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Super-Sized World

Super-Sized World

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the New York Academy of Sciences, The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


According to the World Health Organization, more than one billion adults worldwide are overweight and nearly 300 million are clinically obese. Obesity is a major contributor to the global burden of chronic disease and disability as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke and certain forms of cancer. Once thought to be a problem affecting only industrialized, developed countries, obesity and obesity-related diseases are increasingly prevalent in the developing world. This conference will convene leading obesity researchers to explore the latest science and policy initiatives for this health crisis both globally and here in the United States.

Reception to Follow

Presented by


*Presentation times are subject to change.

12:30 PM


1:15 PM

Introductory Remarks

Stacie Bloom, PhD, The New York Academy of Sciences
Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

1:30 PM

Obesity—A Global Perspective
Benjamin Caballero, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

2:00 PM

Obesity—A Domestic Perspective
Jeanne Clark, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

2:30 PM

The Final Frontier: Is There the Courage to Change Policy?
Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, Yale University

3:00 PM

Interventions: Successes, Opportunities, and Challenges
Keshia M. Pollack, PhD, MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

3:30 PM

Coffee Break

4:00 PM

Panel Discussion
Moderator: Robert S. Lawrence, MD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

5:00 PM

Keynote Address
Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Networking reception to follow



Kelly D. Brownell PhD

Yale University

Dr. Kelly Brownell is professor of Psychology, Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University, and director the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. TIME magazine listed Brownell among “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” as one “whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world.”

A member of the Institute of Medicine since 2006, Brownell served as president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, and the Division of Health Psychology of the American Psychological Association. His awards include the Graduate Mentoring Award from Yale, the Association for Psychological Science’s James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award, the award for Outstanding Contribution to Health Psychology from the American Psychological Association, the Purdue University Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Rutgers University Lifetime Achievement Award.

Brownell is the author of 14 books and more than 300 scientific articles and chapters. One book received the Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Book from the American Library Association. His paper on “Understanding and Preventing Relapse” is one of the most frequently cited papers in psychology.

Benjamin Caballero MD, PhD

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Dr. Caballero is Professor of International Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Professor of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University. He has 20 years of experience as a scholar, researcher and leader in the area of child health and nutrition. He obtained his MD from the University of Buenos Aires and his PhD (in neuroendocrine regulation) from MIT. He started his faculty career at Harvard Medical School, and moved to Johns Hopkins in 1990 to found the Center for Human Nutrition

Jeanne Clark, MD, MPH, FACP

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Clark is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and a Core Faculty member in the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, within the Division of General Internal Medicine at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She holds a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She obtained her MD from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and did her residency in Internal Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She completed a fellowship in General Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins and subsequently joined the faculty there in 2000.

Dr. Clark’s research focuses on the epidemiology and treatment of obesity and obesity-related consequences, including diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. She is involved in several large, NIH funded, multicenter, randomized clinical trials of lifestyle interventions to treat obesity and prevent its consequences including the Diabetes Prevention Program and Outcomes Study (DPP and DPPOS) and the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) trial. She is also an investigator on a trial of weight loss interventions in primary care settings (Practice-based Opportunities for Weight Reduction, POWER).

Keshia M. Pollack PhD, MPH

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Dr. Keshia Pollack is assistant professor of Health Policy and Management and the Leon S. Robertson Faculty Development Chair in Injury Prevention at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a core faculty member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and Center for Health Disparities Solutions.

Pollack’s research focus is on the development of policies that create safe and healthy environments. She is specifically interested in preventing injuries related to occupation, obesity, sports/physical activity, and the built environment, as well as understanding how they disproportionately affect vulnerable populations. Her current research in obesity prevention includes studies exploring injury risks and hazards encountered by children along routes to schools and formulating effective obesity prevention policies. She is also developing a food-centered intervention to reduce cardiac risk factors, including obesity, for firefighters.

Before joining Johns Hopkins, Pollack was a fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation where she participated in grantmaking, program development, and evaluations for childhood obesity, violence, and health issues affecting vulnerable populations.


The Global Epidemic Of Obesity

Benjamin Caballero, MD, PhD
Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD

While obesity has been traditionally considered a condition only prevalent in developed countries, where food is readily available, global data show that at present some of the most rapid increases in obesity prevalence occur in the developing world. These countries are undergoing what is called a nutrition transition, changes in food availability, lifestyle and physical activity patterns, all leading to increased dietary energy intake and reduced energy expenditure. Key elements of this transition are urbanization, increased availability of low-cost, energy-dense foods, switch to mechanized transportation, reduced energy demands in the workplace, and sedentary leisure time activities (television, etc). All these factors promote a positive energy balance, body fat accumulation, and obesity.

At the same time, undernutrition early in life continues to be a major public health problem in many developing countries that exhibit increasing rates of obesity in their adult population. This may result in households where under- and overnutrition coexist, a situation called “double burden” of disease. There is increasing evidence that under- and overnutrition in developing country populations are interrelated. Children who experienced undernutrition are at a higher risk of accumulating excess adiposity and becoming obese as adults.

Programs to reverse the global trends in obesity will require multi-level interventions, aimed at improving availability of healthy foods, increasing voluntary physical activity, and, importantly, reducing the burden of early undernutrition.

Obesity—A Domestic Perspective

Jeanne M. Clark, MD, MPH
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, and while the rate of increase is slowing, it does not appear to be turning around. The rates in children and adolescents are particularly alarming, in terms of the potential impact on the future health of this country. Obesity also disproportionately affects minority populations and those with less money and less education. This talk will examine the prevalence of obesity in the US overall and among subgroups of the population, and the risk factors contributing to this epidemic. Finally, it will review some current and potential approaches to preventing obesity, hoping to at last stem this rising tide.

The Final Frontier: Is There The Courage To Change Policy?

Kelly D. Brownell, PhD
Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University

Obesity rates in the U.S. and around the world are influenced profoundly by the food and physical activity environment. Default food conditions are important determinants of both behavior and health status and have become toxic enough to virtually guarantee high rates of obesity. Examples of negative influences are large portion sizes; too little access to healthy foods and too much access to calorie-dense, nutrient poor options; relentless marketing of junk food, particularly to children; and distorted food economics, driven in part by government policies, that make better foods more expensive. This talk will discuss the concept of changing defaults and will cover the rationale and support for policy changes that might help create significant advances in preventing obesity. One of the most controversial proposals, to levy a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, will be used as a key example. In creating policy change it is important to identify change agents, to understand how proposals can best be framed, and to understand the realities of federal, state, and local politics.

Interventions – Opportunities, Successes, and Challenges

Keshia M. Pollack, PhD, MPH
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD; Center for Injury Research and Policy; Center for Occupational Safety and Health; Center for Health Disparities Solutions

In the United States, interventions that target individual behavior, the environment and policy, have been implemented to address the obesity epidemic. These initiatives have dealt with nutrition and physical activity, focused on adults and children, and have occurred in several settings, including communities, workplaces, and schools. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss some of these interventions, highlighting successes, challenges, and opportunities for future initiatives to address obesity. As part of this presentation, Dr. Pollack will present an overview of the state of the science regarding obesity interventions, with particular emphasis on those that have included vulnerable populations. Evidence shows that interventions that include policy and environmental changes are more likely to yield positive impacts on risk factors for obesity, and Dr. Pollack will draw on her own research in these areas. She will present data from two ongoing studies: 1) a multifaceted intervention with firefighters to improve knowledge, behavior, and healthy eating, and reduce risk factors for heart attacks; and 2) an epidemiologic study exploring how violence is a barrier to children’s outdoor play and active transport to school. Dr. Pollack will also share her perspectives on opportunities for future efforts to address this important public health problem.

Travel & Lodging

Our Location

The New York Academy of Sciences

7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street, 40th floor
New York, NY 10007-2157

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Hotels Near 7 World Trade Center

Recommended partner hotel:

The New York Academy of Sciences is a part of the Club Quarters network . Please feel free to make accommodations with Club Quarters on-line to save significantly on hotel costs.

Club Quarters Reservation Password: NYAS

Club Quarters, World Trade Center
140 Washington Street
New York, NY 10006
Phone: (212) 577-1133

Located on the south side of the World Trade Center, opposite Memorial Plaza, Club Quarters, 140 Washington Street, is just a short walk to our location.

Other hotels located near 7 WTC:

Embassy Suites Hotel


Millenium Hilton


Marriott Financial Center


Club Quarters, Wall Street


Eurostars Wall Street Hotel


Wall Street District Hotel


Wall Street Inn


Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park


Special Needs and Additional Information

For any additional information and for special needs, including child/family care resources available to conference attendees, please e-mail Deanna Vollmer or call 212.298.8611.