The rapidly increasing size and growth of the global obesity epidemic require increased collaboration and sharing of experiences and best practices at the international level.
World leaders convened and identified new policies and initiatives to reverse the obesity epidemic at the UN High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases on September 19-20, 2011, in New York City. Population-based, multi-sectoral, and culturally relevant approaches were discussed and action plans developed.
Among other key issues, the Mediterranean diet, recently acknowledged by UNESCO, is a cornerstone for healthy nutrition and the reduction of risks associated with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and some types of cancer. As science and research are crucial in providing decision-makers with needed evidence on risk factors and remedies, the Embassy of Italy in Washington, in collaboration with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, is convening the conference, “Global Obesity: Scientific, Lifestyle and Policy Approaches” which will be held at the Embassy in Washington, D.C. on October 25, 2011. The Conference will address the epidemic using a “Health in All Policies” approach that mobilizes all sectors of society, including health, transportation, agriculture, finance, the military, the media and private industry.
Four scientific panels will address various aspects of the obesity epidemic:
Basic and Translational Research in Obesity: Biological, Behavioral and Environmental Issues
The biology of obesity including genetics, neuroendocrine and immune factors; lifestyle factors including changes in diet, inactivity, and the media’s role; and the role of modern agriculture in obesity.
Economic and Medical Implications of Obesity
The economic costs of obesity and its impact on life expectancy and quality of life; links between obesity and non-communicable diseases; and the role of health care providers in obesity prevention and treatment.
Cross-sectoral initiatives to address obesity; regulatory issues; the critical role of government - private sector partnerships; and the role of civil society in combating obesity.
Corporate and Social Responsibility
The role of the business sector including the food and fitness industries; their social responsibility; innovative approaches to address the obesity epidemic; and how to market health as an “iconic brand”.
H.E. Giulio Maria Terzi di Sant’Agata: Ambassador of Italy to the United States
The Hon. Ferruccio Fazio: Minister of Health of the Italian Republic
Dr. E. William Colglazier: Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State
Susan Blumenthal, MD, MPA, Conference Co-Chair: Director, Health and Medicine Program, Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress; Chair, Global Health Program, Meridian International Center; former US Assistant Surgeon General and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, HHS
Prof. Enrico Garaci, Conference Co-Chair: President, Istituto Superiore di Sanita’, the Italian National Institute of Health, and Consiglio Superiore di Sanita’, the Italian National Health Consultative Body
Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH: Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Prof. Sergio Pecorelli: Rector, University of Brescia, President of AIFA, the Italian Medicines Agency and Chair, Working Group on Obesity and the Elderly
PANEL 1: BASIC AND TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH ON OBESITY: BIOLOGICAL, BEHAVIORAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Philip Smith, MD, PhD: Co-director, Office of Obesity Research, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health; Deputy Director, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, NIDDK
Prof. Luigi Fontana: Director, Division Nutrition and Aging, Istituto Superiore di Sanita’, Rome, Italy and Visiting Professor, Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science, Washington University, St. Louis, USA
Mary Story, PhD, RD: Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health; Program Director, Healthy Eating Research, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Prof. Dario Gregori: Director, Laboratories of Epidemiological Methods and Biostatistics, Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, University of Padua
Prof. Davide Lauro: Professor of Medicine, Director, Centre for Research on Type 2 Diabetes, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”
Christine Hunter, PhD: Director of Behavioral Research, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), NIH
Prof. Gabriele Riccardi: Professor of Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Naples Federico II and member of the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Advisory Board
Giorgio Vescovo, MD: Head of Internal Medicine Department, Local Health Authority n. 6, Vicenza; Chair, Internal Medicine Research, National Board of Internal Medicine of Italy
Prof. Vito Campese: Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics
Chief, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension Center, Keck School of Medicine at USC, Los Angeles; President of ISSNAF (Italian Scientists and Scholars in North America Foundation)
PANEL 2: ECONOMIC AND MEDICAL IMPLICATIONS OF OBESITY
Monica C. Skarulis, MD: Acting Director, Metabolic Clinical Research Unit, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), NIH
Linda Laura Sabbadini, MD: Central Director of Social Policies Department, Istituto Italiano di Statistica (ISTAT), The Italian National Institute of Statistics
Prof. Francesco Bove: Professor in Orthopedics and Traumatology, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, President of the Foundation for the Fight Against Arthritis and Osteoporosis (AILA)
Domenica Rubino, MD: Director, Board Certified Endocrinology and Metabolism, Washington Center for Weight Management and Research
Giovanni Gulli, MD: Head, Internal Medicine at Savignano General Hospital, Cuneo and Expert, Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, National Board of Internal Medicine of Italy
Claudio Cricelli, PhD, MD: President, Italian Society of Family Medicine
PANEL 3: POLICY INTERVENTIONS
Romano Marabelli, MD: Head, Department of Veterinary Health, Nutrition, and Food Safety, Ministry of Health of Italy
Fabrizio Oleari, MD: Director, Center for Disease Control (CCM); Head, Department of Prevention and Communication, Ministry of Health of Italy
Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH: Co-Chair of the International Obesity Taskforce at the International Association for the Study of Obesity; Senior Advisor to the Center for Public Health Initiatives; Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Steven Gortmaker, PhD: Professor of the Practice of Health Sociology; Director, Harvard School of Public Health Prevention Research Center (HPRC)
Jon K. Andrus, MD: Deputy Director, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Washington DC
Margo Wootan, PhD: Director of Nutrition Policy, Center for Science in the Public Interest
Dr. Lars-Erik Holm, Director General of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare
Prof. Lars Weinehall: Umeå University
Dr. Anders Tegnell: Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare
PANEL 4: CORPORATE AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Lawrence Soler, JD: President and CEO, Partnership for a Healthier America
Luca Virginio: Director, Communication and External Relations, Barilla Group
Nancy Turett: Global President, Health, Edelman Public Relations
Derek Yach, MBChB, MPH: Senior Vice President of Global Health Policy at PepsiCo and former Executive Director of the World Health Organization.
Gillian Barclay, DDS, DrPH: Vice President, Aetna Foundation
Todd Monrad, Director, Medical Division, Technogym USA
Charlotte Cole, PhD: Senior Vice President of Global Education, Sesame Workshop