Addressing the obesity epidemic at Texas Conference on Health Disparities

June 3, 2015

1130

Follow the conversation on Twitter:
#UNTHSCSolveObesity

Nearly 70 percent of adults in the United States are overweight or obese.

The statistics are even more alarming among some racial and ethnic groups. Nearly 80 percent of Hispanics and 77 percent of blacks have a body mass index above 25 and are considered overweight or obese.

Despite evidence that interventions are having an impact on the obesity epidemic, the populations with the greatest needs are not being reached, said Jamboor Vishwanatha, PhD, Director of the Texas Center for Health Disparities.

At the Tenth Annual Texas Conference on Health Disparities, June 11-12, speakers from across the country will gather at UNT Health Science Center to explore ways to address the obesity epidemic and take steps to combat health disparities.

One approach that will be presented at the conference uses motivational counseling to help children lose weight and live healthier lives.  Motivational counseling is an evidence-based approach often used when working with those who have addictions, said keynote speaker Ken Resnicow, Irwin M. Rosenstock Collegiate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

“The intervention worked for everyone, but it worked even better for Latinos,” Dr. Resnicow said.  “We feel this model is realistic, largely affordable and could be widely disseminated.”

The conference also will feature a project that encourages African-American cancer survivors to be more active. Data from the project will be presented by Michelle Martin, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“Although research suggests that exercise can reduce the risk of re-occurrence among cancer survivors, African-American survivors are among the least active,” Dr. Martin said.

To promote physical activity, cancer survivors were provided a Nintendo Wii Fit and were paired with a community health advisor dedicated to improving outcomes for community members.

The two lectures are among roughly a dozen that will be presented by national leaders in the field. The conference is funded in part by a grant to Heather Kitzman-Ulrich, PhD, Assistant Professor, from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Emanuel George 666 X 750
College of Pharmacy faculty member inspires greatness, one student at a time

Dr. Emanuel George, III, aka “DrEG3,” is on a mission to impact and serve 1 million people. He is well on his way, advocating for students, alumni and the greater pharmacy community. “I believe that I am a servant to all people,” Dr. George said. “I hope to help people become and li...Read more

Dec 2, 2021

Magdalena Bus and Bruce Budowle
Dr. Bruce Budowle named as UNT System Regents Professor

By Sally Crocker Over the years, Bruce Budowle, PhD, has been recognized in various ways for his lifelong dedication to uncovering mysteries, bringing long-sought answers to families and communities and developing novel ways to improve the science behind forensic medicine. After spending ...Read more

Dec 1, 2021

Dr. Nolan Kline, School of Public Health
This HSC faculty member is taking action to help address social problems

By Sally Crocker Nolan Kline, PhD, is the kind of person who can’t sit by when action is needed. A defining moment early in his college experience led Dr. Kline to a career in public health education, research and service, and as a new faculty member in the HSC School of Public Health, h...Read more

Nov 23, 2021

Dr. Christopher Hull, TCOM alum
The healing power of hats: How one TCOM alum brings smiles to faces with his unique collection

By Steven Bartolotta In 1998, Christopher Hull, DO and 1979 Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine alum, was wearing a signature hat from his vast collection, as he walked through a hospital hallway. A patient came up to him and asked if he was wearing a welder’s hat. “Yes,” said...Read more

Nov 22, 2021