C2ST Program on “The Science of Obesity” with IIT’s Britt Burton-Freeman Today at Northwestern

IIT Research Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for Nutrition Research at the Institute for Food Safety and Health Britt Burton-Freeman will join a panel of experts discussing “The Science of Obesity” at an event this afternoon hosted by the Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST) at the Hughes Auditorium on Northwestern University’s downtown campus at 303 E. Superior St.

Experts say that the major contributing factors to the obesity epidemic are complex and multiple, but lack of access to healthy, affordable food (“food deserts”), and uptake even when it is accessible, and insufficient physical activity are believed to be the most significant. These contributing factors are also influenced by particular regional, social, cultural, racial, economic, and environmental features. The health and socioeconomic consequences are staggering and far reaching. Research has shown that obesity is related to more than 20 major chronic diseases and conditions. Among other diseases, obesity increases the risks for heart disease, cancer and stroke as well as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and osteoarthritis. The poor overall health of Americans can lead to a less-productive workplace and the associated health problems have a significant economic impact on the U.S. health care system.

What are the health effects of being obese? What have scientists learned about the relationship between obesity and chronic conditions and diseases? How can we make healthier food choices? And how can we improve our children’s eating and physical activity habits? Chicago-based scientists will present the current science of obesity, describing the various ways obesity harms the body, how our food choices can impact our health and the different health-determinant patterns locally and nationally.

The program begins at 3 pm, and is followed by another panel discussion, “The Policy of Obesity,” featuring policy experts and city officials. Registration covers both events, and costs $15 for non-members of C2ST and $5 for students.

Visit the C2ST website for more info.