Healthcare Professionals to Learn of Successful Anti-Obesity Strategies

October 01, 2004

"Now that everyone recognizes the seriousness of the obesity issue, we need to now focus on providing helpful information to healthcare professionals so that they are able to successfully and easily identify and treat their overweight and obese patients"

A wide variety of healthcare professionals will be gathering in Rochester for the third year in a row to learn about the latest research and strategies to help combat America’s growing obesity epidemic. “The Obesity Epidemic: Current Findings and Practical Approaches” regional symposium will be held Oct. 7 and 8 at the Holiday Inn Rochester Airport, and is open to physicians, dietitians, nurses and other healthcare professionals from throughout upstate New York.  For the last two years, the symposium has generated much interest, with close to 100 healthcare professionals from throughout Western New York in attendance. 

Nellie Wixom, R.D., director of the University of Rochester School of Nursing’s Nutrition/Weight Management Center, says the two-day symposium will focus on practical and realistic interventions for health professionals to easily implement with their patients. Highlights of the symposium include a focus on the use of low fat dairy to lose weight and reduce fat, an update of New York State’s public policy efforts and available programs that address obesity, effective programs for childhood obesity, and a panel discussion exploring weight loss surgery.

“When we started this symposium three years ago, obesity was just a blip on everyone’s radar screen,” Wixom said.  “Now that everyone recognizes the seriousness of the issue, we need to now focus on providing helpful information to healthcare professionals so that they are able to successfully and easily identify and treat their overweight and obese patients,” Wixom said.

“Fat” remains packed on the waistlines of Americans at epidemic proportions. Across the country, 65 percent of adults and 16 percent of adolescents are considered overweight. Monroe County echoes these national statistics, with 34 percent of adults being overweight and 22 percent of adults being obese, according to a survey conducted in 2002 by the Monroe County Health Department. 

“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 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, or by visiting http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/son/CNC/obesitysymp.cfm.

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Germaine Reinhardt
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