OAC Reaching Out at ObesityWeek 2014

ObesityWeek 2014 BostonAfter setting new records for attendance at the YWM2014 national convention in September, the Obesity Action Coalition scored another first in Boston Sunday. Reaching out at ObesityWeek 2014, OAC presented its first local event to an audience of more than a hundred people affected by obesity in Boston with a faculty of top experts in obesity.

Ted KyleOAC Chairman Ted Kyle opened the session with a welcome and short introduction to the OAC’s mission to educate, empower, and advocate for people affected by obesity.

wpid-img_20141103_031054.jpgTherapist Merrill Littleberry quickly followed with a challenge to the audience. She asked them to consider where they invest their emotional energy and to challenge their falsely acquired thoughts. “Reclaim your now. Live in the present so you can make a better future.”

wpid-img_20141103_032100.jpgRegistered dietitian Cassie Story started with a confession that she had come to the field of dietetics and weight management by serendipity. Before she took up nutrition studies on an impulse, she never really cooked and her dietary habits were not impressive. She offered simple, practical advice for recognizing real food that will nourish, satisfy, and promote health. She gave hope to people with limited cooking skills.

wpid-img_20141103_032935.jpgFamily nurse practitioner and fitness trainer Kenya Palmer got the group moving with her energetic style and commitment to the pure joy of a  physically active life. She provided good insight into the need for physical activity and answered a host of personal questions brought forth by attendees.

wpid-img_20141103_034655.jpgObesity medicine physician Robert Kushner brought a combination of practical insight and evidence-based knowledge to an overview of options for weight management. When asked how quickly he would offer medical treatments for obesity if dietary interventions were not working, he answered succinctly. “I would not hesitate any more than I would hesitate to offer medical treatment for diabetes that can’t be controlled solely changes in diet and lifestyle. Why would I?”

wpid-img_20141103_040710.jpgPediatrician Stephen Cook closed the event with a discussion of the challenging dynamics of childhood obesity. He told the group that “obesity care for childhood almost always involves the whole family.” Cook encourages everyone he can to use people first language and talk about “obesity” instead of labeling children as “obese.”

It was remarkable that on a bitterly cold, blustery, and snowy day of snarled traffic, so many people turned out for this event. They were rewarded with top-notch speakers delivering some of the best information available on obesity.

Click here for more resources from the OAC.

Your Weight Matters Boston Faculty Selfie, photograph © Stephen Cook

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