Category: University of Georgia

Trim obesity by reshaping food systems


Food Ingredients & Obesity, University of Georgia

University of Georgia Center for Integrative Conservation Research will host a free workshop that will explore the links between food production, policy and sustainability on Oct. 1 starting at 9 a.m. in the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.

The workshop, titled “The Future of Food,” is expected to draw faculty, staff and students from across campus as well as community members interested in the challenges and potential of reshaping food systems.

Rashid Nuri, founder of the Truly Living Well Center for Urban Agriculture in Atlanta and president of the board of Georgia Organics, will deliver the keynote address at 3:45 p.m. in room 271.

The complete workshop schedule is:
9 a.m. A panel discussion on food production will feature Amy Trauger, an assistant professor of geography in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Frank Horne, a farmer; and Jack Matthews, a farmer and graduate student in the UGA College of Environment and Design; with Cesar Escalante, an associate professor in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, moderating.
10:15 a.m. A panel discussion on food policy will feature Jennifer Owens, Georgia Organics’ advocacy director; Susannah Chapman, a UGA graduate student studying anthropology; and Alice Kinman, the Athens-Clarke County District 4 commissioner; with Craig Page, ACC special projects coordinator/planner, moderating.
11:30 a.m. A panel discussion on food systems research will feature Hilda Kurtz, an associate professor of geography in the Franklin College; Julia Gaskin, a sustainable agriculture coordinator in CAES; and Virginia Nazarea, a professor of anthropology in the Franklin College; with Fenwick Broyard III, a community garden organizer with the Athens Land Trust, moderating.
2:30 p.m. Breakout discussions will take place.
3:45 p.m. Nuri will give the keynote address.

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Fat, Genes, and Health: Obesity speaker series comes to UGA


Epigenetics & Obesity, Obesity Initiative at UGA, University of Georgia

The Obesity Initiative, in partnership with other UGA colleges and departments, is kicking off a speaker series this fall. The series brings experts from beyond the UGA campus to shed light on the science of obesity.

Check all of the events on this page. Here’s a quick rundown of the series details:

  • October 25, 3-4 p.m. in Tate Center 481: Alicia Smith, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University. Her lecture is “When Nature Meets Nurture: Epigenetic Effects of Prenatal Exposures.” Dr. Smith studies the role of genetic and environmental factors in the development and symptoms of stress-related disorders across the lifespan.
  • October 31, 12:20-1:10 p.m. in Dawson Hall 110: Leann Birch, distinguished professor of human development and director of the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University. Her lecture is “Factors that Influence the Developing Controls of Food Intake from Infancy through Adolescence.” Dr. Birch’s research investigates factors that influence the developing controls of food intake from infancy through adolescence.
  • November 1, (Time and Location TBD): Timothy Smith, professor of psychology at the University of Utah. His lecture is “Relationships and Cardiovascular Health.”Smith’s research addresses personality and social risk factors for cardiovascular disease, Timothy Smithincluding the application of theory and methods from the interpersonal tradition in clinical, personality, and social psychology to the conceptualization and assessment of psychosocial risk factors for disease, and the study of the psychophysiological mechanisms linking risk factors to disease.
  • November 7, (Time and Location TBD): Clifford J. Rosen is the director of clinical and translational research and a senior scientist at Maine Medical Center’s Research Institute. Clifford RosenHis lecture is “What’s Between Fat and Bone?” Dr. Rosen is the founder and former director of the Maine Center for Osteoporosis Research and Education.  He was the first editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Densitometry, is the current editor-in-chief of The Primer in Metabolic Bone Diseases, and just began a term as Associate Editor for JCEM.  His publications include more than 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts, covering both clinical and basic bone biology.
  • February 6, (Time and Location TBD): Michael Goran is the director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center and USC Center for Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer, Michael Goranas well as the co-director of the USC Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute and professor of preventative medicine, physiology & biophysics, and pediatrics. His lecture is “Regulation of Excess Fat Deposition During Growth and Development: Novel Strategies for Prevention and Treatment.” Dr. Goran’s research is focused on understanding the metabolic factors linking obesity to increased disease risk during growth and development and using this information as a basis for developing new behavioral and community approaches for prevention and risk reduction.

Come back for more updates on time, location, and additional speakers added to the series!

UGA groups discuss fighting obesity on campus


Obesity Initiative at UGA, Obesity Policy, University of Georgia

Several University of Georgia groups met to discuss their current work with health and wellness matters on campus.

After each team presented, the committee agreed to form a new team under UGA’s Obesity Initiative, created earlier this year to address adult and childhood obesity in Georgia.

Those who presented:

  • Megan Ford, Aspire Clinic: Provides multiple areas of counseling, looking at obesity and health from a holistic perspective, particularly through nutrition education and counseling. Aspire acknowledges that “problems don’t exist in a vacuum,” and services are provided in an integrated and interdisciplinary approach.
  • Kathrine Ingerson, Food Services: Conducts wellness for dining halls on campus, including personalized menu guidance and the Eating Smart class. She also creates wellness brochures for the dining halls and weekly table tents. As part of the new Food Services website, students can track nutrition facts.
  • Liz Rachun, University Health Center: Employs “Healthy Dawg” campaign to tell students about the physical, intellectual, emotional, environmental, social, and spiritual ways to balance their lives. Healthy Dawg Ambassadors help to promote health center services, and Healthy Dawg workshops give students various ways to learn about health on campus.
  • Lori Duke, College of Pharmacy: Second and third-year pharmacy students earn practicum hours in Healthy Fit and Healthy Dawg programs, in which they treat patients with multiple health and medication needs. The goal is to expand services to UGA employees because “there are complex patients, and some people have serious health challenges on campus.”
  • Ellen Evans, College of Education: As part of a new service-learning initiative, the Dawgs WORK (Worksite Obesity Reduction Know-how) wants to tackle employee health on campus through personalized and sustainable practices. A focus group is starting this fall to launch the idea.
  • David Knauff, School Garden Resource Coordination: As part of a brand new idea, Knauff wants to connect resources around Athens to help with community garden programs. Oftentimes, teachers want to start a program but don’t have the support or Georgia Performance Standards to integrate it into the classroom regularly.
  • Mark Wilson, Workplace Health Group: Part of a long-standing conversation, Wilson wants to help incorporate an employee wellness program at UGA that would incorporate all faculty and staff in a University-wide model. Though the idea needs system-wide support at the Board of Regents level, Wilson is still looking for ways to showcase how the program can significantly reduce health costs for UGA.




Weight of the Nation screening and discussion at UGA


Communication Strategies for Obesity Management, Obesity Initiative at UGA, University of Georgia

University of Georgia professors and students will meet next week to discuss weight and obesity.

They’re screening HBO’s Weight of the Nation at the Tate Theater at 6 p.m. and holding a discussion at 7 p.m.

The Georgia Public Health Training Center and National Association of Chronic Disease Directors are teaming up to present the documentary.

The film is available at