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Nationwide Children’s Hospital Hosts Childhood Obesity Symposium April 2-3

Focuses on the advent of chronic metabolic diseases among young, overweight children

COLUMBUS, OH - 4/2/2009

Today, Thursday, April 2, Nationwide Children’s Hospital will host a two-day childhood obesity symposium – “Chronic Diseases in Childhood Obesity: Risks and Benefits of Early Intervention” – at the Hilton Columbus at Easton Town Center. In addition to hundreds of physicians and researchers, this clinical symposium brings to Columbus keynote speaker, Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, 17th Surgeon General of the United States (2002-06) and president of the Canyon Ranch Institute in Ariz., and moderator, John Dixon, MBBS, PhD, FRACGP, associate professor and head of the Obesity Research Unit at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

Recent population studies show that the reach of obesity now extends not only to both genders and every ethnic group, but also to all ages, including infants, toddlers, pre-school children and adolescents. Extreme obesity is one of the fastest growing segments of this epidemic, driving the development of many co-morbid conditions. Research has documented the steady rise of chronic diseases among children, including type II diabetes, hepatic and cardiovascular disease.

“We are proud to bring together physicians and researchers in the field of childhood and adolescent obesity to host a critical discussion on the most effective medical, pharmaceutical and surgical therapies for the treatment of young, overweight children,” said one of the conference organizers, Marc P. Michalsky, MD, FACS, FAAP, surgical director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s and assistant professor of Clinical Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

This symposium was organized to discuss the advent of chronic diseases among young, over¬weight children and what therapeutic interventions the healthcare community should employ to address them. Speakers will present the metabolic changes that foster chronic diseases, specifically the manifestations of obesity in cardiovascular and hepatic systems. The ability to screen for and identify high-risk obesity states will be discussed. Guidelines and approaches to childhood obesity currently being used by clinicians will be presented. Potential risks and benefits of a more ag¬gressive standard of care, encompassing screening for at-risk children and the use of medical and surgical therapies earlier in the course of childhood obesity, will be the focus of the symposium.

About the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition
The Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital offers a comprehensive approach to weight management to children 5 years and older. The Center has programs for both the prevention and treatment of overweight children, including New U Programs (medical weight management), surgical weight management program, Ounce of Prevention and Snackwise®. Learn more at

To view the symposium agenda, or for more information, visit

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Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000