The Policy of Obesity

December 1, 2011

Northwestern University, Chicago Campus, Hughes Auditorium
303 E Superior St, Chicago, IL, United States


Part 2 of the program features keynote speaker Bechara Choucair, M.D., Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, who will highlight the obesity problem and present his vision for a healthier Chicago. A panel of experts will discuss the latest research informing obesity interventions, as well as challenges and the potential roles played by government, community organizations, private industries and individuals to prevent and combat obesity and the long-term implications of this epidemic.

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 can the government, community initiatives and individuals do in the face of the growing epidemic of obesity? What are the examples of model programs and interventions? What policies and programs exist to address the obesity epidemic in the Chicago region and what is lacking? How do local, national, and international food systems and industry impact this epidemic? And how can we improve our children’s eating and physical activity habits?

Adam Becker, PH.D, M.P.H,
Executive Director, CLOCC (Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children)
• Lisa Powell, PH.D, Senior Research Scientist, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago
• Mike Simmons, Policy Director, Mayor’s Office

Topic Resources:
Illinois fattest it’s ever been
Chicago food desert shrinks 40 percent

Discounted parking will be made available at the 222 E. Huron St. garage: Parking Map

Registration is valid for both programs!

Event Details

The Chicago Council on Science and Technology and the Center for Human Potential and Public Policy present:


Thursday, December 1, 2011
Hughes Auditorium, Northwestern University
303 E. Superior St, Chicago

Part II. Registration and Reception 5:00pm
Program 6:00pm-7:30pm


Fees apply: Non-members $15, Students $5