Upstate News

September 27, 2006
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Central New York health experts gather Sept. 29 to find local solutions to fight obesity

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Nearly 200 health experts from across Central New York will gather Sept. 29 in an attempt to find local solutions to one of the region’s-and nation’s-most pressing health problems: obesity.

The event, “Working Together for Fit CNY: A Free Teaching Day on Community and Medical Solutions for Obesity,” will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the OnCenter Convention Center, 800 S. State Street, Syracuse. (Highlights of the program are attached.)

The Commission for a Healthy Central New York, which comprises physicians, nurses and health officials from area counties, has identified obesity as one of eight key health concerns for people Central New York.

Statistics show that nearly two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese and that nearly one-fifth of children are overweight compared to just 4 percent 30 years ago. The obesity epidemic has led to a rise in other health ailments, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke, among others.

The program features panel discussion and presentations aimed at finding various solutions to curb obesity through programming in schools, the workplace and other community institutions.

Program highlights from the Working Together for a Fit CNY:

? 9:15 a.m. Onondaga County Health Commissioner Cynthia Morrow will highlight the local obesity problem in her opening remarks.

? 10 a.m. Physicians will discuss different clinical approaches to addressing the obesity epidemic, including surgery, medications, behavioral modifications for adults and children.

? 11:30 a.m. Walter Willett, M.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, who is widely quoted in the national media on issues relating to obesity, will present “The Search for Optimal Diets.”

? 1:30 p.m. Experts will discuss various strategies to help neighborhoods and other groups organize efforts to combat obesity.

? 2:45 p.m. Experts from various Central New York counties will discuss approaches to combating obesity that might be possible in their areas. Counties represented in this discussion are Cayuga, Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida Onondaga, Oswego and Tompkins.

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