, 17(3), 267–274.

Joy, P. and Neish, J.(2021). The Queen of Hearts: Exploring the Process of Creating Queer Art and Its Use in Dietetic Research and Practice. Journal of Critical Dietetics, 5(2), 34-41.

Joy, P., Gauvin, S. E., Aston, M., & Numer, M. (2020). Reflections in comics: the views of queer artists in producing body image comics and how their work can improve health. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 1-27.

Joy, P., & Larsson, H. (2019). Unspoken: Exploring the constitution of masculinities in Swedish physical education classes through body movements. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 24:5, 491-505,

Joy, P., Gheller, B., & Lordly, D. (2019). Men who are dietitians: Deconstructing gender within the profession to inform recruitment. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, 80, 1-4.

Joy, P., & Numer, M. (2018). Constituting the ideal body: A poststructural analysis of “obesity” discourses among gay men.  Journal of Critical Dietetics, 4(1), Link

Joy, P., Jackson, R., & Numer, M. (2018). A mythical battle: ‘Good’ foods versus ‘bad’ foods. Journal of Critical Dietetics, 4(1), 2-4. Link

Joy, P., & Numer, M. (2018). Queering educational practices in dietetics training: A critical review of LGBTQ inclusion strategies. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, 79, 1-6.

Full Peer-Reviewed Article List here

Books and Book Chapters

Art and scholarship come together in this stunning full-colour comics anthology. Thirty-eight short comics reflect on body image from the perspectives of queer men, exploring our understandings of masculinity, attraction and self-worth. Interspersed throughout the book are fact sheets with the latest findings in queer men’s health research, providing readers with a mix of scholarly literature and heartfelt depictions of personal experience.

Check it out here

Celebrate local food and eating healthy with Little Loli’s cookbook!

Little Loli shares her favourite seasonal recipes as she anticipates the changing of the seasons. Using local Nova Scotian ingredients, she helps her Nana make squishy-squash fall soup, creates enchanted birthday cupcakes with her friends, and prepares a bubbling ‘n’ bursting tart filled with fresh rhubarb.

While Loli uses ingredients from Nova Scotia, she invites everyone to get creative and use ingredients that are local to them. She hopes you’ll join her in creating fun, healthy foods that can be shared with the whole family.

Check it out here

The comic book aims to illustrate how sex and gender can influence the health of people and to create knowledge, enthusiasm, and discussions among health professionals and researchers. We follow the story of H, a person who represents the common Humanity we all share. H is not listed by the binary he or she and does not identify with a particular gender. The story follows H throughout their life path, using illustrations with summaries of the relevant literature to explore how gender can shape their health, health experiences, and health care.

Co-Authors: Cosma, Alina, Goodliffe, Samantha, Hiltner, Sarah, Magnee, Tessa, Plug, Ilona

Funded by: ZonMw: The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development.
Open Access here

Joy, P., & McSweeney, J. (2022). Pedagogy of the Mother: Exploring Freire’s Philosophy of Co-productive Learning in RuPaul’s Drag Race in Bryde, L. & Mayberry, T. (eds), RuPedagogies of Realness: Teaching and Learning in RuPaul’s Drag Race and its Paratextual Cultures.

Joy, P. (2021). A critical reflection on how a body image art event can improve the health and well-being of gay men. In A.S. Jepson and T. Walters (Eds.) Events and Well-being. Routledge.

Numer, M., Holmes, D., Joy, P., & Thompson, R. (2017). Profiling post-modern public sex: How Grindr revolutionized the face of gay sex in Holmes, D., Murray, S. & Foth, T. (eds), Radical Sex Between Men: Assembling Desiring-Machines, (pp. 190-202) Routledge.