Stern focuses on obesity at D.W. Brooks Lecture

By for CAES News

By Stephanie Schupska
University of Georgia

Obesity and its effects on Americans continue to be hot topics in health and science. Judith S. Stern, an expert in nutrition, will further the discussion at the 2005 D.W. Brooks Lecture Oct. 3 in Athens.

Stern, a University of California Davis professor of nutrition and internal medicine, has published extensively on nutrition, obesity and the effect of exercise on appetite and metabolism. Her speech will cover the topic, "Can We Fight Obesity without Fighting the Obese?"

"We're getting fatter as a nation," Stern said in a phone interview about the obesity problem. "It's predicted that if this is not turned around, we will all be obese by the year 2020. The epidemic of obesity is global."

In studying the global epidemic, Stern is focusing on how obesity impacts lipids, longevity and renal disease. She's researching a nondiet approach to health in obese women, dietary supplements for weight control and other issues.

The annual lecture will be at 11 a.m. at the University of Georgia in Master's Hall in the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

Her lecture will follow the presentation of this year's D.W. Brooks Faculty Awards for Excellence winners at UGA. The awards are given annually to UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty who excel in teaching, research, extension and public service.

The awards were established in 1981 to recognize excellence in the CAES teaching program. In 1983, they expanded to include research, extension and county extension programs. An award for international agriculture was added in 1988 and is given in alternate years.

The lecture and awards are named for the late D.W. Brooks, founder and chairman emeritus of Gold Kist, Inc. Brooks was an advisor to seven U.S. presidents on agriculture and trade issues. He also started Cotton States Mutual Insurance Companies in 1941 to provide farmers with insurance. The CAES sponsors the annual lecture series in his memory.

Stern has a bachelor's degree in food and nutrition from Cornell University. She earned her master's and doctorate of science in nutrition at the Harvard University School of Public Health in Boston. She became a research associate and later an assistant professor at Rockefeller University in the department of human behavior and metabolism in 1969. Stern joined UC Davis in 1975.

Popular magazines such as Redbook have published more than 150 of her articles. She's had more than 250 research papers in professional journals and serves as an editorial advisor to Prevention Magazine.

Stern is vice president of the American Obesity Association, a lay advocacy group she founded with Dr. Richard L. Atkinson. The group's goal is to advance understanding of obesity as a disease.

She is director of the UC Food Intake Laboratory Group, co- director of Alternative Medicine Center for Research in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, program co-director of a nutrition training grant and director of a clinical nutrition unit animal models subcore lab.

Stern is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, a fellow of the American Heart Association, past president of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity and a member of the American Society for Nutrition Sciences and American Dietetic Association.

(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University of Georgia Public Affairs Office.