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PCRM Conference Confronts Childhood Obesity Epidemic

healthy kidAs the federal government’s National School Lunch Program continues to emphasize artery-clogging, high-cholesterol foods, childhood obesity has reached record levels—16 percent of children ages 2 to 19 are now considered obese. And as waistlines expand, so does the risk for chronic disease, including heart disease and cancer. But this June, PCRM will host a two-day conference to address this epidemic.

On June 18 and 19, in Washington, D.C., PCRM will sponsor the National Conference on Childhood Obesity: Confronting the Epidemic through Nutrition Research and Policy, which is co-sponsored by the Cancer Project and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

The conference will be an opportunity for researchers, scientists, health care professionals, and policymakers to discuss:

  • evidence-based links between diet, obesity, and chronic diseases;
  • opportunities in clinical practice for preventing and treating obesity and related chronic diseases ;
  • how school food programs and government policies affect children; and
  • upcoming changes to nutrition guidelines and related government policies.

The current roster of 11 expert speakers includes David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., who is the founding director of the Optimal Weight for Life program, a multidisciplinary clinic for the care of overweight children, and Geetha Raghuveer, M.D., M.P.H., who will discuss her research showing that the artery walls of overweight children resemble those of an average 45-year-old. Other speakers include Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the Cancer Project, David Barker, M.D., physician and heart disease researcher, and Frank Biro, M.D., head of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Panel discussions featuring economist Eric Finkelstein, Ph.D., author of The Fattening of America, Katie Wilson Ph.D., S.N.S., president of the School Nutrition Association, and other health and policy experts will explore childhood nutrition, school lunch programs, and federal food policy.

Physicians, nurses, and dietitians who attend the conference will receive continuing education credit. The George Washington University Medical Center and PCRM are the conference’s continuing medical education sponsors, and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future is a conference partner.


PCRM Online, April 2009

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