campus news & events

Colby-Sawyer's 2009 Exercise and Sport Sciences & Athletics Symposium Focuses on Obesity as a Key Public Health Issue

NEW LONDON, N.H. – The 2009 Exercise and Sports Science & Athletics Symposium at Colby-Sawyer College will explore aspects of obesity, a major public health problem in the United States. Experts in the field, including Dr. Christy Greenleaf, Dr. Karen Danylchuk, Ms. Claudette Peck, and Dr. Laura Burton will discuss psychosocial aspects of the issue, the moral dilemma of fast food sponsorship in athletics, nutritional treatments for obesity, and the challenges of engaging youth in sport and physical activity.

The symposium will take place on Monday, March 23, 2009, in Wheeler Hall at the Ware Campus Center. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with the lectures at 8:30 a.m. and continuing until 2 p.m. The lectures are free and open to the public; an optional buffet is available for $15 for professionals, and $10 for seniors and students.

The 8:30 a.m. lecture will address “Psychosocial Aspects of Obesity,” and will be delivered by Dr. Christy Greenleaf, associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation at the University of North Texas. Her research focuses on psychosocial aspects of physical activity, body image and obesity. She is particularly interested in weight bias and other negative attitudes and stereotypes toward individuals who appear to be overweight, and how weight bias manifests itself within physical activity settings.

Following at 9:45 a.m., Dr. Karen Danylchuk will present “Obesity and Fast/Pseudo Food Sponsorship of Sporting Events: A Moral Dilemma.” Danylchuk is an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario. She has been a faculty member at Western Ontario since 1986, teaching in the area of Sport Management. Her current research is focused on the ethical dilemma of fast food sponsorship of sporting events as it relates to the obesity issue.

Claudette Peck, staff nutritionist and coordinator of Nutrition Programs at Dartmouth College Health Services, will discuss “Obesity Treatment: How to Make a Difference with Your Clients” at 11 a.m. Peck is a licensed clinical mental health counselor and a registered licensed dietitian. Prior to Dartmouth College, Ms. Peck led a private practice that assisted individuals, groups and families in dealing with issues around food, eating disorders, weight management and general nutrition. She has worked in the field of eating disorders and weight management for 13 years.

In the final lecture, beginning at 1 p.m., Dr. Laura Burton will address the pressures that young athletes face in “Professional Athlete or Biggest Loser Contest: Addressing the Challenges of Youth Participation in Sport and Physical Activity.” Burton is assistant professor of Sport Management in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. One of her current research interests is in how to provide children at risk for obesity with physical activity opportunities and promote their lifelong involvement in exercise and sport. Dr. Burton works in collaboration with Dr. Jaci VanHeast in the implementation and evaluation of the Paw PALS program, which provides opportunities for physical activity for elementary school children at risk for obesity.

For more information or to register for this event and make reservations for the luncheon, please contact Ms. Terri Hermann at (603)526-3616, or e-mail

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Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Students learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with pre-professional experience. Visit us on the World Wide Web at

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000