gareth duttonPlease join us in congratulating Dr. Gareth Dutton on his appointment as Chair of the Obesity Theme for the American Psychological Association’s Annual Convention.  The convention will be held in Orlando, Florida August 2 – 5, 2012, and sessions in the obesity track include, “Contributors to Obesity: Exploring the Roads Less Traveled,” by Dr. David Allison, “Transforming Systems to Reduce Childhood Obesity,” and several others.

In selecting her convention themes for APA's Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla., Aug 2–5, APA President Suzanne Bennett Johnson, PhD, chose to highlight three areas that are critically important to the nation's health and the field of psychology: obesity, interdisciplinary team science and interprofessional practice.

APA divisions and governance groups worked with Johnson to create three collaborative and innovative program tracks on each theme. All tracks will offer CE.

"These tracks are designed to prepare psychologists for the key roles they must play as scientists who can work on teams to solve society's most intractable problems, as practitioners who provide care as part of interprofessional teams and as behavior and health experts who can help turn around the obesity epidemic," says Johnson.

She selected four experts to develop these presidential tracks and asked each chair to share highlights from the programming.

Obesity, chaired by Gareth R. Dutton, PhD, an associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham

What will be new to most psychologists? "Psychologists who are not involved in obesity research or practice may be surprised by the important contributions psychology makes to this area. Many psychologists have played key roles in the development of evidence-based obesity treatments, changes to public policy related to food and exercise, and our understanding of the biological processes that influence obesity."

Name one not-to-be-missed session. "Dr. David Allison's presentation, 'Contributors to Obesity: Exploring the Roads Less Traveled,' should provide a thought-provoking overview of potential—but often overlooked—contributors to obesity, such as micro-organisms, assortative mating and increasing maternal age, among others."

Other sessions include:

  • "Childhood Obesity from Exercise to Parents: What Research and Practice Can Teach Us."
  • "Psychological Evaluation of the Patient Requesting Bariatric Surgery."
  • "Addressing Obesity and Health Disparities in the Nation's Children."
  • "Discrimination toward Obese Persons: A Social Injustice and Public Health Priority."
  • "Obesity-depression Associations in the Population: Research and Clinical Implications."
  • "Policy and Environmental Approaches to Curbing Obesity in the United States."
  • "Successful Weight Maintenance Following Weight Loss."
  • "Transforming Systems to Reduce Child Obesity."
  • "Divergent Responses to an Obesogenic Environment."
  • "Physical Activity Before, During and After Pregnancy: A Weighty Issue."
  • "Outwitting the Wisdom of the Body: Interrelationships between Obesity and Cognitive Functioning."