Teenage Obesity, Solutions Addressed at This Week’s Science Forum

Sarah ColbyObesity touches the lives of more than one-third of American children and teenagers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This week’s Science Forum at UT will look at the obesity epidemic among adolescents and one program that’s trying to help.

Sarah Colby, assistant professor of nutrition at UT, will speak on Get FRUVED (Get FRUits and Vegetables), a 4-H project funded by the US Department of Agriculture that battles obesity through behavioral intervention and support. Her talk, titled “Getting Fruved! Changing Behavior, Changing the World and Improving Health,” begins at noon on Friday, September 26, in Room C-D of Thompson-Boling Arena.

The Science Forum is a weekly lunchtime series that allows professors and area scientists to discuss their research with the general public in a conversational presentation.

Free and open to the public, each Science Forum consists of a forty-minute presentation followed by a question-and-answer session. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch or purchase it at the cafe in Thompson-Boling Arena. The Science Forum is sponsored by the UT Office of Research and Quest, an initiative to raise awareness of the research, scholarship, and creative activity happening on campus.

Colby will elaborate on her study, which uses interactive peer-led intervention techniques to help teens manage their weight. She will also address how dietary quality, physical activity, and stress management affect the battle against obesity.

In addition to her work with Get FRUVED, Colby also directs the Research on Eating and Activity for Community Health lab at the university. The REACH lab conducts population research on children and adolescents 9 to 19 years old and focuses on marketing in college environments.

Colby received her doctoral degree in nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She previously worked as a nutrition research scientist for the USDA Agriculture Research Service and as an assistant nutrition professor at East Carolina University. Her research focuses on health communication using innovative strategies.

The weekly Science Forum continues throughout the semester:

October 3—Caroline Grabber, research nurse at Vanderbilt University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will discuss “Emerging Infections—Update.”

October 10—Joan Rentsch, UT professor of communication studies, will talk about “Communicating to Build Knowledge in Decision-Making Teams.”

October 24—Philip Enquist, UT-ORNL Chair for High Performance Energy Practices in Urban Environments, will speak on “Higher Density Living with Higher Quality of Life.”

October 31—Stefan Spanier, professor of physics, will talk on “Searching for New Forces with the Large Hadron Collider.”

November 7—Omer Onar, Alvin M. Weinberg Fellow at ORNL, will discuss “Electric Vehicles without Plugging In.”

November 14—Tim Isbel, Anderson County Commissioner, will speak on “A Vision for Rocky Top’s Coal Creek Miners Museum.”

Noember. 21—Steven Ripp, research associate professor at the Center for Environmental Biotechnology, will talk about “Catch of the Day: Tiny Zebrafish in the Big Pharmaceutical Pond.”

For more about the UT Science Forum, visit the website.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)