Western New York Docs Get the Skinny on Fat

Second Annual Symposium to Unveil Latest Research and Treatment for Obesity

September 15, 2003

"There is so much conflicting literature on the best ways to treat overweight and obesity that we must definitively present to healthcare professionals what the best research tells us."

Atkins diet or South Beach diet?  Strict diet and exercise or just exercise alone? Losing weight in today’s culture is not only hard; it is confusing for patients and doctors alike. “The Obesity Epidemic: Current Findings and Practical Approaches” regional symposium hopes to curb the confusion and provide answers to questions that will better equip physicians and other healthcare professionals to effectively treat overweight and obese people.

The symposium will be held Oct. 2 and 3 at the Holiday Inn Rochester Airport, and is open to physicians, dietitians, nurses and other healthcare professionals from throughout upstate New York.  Last year, a similar symposium generated much interest, with close to 100 healthcare professionals from throughout Western New York in attendance. 

Whether a dieter chooses low-fat or no fat, “fat” remains packed on the waistlines of Americans at epidemic proportions. Across the country, 61 percent of adults and 15 percent of adolescents are considered overweight. Monroe County echoes these national statistics, with 35 percent of adults being overweight and 23 percent of adults being obese, according to a survey conducted in 2000/2001 by the Monroe County Health Department.

Nellie Wixom, director of the University of Rochester School of Nursing’s Nutrition/Weight Management Center, says the two-day symposium provides a unique opportunity for physicians, health professionals and community leaders to learn about the latest research findings and clinical approaches for successful weight loss among overweight and obese adults and children.  The symposium will offer physicians new ways to evaluate obese patients to determine which treatment is best suited for a particular patient. 

“Right now, there is so much conflicting literature on the best ways to treat overweight and obese people that it is imperative that we definitively present to area healthcare professionals what the best research tells us,” Wixom said. “As the risks of obesity and its related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are further understood, all healthcare professionals will need to shift into a proactive approach in treating this epidemic by using family, community and environmental interventions.”

Faculty from the University of Rochester Schools of Nursing and Medicine & Dentistry, and several nationally prominent speakers will highlight successful methods for the identification, evaluation and treatment of obesity in adults and children, including useful behavior and physical activity strategies, and successful family interventions. The role that nutrition plays in obesity prevention and treatment will also be presented, including the emerging role dairy and calcium may play in weight management.

“The Obesity Epidemic: Current Findings and Practical Approaches” is a collaborative effort between the University of Rochester School of Nursing Nutrition/Weight Management Center and the School of Medicine & Dentistry.  It is supported by Project Believe, the Medical Center’s Leadership Education in Adolescent Health program, and the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc. Brochures are available through the Nutrition/Weight Management Center at 585/275-1630.

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For Media Inquiries:
Germaine Reinhardt
(585) 275-6517
Email Germaine Reinhardt