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PSU hosts symposium on ‘Our State of Obesity’

July 16, 2013 8:15AM

Pittsburg State University’s Summer Health Series, “Our State of Obesity,” comes at a time when experts are ringing alarm bells over the health and economic consequences of a nation struggling to control its weight.

“Our State of Obesity” runs July 26-27 in the Student Recreation Center on the PSU campus.

Dr. Mike Leiker, assistant professor in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation (HHPR), and coordinator of the symposium, said the event has been designed to appeal to a wide range of people.

 “Everyone from healthcare professionals to community members will find valuable information in this symposium,” Leiker said.

Leiker said a dozen speakers, all experts in various topics within the obesity debate, are scheduled to make presentations at the symposium. Topics to be discussed include: the links between lifestyle and diabetes; behavioral interventions to reduce childhood obesity; the role of health, physical education and athletics for students; actively engaging older adults; endocrinology and obesity; and the skeletal muscles’ involvement in obesity.

The keynote speaker for the symposium will be John Thyfault, Ph.D., who is an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and Internal Medicine at the University of Missouri. Thyfault directs the Health Activity Center at MU, where his research examines the effects of physical activity and inactivity on metabolic health in the context of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease.

Paula Clayton, director of the Bureau of Health Promotion in the Kansas Department of Health, will also speak at the symposium.

“Our State of Obesity” runs from 1-5 p.m. on Friday, July 26, and from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 27. Registration is free and space is still available.

To register or for more information about the symposium, visit

http://www.pittstate.edu/info/hhprsymposium/

Facts about obesity in the U.S. (from the CDC)

• Obesity affects 17 percent of all children and adolescents in the U.S. - triple the rate from just one generation ago.

• More than one-third of U.S. adults are overweight or obese and in 2010, studies indicated a similar percentage of U.S. children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

• Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain kinds of cancer.

• In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion.

©2013 Pittsburg State University