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Center aims to cut obesity in black, Latino New Yorkers
Date:3/11/2010

NEW YORK (March 3, 2010) A $6 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has funded the creation of ORBIT: Obesity Related Behavioral Intervention Trials to focus on reducing obesity and obesity-related deaths in New York City's African-American and Latino communities.

"African-Americans and Latinos have been disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic, and its related risks for diabetes and heart disease," says Dr. Mary Charlson, the center's director, the William T. Foley Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, and chief of the Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluative Sciences Research in the Department of Medicine and executive director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "To address obesity, we will focus on changing eating behaviors."

Stress, certain visual cues, even someone's mood can all have a substantial impact on behavior and eating, she continues. "By affecting changes in these areas we think people will be able to achieve sustainable weight loss."

The new center is a joint program among Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University in Ithaca, Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx and Renaissance Health System in Manhattan.

Dr. Charlson will serve as principal investigator of a new study called Small Changes and Lasting Effects. It will take an interdisciplinary approach to lifestyle changes, with psychologists, medical sociologists, nutritionists and other experts working directly with community members in Harlem and the South Bronx to tailor personalized programs that are more likely to be successful than a blanket approach.

The team aims to develop mindful eating strategies aimed at reducing weight through small, sustained changes in eating behavior coupled with sustained increases in physical activity. Their goal is to affect a 7 percent
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Contact: Lezlie Greenberg
leg2003@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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