Waterville conference to highlight link between obesity and chemicals

Posted Oct. 07, 2011, at 6:15 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 07, 2011, at 8:47 p.m.

WATERVILLE, Maine — A University of California-Irvine scientist who links obesity to daily interactions with chemicals will speak at a daylong conference at Colby College on Friday, Oct. 14.

“Chemicals, Obesity and Diabetes: How Science Leads Us to Action,” will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Ostrove Auditorium in the Diamond Building.

Keynote speaker Bruce Blumberg of UC-Irvine will address the crowd at 10 a.m.

“Thirty percent of adults and an estimated 17 percent of children and teens in our country are obese — figures that would have been unimaginable a generation ago. Sedentary lifestyles and poor diet are major contributors. But Blumberg’s research suggests that some people might be predisposed to obesity even before birth due to prenatal exposure to hazardous chemicals,” reads a press release on the event.

“We hope this conference will start a dialogue about appropriate policy responses to this data,” said Steve Taylor, an organizer of the conference.

Other speakers include Michael Dedekian of Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland; Michael Belliveau of the Environmental Health Strategy Center; Lisa Sockabasin, Maine’s director of the Office of Minority Health; Jerrold Heindel of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Elizabeth Hatch of Boston University’s School of Public Health; and Richard Denison of Environmental Defense Fund.

The event is open to the public. To register or view a full schedule, visit chemicalobesityconference2011.com.

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