11:15pm Saturday 21 October 2017

Health experts to compare divergent views of the ‘War on Obesity’

Linda Bacon, an associate nutritionist in the UC Davis Department of Nutrition, will outline an alternative to dieting and weight loss, advocated by the Health at Every Size movement. Presenting the more conventional weight-based approach to health improvement will be John Foreyt, professor of medicine and director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.

Their joint presentation, titled “War on Obesity: A Battle Worth Fighting?” will be held at 8 a.m. in Ballroom 20A of the San Diego Convention Center.

Bacon and Foyet will discuss topics such as whether excess weight and obesity pose substantial risk to a person’s health and longevity, and whether it is advisable to encourage weight loss.

“My research results confirm that people can best improve their health and well-being when they kick the diet habit,” Bacon says, “And I’m hoping the dietitians will take the lead.”

The Health at Every Size concept, promoted by the Health at Every Size website at http://www.haescommunity.org/index.php, challenges the value of encouraging weight loss and dieting and instead argues for a shift toward weight-neutral outcomes and unrestricted “mindful” eating.

In addition to her position at UC Davis, Bacon also serves as a nutrition professor at City College of San Francisco. She is the author of “Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight.”

Foreyt is an authority on health issues related to cardiovascular disease. Much of his research has focused on understanding the causes and treating the effects of obesity. He has served on several federal obesity panels addressing public policy and has published 17 books.

About UC Davis

For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has more than 32,000 students, more than 2,500 faculty and more than 21,000 staff, an annual research budget that exceeds $678 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

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