13th Annual Southern Obesity Summit

13th Annual Southern Obesity Summit

A Reset for Collective Impact: SOS will reframe obesity in the context of complex global systems that are shaping three worldwide crises: obesity, under-nutrition, and climate change. We anticipate it will reset the agenda for future summits as well as national-level work on these issues. Proceedings from the summit, including insight shared during interactive sessions will be published post-Summit. SOS participants will be at the birth of a revitalized movement for healthy people and resilient communities.


The Cutting Edge
: Vivica Kraak, PhD, RDN, one of the American authors of the Lancet report on the Global Syndemic of Obesity, Under-Nutrition, and Climate Change, will be the opening plenary speaker. She will outline the systems and sectors producing the syndemic and begin a dialogue about how American obesity prevention advocates, practitioners, and policymakers cultivate multisector relationships for “double- and triple-duty actions” to address the three global crises. Round table discussions will allow participants to reflect and share how they can be involved in this new movement—starting in the South! This will be the first and largest audience reflecting on how America can respond to the global syndemic.

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Systems Change Like You’ve Never Heard It
: Three speakers will offer perspectives on their efforts to nurture systems change to promote healthy people and resilient communities. Liliana Burbana, Public Health Planner, will offer a behind-the-scenes look at successful community transformation efforts in Knoxville, TN. A-dae Romero-Briones, LLM, JD from the First Nation Development Center will discuss food sovereignty, indigenous agriculture, and the importance of healthy relationships among people with the land. Carolina Gonzalez-Schlenker, MD, MPH, a pediatrician from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, will share insight about how her promotora program helps nurture healthy, inclusive relationships starting with family systems and how such relationships support health equity.


Nurturing New Paradigms
: This year’s SOS will challenge conventional thinking about obesity prevention. Jennifer Seymour from the CDC will identify how new learnings about the nature of the obesity pandemic requires fresh perspective based on new science, a systems perspective, and a health equity lens. State health teams will be challenged to think about how they can collaborate to address the global syndemic through new partnerships and a collective impact approach.

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Southern Leadership
: While obesity is a global epidemic, the southern states of the US have the highest rates of obesity. Southern states are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity, which is particularly pernicious in rural areas and in southern counties. Southern Gulf states are already impacted by climate change. Southern Leadership will be needed to link these crises and tackle the hard work of cross-sectoral collaboration for systems change. State teams will have opportunities to consider ways they can begin addressing the three crises, and the summit will end with a call for southern leadership to work as a region for changes with global implications.

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 Application is in process for CHES credits!

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