Integrating social and behavioral sciences for obesity treatment and prevention
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The obesity epidemic, along with health and nutrition disparities in both rich and poor countries are multi-factorial phenomena. Therefore, solutions for obesity need to be multifaceted, with initiatives cutting across several levels and sectors. Public health recommendations aimed at reducing the prevalence of obesity and improving diet and lifestyle have been to date minimally effective. Research suggests that there are strong social elements that may impact behavior, positively or negatively, with respect to food choice, lifestyle and physical activity. This session will highlight the social and behavioral approaches to address obesity and improve nutrition and health status. Speakers will discuss the latest research demonstrating the impact of social support on facilitating positive behavior change and the role of behavior change on weight management and health status. Examples will be provided on community intervention programs, which have successfully utilized social support to change behavior and improve health, including weight management.
Dr. Christina Economos
'Next Practices' Requires Collaboration to Solve Complex Issues: A Case for ChildObesity180
Dr. Economos will give an overview of child obesity interventions to date targeted at the community level. She will also focus on lifting up effective strategies and identifying new methodological approaches to increase impact, highlighting the potential of a whole of community, systems based approach to childhood obesity prevention. Furthermore, Dr. Economos will illustrate how to translate a community based approach to national level scale through her work as Director and Co-Founder of ChildObesity180. Believing that the complex issue of childhood obesity demands a fresh approach, the founders of ChildObesity180 brought together a cross-sector group of leaders to identify innovative and integrated solutions with the potential to address childhood obesity on a national scale. Housed at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, ChildObesity180 merges the best in nutrition and public health research and practice with expertise from business, government, and non-profit leaders. Since 2009, ChildObesity180 has developed, implemented, evaluated, and scaled high-impact obesity prevention initiatives that have reached more than 9.3 million children nationwide.
Dr. John Foreyt
Successful Behavioral Strategies for Long-Term Weight Management
There is an interesting paradox regarding the increasing prevalence of obesity in our society. Although there is increased interest in healthy eating and physical activity, and an increased awareness of the dangers of obesity, its prevalence continues to rise. Work and commuting demands, little time to exercise or prepare food, availability of high calorie foods and other environmental factors all seem to play a role in its increase. This presentation will focus on the behavioral and social interventions for successful weight management. Step one involves raising awareness through food, activity, and weight records. Step two focuses on confronting the barriers to a healthier lifestyle. Step three focuses on the management of emotional eating, including stress, tension, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and anger. Step four involves enlisting social support and the power of the group in weight loss and maintenance. Group based interventions consistently have been shown to be more effective than dieting alone. Groups provide individuals with a sense of universality, helping them understand that their problems are not unique, that they can learn from others who have had similar issues, can share suggestions and support each other. Ongoing contact helps individuals to stay motivated and to adhere to healthy diet and physical activity behaviors. The benefits of social gatherings for weight loss are well documented in the scientific literature. Outcome data from an ongoing multicenter, randomized clinical trial, evaluating the health effects of behavioral/group interventions in 5,137 obese individuals with type 2 diabetes will be presented.
***Original Source: "2017 Annual Conference", Friday, May 26, 2017
Last Updated: June 26, 2017
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