July 01, 2009
|Media contact: Bruce Spiher
'Overcoming Obesity & Winning at Health' symposium July 8 in Ann Arbor
Program features winner of reality show The Biggest Loser and U-M obesity researchers
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - If you need to be motivated to lose weight, come to Ann Arbor on Wednesday, July 8, for a symposium, “Overcoming Obesity & Winning at Health.”
“Obesity is recognized locally and nationally as one of the major health epidemics of our time,” says Charles Burant, M.D., Ph.D., one of the event’s speakers. According to the World Health Organization
, obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally.
Speakers will include Pete Thomas, a winner of NBC’s reality show, The Biggest Loser, and two medical experts from the University of Michigan, who will discuss the latest medical research about obesity and the science behind safe and effective weight loss.
“Being on The Biggest Loser really saved my life,” says Thomas
, a resident of Ypsilanti, Mich. He lost an astounding 185 pounds in nine months on NBC’s reality television show in 2005. And he won $100,000. He says the show has helped him change the way he eats and exercises. Nearly four years after the show, he has successfully kept the weight off. Now, he is a motivational speaker who uses humor, personal stories and technical know-how to deliver his life-changing message.
Burant, M.D., Ph.D., is the Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Professor of Metabolism and director, U-M’s Metabolomics and Obesity Center
. His clinical interests are metabolic syndromes and management of Type II diabetes.
Burant will discuss how obesity affects the body. Says Burant, “People need and deserve to know more of the science behind safe and effective weight loss. Managing weight is difficult for most individuals, but small changes in lifestyle and eating habits can have a significant impact on a person's health."
Woolford’s research focuses on the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity with an emphasis on physician-patient communication related to behavior change. She will talk about the important role that parents must play in helping their children manage their weight. She will stress the importance of families working with their physicians in their weight loss efforts.
“Obesity affects 17% of the pediatric population, and this generation may have a shorter life span than previous generations as a result,” says Woolford. “Therefore, it is critically important that we address this problem at an early age.”
This is the third local health forum presented by a partnership between the library and the research institute. They are funded through a National Institutes of Health
grant for encouraging communities to become more involved in health research.
“This is an exciting event,” says Molly White, manager of the institute’s Community Engagement Program. “Because obesity is one of the major health problems of our time, our university and the local community have worked together to make this public forum possible. By offering a dynamic speaker and medical experts, we hope to get people thinking about the importance of safe and permanent weight loss and how to prevent obesity in our communities.”
The Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research
, established by the Regents of the University of Michigan in November 2006
, received a $55 million grant from the NIH as part of a Clinical and Translational Science Award
in 2007. MICHR provides U-M researchers a unique offering of advanced programs and services to support and help manage scientific study to accelerate medical discovery and improve care. Its staff of more than 100 professionals provides assistance to researchers in four main areas: clinical research management, research innovation, community outreach and education & career development.