UC Davis’ World Food Center, Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and Professor Ann Huff Stevens, along with UC President Janet Napolitano, are partnering with the Brookings Institution on a presentation and panel on the economic costs of obesity.

The program is set to take place at the institution in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 12. Live streaming is planned: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. PDT. Sign up here for an email reminder. Join the World Food Center in MU II, Memorial Union, for a group viewing with light refreshments.

Going to Washington for the program are Chancellor Katehi, opening remarks; President Napolitano, keynote; and Professor Stevens, panelist.

Brookings is a private nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions.

The Brookings website declares: “Over the past 30 years, academics and public sector officials alike have seen obesity rates climb to alarming new heights. By 2012, over one-third of American adults were obese and the adult obesity rate had doubled since 1965. Current levels of obesity in the United States represent a large-scale loss in quality of life, deterioration in population health and an enormous drain on financial resources.”

Research associate Matthew Kasman of Brookings’ Center on Social Dynamics and Policy will present the new research, which addressed such questions as: How can the cost of obesity be quantified, beyond the direct medical costs incurred by the obese population? How many dollars are lost because of reduced productivity, taxes forgone and increased Social Security Disability Insurance benefits attributable to obesity? How much do these costs accrue over the course of a lifetime?

According to the Brookings website, the panel will discuss obesity research, the progress that has been made in quantifying the economic cost of obesity, and the work that has yet to be done — and will take questions from the audience.

Here are the panelists:

  • Ann Huff Stevens, professor of economics and director of the Center for Poverty Research, UC Davis, where she also serves as the interim dean of the Graduate School of Management
  • William Dietz, director, Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness, Milken Institute of Public Health, George Washington University
  • Anand Parekh, deputy assistant secretary for health (science and medicine), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Justin Trogdon, associate professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina

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