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UC Davis experts: Nutrition, obesity and exercise

The following UC Davis faculty members are available to speak on topics related to obesity, exercise and nutrition.

Nutrition, appetite and obesity

Judith Stern, UC Davis professor of nutrition and internal medicine, has published extensively on nutrition, the effect of exercise on appetite and metabolism, and obesity. Stern can talk about her studies on the effects of obesity on longevity and renal disease, dietary supplements for weight control, obesity treatment, the role of exercise and public-health policy. Stern is the co-founder and vice president of the American Obesity Association, a lay advocacy group. She is director of the UC Food Intake Laboratory Group and co-director of Alternative Medicine Center for Research in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology. Stern was president of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity from 1992 to 1993 and president of American Society for Clinical Nutrition from 1996 to 1997. Contact: Judith Stern, Nutrition, (530) 752-6575, jsstern@ucdavis.edu.

Nutrition and fitness

Liz Applegate, UC Davis nutrition instructor and nationally renowned expert on nutrition and fitness, can talk about exercise and healthy eating. She is the author of five books including “Eat Smart Play Hard,” “Bounce Your Body Beautiful,” and “The Encyclopedia of Sports and Fitness Nutrition.” Applegate has written more than 300 articles for national magazines and is nutrition editor and a columnist for Runner’s World Magazine. She is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and a member of the Sports and Cardiovascular Nutritionists, as well as a nutrition consultant for the U.S. Olympic Team and teams in the National Basketball Association and National Football League. Contact: Liz Applegate, Nutrition, (530) 752-6682, eaapplegate@ucdavis.edu.

Childhood and teen obesity

A national expert on child and teen obesity, Dennis Styne is chief of pediatric endocrinology and director of the childhood diabetes clinic and weight management program for the UC Davis Health System. He can talk about pediatric endocrine disorders, growth and puberty disorders, type 2 diabetes, thyroid disease and childhood obesity. Styne developed the "Fit Kid" and the "Fit Teen" weight management programs at UC Davis Children's Hospital. Contact: Carole Gan at UC Davis Health System Medical Science Public Affairs, (916) 734-9047, carole.gan@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu.

The new Latino diet

UC Davis community nutrition specialist Lucia Kaiser can talk about how Latinos have changed their eating patterns in the United States and the nutritional effects of the new diet. Kaiser develops nutrition education materials, publishes a bi-monthly newsletter and presents nutrition topics at workshops and conferences throughout California. She administers a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that examines the impact of food assistance on nutrition. Kaiser is also an expert on nutrition, cultural beliefs regarding diabetes, child feeding strategies, and how Latinos' fear of not having enough to eat affects their food purchasing and consumption. Contact: Lucia Kaiser (fluent in Spanish), Nutrition, (530) 754-9063, llkaiser@ucdavis.edu.

Weight gain for Latino immigrants

Weight gain becomes a big health risk when Latino immigrants encounter cheap, low-quality food and develop bad eating habits, according to Marc Schenker, professor of epidemiology and preventive medicine and director of the UC Davis Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety. "Immigrant health is a major problem today and will be for the foreseeable future," says Schenker, who just completed a study on major health risks for Latino immigrants. The study found Latinos reduce their intake of fresh foods and homemade meals, increase their consumption of foods with high fat and sugar content, and give in to the American propensity for "super-size" portions. Contact: Marc Schenker, Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, (530) 752-5676, mbschenker@ucdavis.edu.

New center probes links between diet, genes and disease

Ray Rodriguez, UC Davis professor of molecular and cellular biology, can talk about the links between diet, genes and diseases in minority populations. Rodriguez is the director of the new National Center of Excellence in Nutritional Genomics, which studies how different foods can interact with particular genes to increase the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and some cancers. The center will seek to identify genes controlled by naturally occurring chemicals in food and study how some of these genes can tip the balance between health and disease. Contact: Ray Rodriguez, Biological Sciences, (530) 752-3263, rlrodriguez@ucdavis.edu.

Obesity among dogs and cats

Andrea Fascetti, assistant professor of clinical nutrition in the School of Veterinary Medicine, can talk about obesity in dogs and cats. Fascetti runs a nutrition support service for veterinarians and also offers dietary management of common diseases, weight loss programs for dogs and cats, and analyses and formulations of computer-generated recipes for homemade diets. Her lab research focuses on nutrition and metabolism in dogs and cats, trace mineral requirements in cats, the influence of trace minerals on the reproductive efficiency in cats, taurine metabolism in dogs, improvements in pet foods and the use of nutrition in the management and prevention of disease within veterinary clinical nutrition. Contact: Andrea Fascetti, Veterinary Medicine, (530) 753-1393, ajfascetti@ucdavis.edu.

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Last updated Feb. 13, 2007