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Agatston Research Foundation Sponsors New Childhood Obesity Initiative

The Scientists and the Stars Luncheon Brings Together Nationally Recognized Scientists, Celebrity Chefs, Television Personalities, and Key Policy

Makers to Help Tackle the Growing Childhood Obesity Crisis

"The Scientists and the Stars" Luncheon Friday, February 22nd at The

Ritz-Carlton, South Beach

The 2008 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival

MIAMI BEACH, Fla., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Agatston Research Foundation will bring together leading experts in the area of science, policy and culinary arts to address the growing epidemic of childhood obesity with the goal of developing an on-going dialogue between key influencers committed to creating change for this crucial medical and social challenge.

An invitation-only meeting of the scientists, health and policy professionals will be held on Friday, February 22nd in Miami Beach, followed by a ticketed event luncheon, "The Scientists and the Stars Luncheon" at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach at 12:00 pm for a discussion on childhood obesity initiatives and will introduce attendees to some of the trailblazing programs currently in place in the U.S. and Great Britain and provide a glimpse into the potential for additional change in the near future.

Moderating the luncheon will be Arthur Agatston, MD, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and founder of the Agatston Research Foundation. The star-studded panel will include Jamie Oliver, School Dinners Project, Great Britain, Rachael Ray, Parental Ambassador, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Alice Waters, Edible Schoolyard Programs, Joy Bauer, RD, Nutrition Correspondent for NBC-TV's The Today Show, Under Secretary Nancy Montanez Johner, Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, United States Department of Agriculture; and David Ludwig, MD, Harvard Medical School and author of Ending the Food Fight: Guide Your Child to a Healthy Weight in a Fast Food/Fake Food World.

"Our goal is to help a generation of children prevent the wide variety of chronic diseases that often occur because of obesity," says Arthur Agatston, MD. "Our nation's children are currently overfed and undernourished and we can do better. Bringing experts together to influence the foods served in our schools, and to educate schools and parents about healthier options, is a positive step in moving this mission forward."

The Agatston Research Foundation is currently funding an initiative called The Healthier Options for Public SchoolChildren (HOPS) Study, which introduces students to healthier food choices through the schools' existing food distribution systems, provides nutritional education materials and works to find mechanisms for the school districts to serve healthier foods within their budget constraints.

The Scientists and the Stars Luncheon will be held at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, on Friday, February 22, 2008 at 12:00 p.m. Tickets are $125 per person and all proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to three charities dedicated to children's health: Share our Strength: Operation Frontline, and Fienberg Fisher Elementary School to develop a sustainable garden. To purchase tickets, visit or call 877-762-3933.

A limited number of discounted tickets will be made available to educators. For information about discounted ticket availability, please contact Danielle Hollar, PhD., 305-534-3338.

The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine magazine is produced by Florida International University and Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida with the support of the Miami Beach Visitors & Convention Authority and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information about Florida International University visit, for the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management visit and for more information about Southern Wine & Spirits visit

About the Agatston Research Foundation

The Agatston Research Foundation, founded by Arthur S. Agatston, MD, is a non-profit research foundation dedicated to improving the heart health and wellness of the nation through research, education, and prevention. The goals of the Foundation are to conduct and fund research that contributes to reducing the incidence of heart attacks and strokes, to educate and empower the public to take an active part in managing their health, to promote innovative health-care programs oriented towards prevention, and to advance and promote a greater focus on prevention among the medical community. The largest study conducted by the Foundation is the Healthier Options for Public Schoolchildren (HOPS) Study, led by Danielle Hollar, PhD. This study seeks to prevent chronic diseases associated with obesity by tackling obesity in early life through elementary school-based prevention strategies that thematically integrate healthy dietary offerings, nutrition and healthy lifestyle educational curricula, increased levels of physical activity, and other school-based projects, such as school gardens in a replicable manner.

About Dr. Agatston

Dr. Agatston is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He lectures extensively on prevention both nationally and internationally. He has served on committees of the American Society of Echocardiography, the American College of Cardiology, and the Society of Atherosclerosis Imaging, where he is a founding member of the board of directors. He was recently elected to serve on the board of directors of The American Dietetic Association Foundation. In addition to his work with his wife, Sari, on The South Beach Diet(TM) and the Agatston Research Foundation, Dr. Agatston maintains a cardiology practice in Miami Beach, where they reside. The Agatstons have two sons, currently attending college.

For additional information on the Agatston Research Foundation, visit

SOURCE The Agatston Research Foundation
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