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Global Obesity Prevention Center



Indigenous Solutions for Global Health Issues Seminar


ngata hsihiWhen: Thursday, November 12th @ 12:00 PM EDT - 1:00 PM EDT
Where: JHSPH, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, Room W4030
Topic: Exploring solutions to the rise in global obesity rates
Speaker: Dr Ihirangi Heke & Dr Wayne Ngata 


Global obesity rates are now the most significant threat to Māori tribe and indeed all indigenous peoples today.  Dr Ihirangi Heke & Dr Wayne Ngata are exploring solutions to confront and impede the rate of indigenous obesity.  

Central to this is the notion that we revisit and reinstate ancient Environmental Science practices alongside mainstream Systems Science with the aim to improve the health outcomes of Māori people. This lecture will discuss these practices as a contemporary indigenous response to a global epidemic and how indigenous frameworks of practice can motivate change behavior and healthy outcomes for indigenous peoples.  

Obesity Week 2015 - (TOS) The Obesity Society


When: Monday, November 2nd - Saturday November 7th, 2015
Where: Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

The Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) will have faculty, staff, and students attending and presenting at this years TOS Obesity Week. Dr. Tim Moran, Associate Director of the GOPC, will be one of the keynote speakers and several of our staff and students will have poster presentations.

APHA Annual Meeting

When: Monday, November 2nd, 2015
Where: McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago IL

The APHA's (American Public Health Association) Annual Meeting in Chicago brings together more than 12,000 public health professionals from the US and abroad to share the latest research and information, promote best practices, and advocate for public health policies grounded in research. 

Bruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA, Director of the GOPC, Yeeli Mui, MPH, Senior Analyst at the GOPC, and selected External Collaborators will be hosting a panel in the CHPPD (Community Health Planning & Policy Development) section of the APHA's Annual Meeting called A Systems Approach to Curb Obesity: Innovation, integration, and health in all policies.

For more information, please click here.

Neal Baer's Telling Tales: How Stories Can Improve Our Health

neal baer headshotWhen: Monday, September 21st, 2015 @ 12:15 PM - 2:00 PM
Where: JHSPH, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, Room E2014 Sommer Hall
Speaker: Neal Baer, MD

Event page

Neal Baer, MD will be visiting our Global Obesity Prevention Center to discuss how his work as a pediatrician and television writer on ERLaw and Order: SVU and Under the Dome have influenced the way he tells stories and how those stories can have a profound impact on global health.  Drawing on his own experiences, Dr. Baer will describe how we can all use our stories to improve public health.

After Dr. Baer's talk, there will be a reception in Room W1030 from 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM. Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information, please contact Sarah Weber, GOPC's Communications Specialist.

Obesity Systems Forum


dan taberWhen: Wednesday, June 24th @ 2:00 PM EDT to 3:00 PM EDT
Where: JHSPH, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, Room E9519
Topic: Food Policy Resistance: Using System Dynamics to Explore Why Policies Fail   
Speaker: Daniel Taber, PhD, MPH


Federal, state, and local leaders have implemented many policies to improve children's diet, particularly within schools, but some policies failed to produce any behavior change. Well-intended policies can even have unintended consequences

System dynamics models can explore how individuals and organizations adapt to policy change, producing such unintended consequences, and whether different policies in different sectors are more effective.

Dr. Taber will present a system dynamics model designed to simulate whether policies targeting sweetened beverages can overcome policy resistance and successfully reduce children’s sweetened beverage consumption.

Obesity Systems Forum


kpWhen: Wednesday, May 27th @ 2:00 PM EDT to 3:00 PM EDT
Where: JHSPH, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, Room E9519
Topic: A Framework for Assessing Effects of the U.S. Food System   
Speaker: Keshia M. Pollack, PhD, MPH


A National Academy of Sciences’ committee released a report in February 2015 that illustrated a framework for assessing the health, environmental, social, and economic effects associated with the U.S. food system. This analytical framework would serve a tool for decision-makers, researchers, and other stakeholders to examine the possible impacts of interventions, and evaluate the collective health, environmental, social, and economic outcomes of specific changes in the food system.  

This framework will be useful for: (1) identifying and potentially preventing unintended effects of an intervention; (2) promoting transparency among stakeholders about decisions; (3) improving communication and providing a better understanding of values and perspectives among scientists, policy makers, and other stakeholders; (4) decreasing the likelihood of misinterpretation of results from any particular analysis. 

Ultimately, the framework would inform decision-making in food and agricultural practices and policies so as to minimize unintended health, environmental, social, and economic consequences. The presentation by Dr. Pollack, a member of the Committee, will describe the framework and its rationale, and use a case example to demonstrate its ability to inform decision-making in food and agricultural practices and policies, and to minimize unintended health, environmental, social, and economic consequences.

Obesity Systems Forum


pam sWhen: Wednesday, April 22nd @ 2:00 PM EDT to 3:00 PM EDT
Where: JHSPH, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, Room E9519
Topic: Findings from a multi-faceted supermarket intervention: “Eat Right, Live Well!”  
Speaker: Pamela Surkan, ScD, PhD


Results from a supermarket-based nutrition intervention in a low-income Baltimore community

Despite expressing a desire for healthy and fresh foods, low-income residents frequently make purchasing decisions that are not aligned with their preferences. This presentation will focus on findings from a community nutrition program in a low-income Baltimore supermarket.

Results are included from the formative qualitative phase carried out to inform the intervention, the process evaluation to assess the study’s implementation, and an economic evaluation of sales data in order to measure impact of the program on purchasing behaviors.   

The Obesity Journal Club


casey r jcWhen: Thursday, March 26th @ 12:00 PM EDT - 1:00 PM EDT
Where: JHSPH, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, Room E2523
Discussion Leader: Casey Rebholz, 2nd year postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology and the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research
Topic: Pooled results from 5 validation studies of self-reported instruments using recovery biomarkers for energy and protein intake.


For more information, please click here.


B'more Healthy Communities for Kids (BHCK) Community Forum


BHCK LogoWhen: Thursday, March 26th @ 9:00 AM EDT - 12:00 AM. EDT
Where: Humanim Building, 1701 N. Gay Street, Baltimore, MD, 21205
Topic: Promoting the health of kids in the Baltimore community


Please see here for further information and to R.S.V.P


Society for Research in Child Development


SUSANWhen: Thursday, March 19th @ 12:15 PM. EDT - 1:45 PM EDT
Where: Philadelphia, PA
Topic: From Brain to Hand to Mouth: Neurocognitive Correlates of Child Eating Behavior and Obesity
Speaker: Susan Carnell, PhD

This symposium takes a developmental approach to understanding the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying childhood eating behavior and obesity.  To do this we bring together an interdisciplinary group of scientists using cutting edge techniques.  Together, they will present evidence for the contribution of several specific neurocognitive and behavioral pathways to excess weight gain in youth. 


Obesity Systems Forum


Claudia HeadshotWhen: Wednesday, March 18th @ 2:00 PM EDT to 3:00 PM EDT
Where: JHSPH, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, Room E6519
Topic: Profitable Pricing Interventions to Improve Beverage Consumption in Small Neighborhood Stores
Speaker: Claudia Nau, PhD

Decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption can facilitate obesity prevention. Raising SSB prices and lowering water prices are potentially complementary public health strategies to shift beverage purchases in a healthier direction while maintaining or increasing retailer profit. To assess feasibility, we conducted a simulation study to identify combinations of SSB and water prices that increase both water demand and profit for small neighborhood stores (“corner stores”). SSB purchases are substantial revenue sources for corner stores that are the only beverage providers in many low-income, urban neighborhoods.

We built inventory models, an analytic approach suitable for modeling business operations, that represent the beverage inventory, wholesale costs, retail prices, and demand in two Baltimore corner stores. Results indicated, for example, that a 20% SSB price increase allows lowering water prices while maintaining profit and increases water demand by 9 and 14% for stores selling SSB in 12oz cans and 16oz bottles, respectively. When water prices are not changed, profit can increase by 4.3 and 6%.  Various combinations of SSB and water prices could encourage water consumption and maintain or increase store owners’ profits.


National Institutes of Health (NIH) Chronic Disease Workshop


Bruce Lee HeadshotWhen: Tuesday, March 10th @ 11:30 AM EDT - 12:00 PM EDT
Where: Lister Hill Auditorium, NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD
Topic: Possible New Tools: Systems Science
Speaker: Bruce Lee, MD, MBA
Chair: Bert Garza

Computational modeling to help connect nutrition recommendations with chronic disease outcomes

For more information, please click here


Prevention of Global Obesity and Diabetes Epidemics Seminar


Frank HuWhen: Wednesday, March 4th @ 4:00 PM EDT - 5:00 PM EDT
Where: JHSPH, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, Sommer Hall (E2014)
Topic: Prevention of Global Obesity and Diabetes Epidemics: The Intersection of Science, Politics, and Polices
Speaker: Frank Hu, MD, PhD, MPH

For more information, see here for the flyer or send an e-mail to


The Obesity Journal Club 


b jclubWhen: Thursday, February 26th @ 12:00 PM EDT - 1:00 PM EDT
Where: JHSPH, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, Room E2523
Discussion Leader: Brittany Jock, Doctoral student, Social and Behavioral Interventions
Topic: The science of obesity: what do we really know about what makes us fat? An essay by Gary Taubes


For more information, please click here.


The Obesity Journal Club 


AS JC HeadshotWhen: Thursday, February 19th @ 12:00 PM EDT - 1:00 PM EDT
Where: JHSPH, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, Room E2523
Discussion Leader: Allysan P. Scatterday, MSPH Candidate in Human Nutrition
Topic: Is there a relationship between red or processed meat intake and obesity? A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies


Primary Reference Article:

Is there a relationship between red or processed meat intake and obesity? A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.
Rouhani MH, Salehi-Abargouei A, Surkan PJ, Azadbakht L. Obes Rev. 2014;15(9):740-748.​ 

For more information, please click here.


Healthy Eating Research Conference


When: Wednesday, February 18th - Friday, February 20th, 2015
Where: Marriott Inner Harbor Camden Yards, Downtown Baltimore
Talk Leaders: Dr. Sara Bleich and Dr. Joel Gittelsohn


saraCalorie Changes in Chain Restaurant Menu Items: Implications for Obesity and Evaluations of Menu Labeling 
Sara Bleich, PhD, JHSPH


joelFormal and Informal Agreements With Food and Beverage Distributors: Small Store Owner Perspectives from Four Cities
Joel Gittelsohn, PhD, Professor, Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, JHSPH