UC Berkeley News


Obesity conference to focus on science/society nexus

17 March 2004

The campus Center for Health Research (CHR) is organizing a one-day conference around the theme “Confronting Obesity: Science, Health, & Society,” to be held Thursday, April 15. The conference is the second in a continuing series of topical examinations of the intersection between science and society. Co-sponsors are the campus Center for Weight and Health and the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy.

The 60-plus Berkeley and UCSF social-science faculty associated with CHR represent varied disciplines, from political science and law to health economics, psychology, and sociology. In focusing the upcoming conference on obesity in particular, says co-chair Peg Hardaway Farrell, the center is recognizing the subject’s importance as a nexus between science and society. Themes that will be explored include the long-term ramifications of obesity for health and health policy, the current state of research into how obesity develops, and the ways in which a community’s built environment and fiscal policies affect physical activity and food choice — key contributors to the rising incidence of obesity in American society.

Speakers will include William Dietz of the CDC; Van Hubbard of the National Insititues for Health; Yale University psychology chair Kelly Brownell; and Patricia Crawford and Gail Woodward-Lopez of Berkeley’s Center for Weight and Health.

The conference will run from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave. For a complete agenda, and to register online, visit SS2.berkeley.edu.