From Moms to Metabolism, New Research on Obesity Epidemic Presented at UH Symposium

From the White House to our own homes, awareness of the consequences of obesity and its related illnesses has heightened.  First Lady Michelle Obama has made childhood obesity a target of awareness, while here at home Houston continues to shed its image as one of America's fattest cities.   

The University of Houston's Texas Obesity Research Center (TORC), which promotes innovative and multidisciplinary research to prevent and control obesity, presents experts on various aspects of the epidemic for its spring symposium.  The event will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m., Friday, April 16 in Philip Guthrie Hall (PGH) room 232.  The event is free.   

"We have a critical mass of investigators across a wide range of disciplines working in the arena of obesity," said Rebecca Lee, associate professor of health and human performance (HHP) and TORC director.  "Attendees will learn about a diverse range of obesity topics from several formal talks as well as a moderated question-and-answer session, featuring audience participation." 

Co-sponsored by the UH Texas Learning and Computational Center (TLC2), speakers and research presentations include:

  • Norma Olvera, HHP associate professor, " It Takes a Village: an Ecological Approach to Combat Childhood Obesity"
  • Dan O'Conner, HHP assistant professor, "When Mother Doesn't Know Best: Errors of Parent-Reported Height and Weight in Children"
  • Brian McFarlin, HHP associate professor, "Of Mice and Men: Are Mouse Models of Obesity a Suitable Analog for Humans?"
  • Jian Liu, HHP assistant professor, "The Bigger They are the Harder They Fall: Effect of Obesity on Human Dynamic Walking Stability" 

These HHP faculty will be joined by economics professor Alok Bhargava for a panel discussion on obesity.   

For more information or to register, contact Sarah Sweaney at 713-743-4019 or

For more information about the UH Texas Obesity Research Center, visit   

WHAT: UH Texas Obesity Research Center Spring Symposium 

WHEN: 1:30 - 4 p.m., Friday, April 16  

WHERE:  PGH 232