UTHealth hosts Texas Obesity Awareness Week

Awards ceremony in Austin will spotlight those fighting obesity in the state

AUSTIN – (Sept. 9, 2013) – Efforts to combat obesity in Texas will be highlighted during the Sixth Annual Texas Obesity Awareness Week, which kicks off today. The week is hosted by the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

WHAT: An invitation to the Sixth Annual Texas Health Champion Award Ceremony, where attendees will learn what Texas communities and organizations are doing to fight childhood obesity. One young Texan also receives the Rising Star Award  recognizing students for exceptional leadership in the community to raise awareness and reduce the burden of the obesity epidemic.
WHEN: Reception 5-6 p.m., award ceremony 6-7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 12
WHO: Deanna Hoelscher, Ph.D., R.D., director of the center at The University of Texas School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus, will present new Texas statistics on obesity and related health behaviors from the statewide School Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Survey.

Former Texas Commissioner of Health Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., will provide historical context for these latest statistics in his keynote address, including spotlighting successful and ongoing obesity prevention efforts in Texas.

Awardee William “Bill” G. Squires, Jr., Ph.D., the Dr. Frederick C. Elliot Chair in Health, Fitness and Nutrition at Texas Lutheran University, bolstered physical activity among community members by bringing the Safe Routes to School program to Seguin and pairing it with a project to build trails around nine local elementary schools.

Awardee H-E-B, a Texas-based grocery store company, has educated its customers on nutrition and promoted healthier food choices through healthy recipe suggestions and events such as Slim Down Showdown.
WHERE: UT Austin’s Blanton Museum of Art, Edgar A. Smith Building, 200 East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd , Austin, TX, 78701
WHY: Established in 2007 by House Bill 2313, Texas Obesity Week brings awareness of the health risks associated with obesity and aims to encourage Texans to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. For information visit: http://www.texasobesityweek.org
CONTACT: Brooks Ballard, Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living,
Brooks.S.Ballard@uth.tmc.edu; cell: (512) 294-8666

Stephanie Logue
Media Contact: 713-500-3030