BOSTON – Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Health Promotion and Health Prevention, at the School of Medicine, and Virginia A. Stallings, MD, PhD, the Jean A. Cortner Endowed Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology at Penn and Professor of Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, will be part of a panel at a special public session, Understanding Obesity and Childhood at the 2008 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston.

The media, teachers, school heath professionals, parents, students, scientists, and the public are invited to attend this free town-hall-style event on understanding the science behind obesity and childhood nutrition.

Dr. Kumanyika will talk about interactions between cultural, social, and environmental factors as they influence child and parent behaviors related to obesity. She will highlight challenges for addressing ethnic disparities in childhood obesity.
Dr. Stallings will speak about nutrition standards for food in schools.

The Obesity and Nutrition Town Hall will take place on Sunday, February 17, 2008 EST from 1:15PM -5:30PM at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. Seating is limited and advance registration is strongly recommended. To register, go to http://registration.expoexchange.com/ShowAAA081/ and select "Go to Registration for the Town Hall."

Please contact Karen Kreeger to set up interviews.

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PENN Medicine is a $3.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, received over $379 million in NIH research funds in the 2006 fiscal year. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals — its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.