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World obesity experts gather at AUT

Leading international and local experts on obesity are to attend a two-day conference at AUT University this week to discuss ways of reducing obesity-driven chronic disease.

Convenor Dr Elaine Rush, AUT Professor of Nutrition and world-recognised expert in nutrition and obesity, says New Zealand plays a vital role in a global movement to address this escalating problem.

"It's important we work together to reduce chronic disease risk and burden on a local and global level."

The keynote speakers, including international experts from Britain and India, will discuss topics ranging from determinants of obesity to intervention work in the community.

Dr Ranjan Yajnik, Director of the Diabetes Unit from King Edward Memorial Hospital in India, will discuss maternal nutrition and child health, including foetal origins of disease. His research looks at the mother's diet and how her fatness affects the fatness and disease risk of her children.

Dr Yajnik will present evidence at the conference from his studies of families showing how maternal and paternal nutrition affects children's health.

Another keynote speaker, Neville Rigby spokesperson for The Global Obesity Alliance, will examine obesity from an international perspective. Mr Rigby, who is also Director of Policy and Public Affairs for the International Association for the study of obesity, believes governments must address childhood obesity before it becomes an uncontrollable burden to the state.

In New Zealand, obesity has soared to nearly 20 per cent of the adult population since the mid-1980s and is projected to reach 30 per cent by 2011. Another third of the population is simply overweight.


'From Genetics to Community' – What is Obesity?
Speakers from AUT: Dr Elaine Rush, Jeni Pearce, Grant Schofield

Where: AUT University's Sport Fitness Centre
North Shore Campus, 90 Akoranga Dr, Northcote
When: Saturday 9th September and Sunday 10th September
Contact: or 021 624 077


'Foetal to Fatal'
Dr Ranjan Yajnick, Director of the Diabetes Unit at King Edward Memorial Hospital in India. Dr Yajnick will discuss the early life origins of obesity and diabetes – and the effect of maternal nutrition and body size.

Where: WA220 Lecture Theatre, AUT University
Wellesley St Campus, Auckland City
When: 7pm, Monday 11th September, 2006


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