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Three CEHHS Faculty to Present at SEC Symposium on Obesity This Fall

Sarah Colby, assistant professor in Nutrition; Gene Fitzhugh, associate professor in KRSS, and Katie Kavanagh, associate professor in Nutrition will all participate in a Southeastern Conference symposium on tackling the nation’s obesity epidemic this fall.

Colby, Fitzhugh, and Kavanagh, along with Brynn Voy, associate professor in Animal Science, will join peers from thirteen other SEC institutions at the Symposium September 21-23 to be held in Atlanta.  The conference, Prevention of Obesity; Overcoming a 21st Century Public Health Challenge will include topics ranging from genetics to technology and media to environmental influences.  Topics of the presentations by faculty from CEHHS will include:

  • Sarah Colby will present about a community-based participatory research intervention to increase cooking skills and family mealtime to reduce childhood obesity. She is the principal investigator for the state of Tennessee on a five-state $2.5 million US Department of Agriculture federal grant for the iCook 4-H program. Through 4-H, extension and research partners help families learn to cook together, play together, and have positive meal experiences to get children to eat more fruits and vegetables and adopt healthy lifestyles.
  • Gene Fitzhugh will present about the how the built environment across the US influences physical activity and ultimately weight status, with special emphasis on adults living in the South. He is director of the UT Center for Physical Activity and Health, which is dedicated to helping people enhance their health, fitness, and quality of life. A physical activity epidemiologist, Fitzhugh conducts research focusing on the relationship of physical activity to obesity and other chronic diseases.
  • Katie Kavanagh will present about the early influences on weight status. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses related to maternal and child nutrition and is a co-investigator on a Maternal and Child Health Leadership and Training Program Grant. Her research focuses on infant and child feeding behaviors and the effects on growth. She also researches proper preparation of infant formula and ways to promote breastfeeding.

Read more about the symposium and the involvement of the CEHHS!