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Childhood Obesity Conference Confronts the Fattening of America

Is childhood obesity more dangerous than cancer? In the next 50 years, pediatric obesity may shorten life expectancy in the United States by two to five years—an effect equal to that of all cancers combined, according to research by David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D. Hear his and other childhood obesity experts’ solutions for this epidemic at this month’s National Conference on Childhood Obesity.

girl eating healthyOn 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.

Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York, who has just joined the lineup of presenters, will speak at the June 18 luncheon. McCarthy, who is chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities and a senior member of the Committee on Education and Labor, has been instrumental in reauthorizing and drafting legislation to protect Long Island’s children—and will be a key player in the effort to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act.

Fifteen other expert speakers will discuss solutions for a problem that has reached record levels—16 percent of children ages 2 to 19 are now considered obese. Presenters include:

  • Joan Sabaté, M.D., M.P.H., professor of nutrition and chair of the Loma Linda University Nutrition School of Public Health, who will discuss his groundbreaking new research comparing the health outcomes of vegetarian versus nonvegetarian children;
  • Geetha Raghuveer, M.D., M.P.H.; a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., who will highlight her research showing that the artery walls of overweight children resemble those of an average 45-year-old; and
  • Barry Popkin, Ph.D., director of the University of North Carolina Interdisciplinary Obesity Center, who will examine federal nutrition guidelines and agricultural policies as they relate to the globalization of childhood obesity.

Panel discussions featuring Neal Barnard, M.D., PCRM president, Katie Wilson, Ph.D., S.N.S., president of the School Nutrition Association, Darlene Moppert, M.S., R.D., L.D./N., program manager for nutrition education and training/food and nutrition services for Broward County Public Schools, and other health and policy experts will explore childhood nutrition, school lunch programs, and federal food policy.

Physicians, physician assistants, nurses, registered dietitians, and registered dietitian technicians 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, June 2009

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