It's estimated that the annual direct costs of obesity to the American economy now stands at $70 billion.   Even more disturbing is how the nation's current obesity epidemic and the serious health conditions that stem from it are now showing up in children.  The 3rd Annual UNM Obesity Symposium on March 11, "Advances in Obesity Treatment and Research 2005, Overweight in Children: It's a Family Affair," will investigate the magnitude and impact of overweight in children and youth and possibly strategies for dealing with the problem.

Keynote talks during the symposium will include:

  • "Obesity Is a Family Affair Children of the Corn Syrup,"  presented by Steven W. Ponder, M.D., professor of Pediatrics at Texas A&M College of Medicine and director of the Diabetes and Endocrine Center at Driscoll Children's Hospital;

  • "Kansas Get Moving: Increasing Physical Activity and Enhancing Nutrition in Children," by Joseph E. Donnelly, Ed.D., professor and director of the Center for Physical Activity and Weight Management at the University of Kansas;

  • "Confronting the Obesity Epidemic:  Real Change Requires Real Change," by Kelly D. Brownell, Ph.D., professor and chair of Psychology and director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders;

and

  • "Effective Communication with Families," presented by Scott Gee, M.D., associate director for Prevention and Health Information for Kaiser Permanente.

Other talks and workshops will focus on the role of health professionals in dealing with families and children as well as the medical management of pediatric weight management.

The conference is presented by the UNM School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, and Institutes for Public Health and Office of Continuing Medical Education.

For more information and to register for the conference, visit the website at http://hsc.unm.edu/cme or call (505) 272-3942.

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