Key Note Presentations

Steven Blair

The crucial role of physical activity in the prevention and management of overweight and obesity

Steven Blair is a Professor in the Departments of Exercise Science and Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina. His research focuses on the associations between lifestyle and health, with a specific emphasis on exercise, physical fitness, body composition, and chronic disease. He has published over 400 papers and chapters in the scientific literature, and was the Senior Scientific Editor for the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health.

In this presentation, Steven will review the scientific evidence on the role of physical activity in the development of weight gain, overweight, and obesity. He will discuss current recommendations related to amount of activity required to prevent weight gain, to lose weight, and to prevent weight regain. There are numerous misconceptions regarding how much activity is required for these objectives, and these will be discussed.


Michael Gard

The end(s) of the obesity epidemic?

Michael Gard is an Associate Professor in Charles Sturt University's Faculty of Education. He teaches and writes about dance, sport and the science of human health. His first book, called The Obesity Epidemic: Science Morality and Ideology, questioned whether we really are in the middle of an obesity crisis. His new book, The End of the Obesity Epidemic, will be published early in 2010.

In this presentation, Michael will argue that there are now clear signs that obesity rates are leveling out around the world. This is interesting for many reasons but perhaps, most remarkable of all, these seem to have begun happening 10 years ago, at the same time as the idea of an obesity crisis was first being announced.


Michael Jensen

Where the fat's at: the importance of fat distribution

Michael Jensen holds the Tyson Family Endocrinology Clinical Professor position at the Mayo Medical School, Rochester, MN and is Chair of Endocrine Research. His research focuses on the effects of obesity and how body fat and body-fat distribution influence health outcomes.

In this presentation, In this keynote presentation Professor Jensen will discuss 1) the role of free fatty acids (FFA) in the metabolic complications of obesity, 2) the relationship between body fat distribution and FFA metabolism, 3) the adipose tissue depot specific release patterns of FFA, which contribute to excess plasma FFA concentrations in upper body obesity, and 4) what is known about the factors that determine body fat distribution.


Jonathan McGavock

The role of physical activity in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes in youth

Jonathan McGavock is a Canadian Diabetes Association Scholar and Research Scientist at the Manitoba Institute of Child Health (Winnipeg, Canada). His research focuses on the role of physical activity in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes in youth.

The long-term goal for his work is to create much needed objective evidence to inform public policy and clinical decision making for the role of physical activity in the prevention of type 2 diabetes in youth. In this presentation, Jon will review the current role of physical activity in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes in youth.

His talk will focus on epidemiological trends demonstrating the role of physical activity intensity in the prevention of metabolic risk factor clustering in youth. Additionally, he will explore the role of lipotoxicity in the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes in youth and what role physical activity plays in moderating these negative effects. Finally, Jon will turn to the role of the community for delivering physical activity programming for high risk youth highlighting current initiatives in Canada's Aboriginal communities.


Nanette Mutrie

Walk more, sit less: the behavioural challenges of this simple message

Nanette Mutrie is a Professor of Exercise and Sport Psychology at Strathclyde University, UK and a Visiting Professor at the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow.

She is the Director of the Scottish Physical Activity Research Collaboration (SPARColl) funded by the Scottish Government. This group contributes to the evidence base for physical activity and health by evaluating the effectiveness of specific practice-based interventions, particularly around walking, and aims to facilitate the use of this evidence to inform physical activity policy and practice.

In this presentation, Nanette will make a case for walking as the most likely mode of activity to appeal to the most sedentary; review the use of pedometers as a motivational tool; provide results of ongoing research in relation to increasing walking with pedometers; outline the challenges for achieving sufficient walking to influence weight; consider the importance of sitting time; show effects from walking research on sitting time; outline the behavioural challenges in influencing sitting time; consider the challenge of conscious or unconscious ‘compensation' for increased physical activity levels; make some recommendations for future research.


Paul Campos

Ask your doctor if cultural hysteria is right for you

Paul Campos is a law professor, author and journalist currently on the faculty of the University of Colorado in Boulder. His books include The Diet Myth (2005) (previously published as The Obesity Myth in 2004), an expose of the hysteria surrounding weight and health in the Western world today.

In this presentation, Paul will discuss the ways what were formerly understood to be normal variations in human physiology have become medicalized and pathologized in contemporary times. He will examine the economic structures that drive this trend toward the classification of an ever expanding range of people as ‘abnormal' and/or unwell.

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