Experts Available to Discuss Survey Shows Mississippi Most Obese State

July 22, 2008


TOPIC: A survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee are the most obese states in the nation, according to an article by The Associated Press. Since 2004, Mississippi has weighed in the heaviest. The other Southern states are usually not far behind. Nutrition experts suggest the traditional Southern diet, which includes high-fat and fried foods, is contributing to the South’s weight problem. Results from the telephone survey of 350,000 adults appear in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

EXPERTS: ExpertSource can offer several highly qualified experts to comment on this story:

Dr. Daniel Kirschenbaum is Clinical Director and Chief Program Officer of Wellspring. He is a licensed clinical psychologist in Illinois and California, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Medical School, Fellow and Diplomate in Clinical Health Psychology of the American Psychological Association and former president of its Division of Exercise and Sport Psychology. He has served as a consultant to the United States Olympic Committee, the National Basketball Association, the Ladies Professional Golf Association, the Chicago Bears, numerous professional journals, and several major corporations. Dr. Kirschenbaum has provided addresses at many professional conferences worldwide, received numerous grants for research, and published 9 books and 125 journal articles on weight loss, sport psychology, and related topics. Dr. Kirschenbaum’s books include: Treatment of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity (1987) Weight Loss Through Persistence (1994) The 9 Truths About Weight Loss (2000) The Healthy Obsession Program: Smart Weight Loss Instead of Low-Carb Lunacy (2006)

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Renowned clinical psychologist, Gerard J. Musante, Ph.D. founded Structure House in 1977 and understands firsthand the struggle faced by overweight people. After spending his overweight adolescent years trying countless diets that never worked, he devoted his professional life to developing and teaching the principles of behavior modification for overweight people. Today, his internationally respected weight control program, Structure House, has helped more than 30,000 people change their attitudes, perceptions and lifestyles with diet, exercise and education. Structure House is a residential center for weight control and lifestyle change in Durham, N.C. Dr. Musante was the first person to adapt the principles of behavior modification to the eating habits of significantly overweight people and food abusers alike. Thousands of people have benefited from his methods and guidance at Structure House. Participants learn why they have been making negative food choices and move on to learn about taking personal responsibility for their food choices and habits to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

A respected leader in the field, Dr. Musante testified as an expert witness on obesity before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary in October 2003 in support of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s Commonsense Consumption Act. He also serves on the N.C. Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission’s Study Committee for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Overweight/Obesity. Dr. Musante is the author of The Structure House Weight Loss Plan (2007). Additionally, he has been quoted in publications such as the New York Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Newsweek and People magazine. Dr. Musante has appeared on national television shows, including a feature segment on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, and with Morley Safer on the acclaimed CBS news program “60 Minutes” as well as “Donahue” and “Good Morning America.”

He wrote the introduction to James Coco’s book, If I Can, You Can. Dr. Musante’s road to personal success – the loss of 50 pounds – and professional success began when he undertook the study of obesity as a psychologist at Duke University Medical Center. He developed the techniques that not only enabled him to lose the weight, but to keep it off. He says, “Once I realized that my relationship with food needed to change, and that food was for nutrition, not for comfort and support, I lost the weight and kept it off.” Dr. Musante received his professional training from New York University, the University of Tennessee, Duke University Medical Center and Temple University Medical School. He is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association and the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy. He has served on the editorial board of Addictive Behavior, and as a consultant to the National Board of Medical Examiners. He also continues to serve as a consulting professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences for Duke University Medical Center and the Duke University School of Medicine.

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Leonard J. Ram, MD, is a board certified physician specializing in gastroenterology. Through his direct experience in treating stomach and intestine-related diseases in his many years of private practice, Dr. Ram has cultivated a keen understanding of, and expertise in, obesity-specific preventive medicine. Dr. Ram’s passion for helping people fulfill their life’s dream of permanent weight loss and healthy weight management led him to author The Ram Nut Diet – a book for ‘do-it-yourself dieters’ and for those wanting to learn a unique and innovative approach to healthy eating. As a result of his studies, Dr. Ram is certified as a Physician Nutrition Specialist by the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists, and is the only physician/diet book author in the United States certified in both Gastroenterology and Nutrition practice areas. Dr. Ram has since leveraged his years of medical experience and field research to develop TrimTalk – a one-of-a-kind program designed to help individuals achieve long-term weight loss through a comprehensive, on-demand telephone-based support program. Dr. Ram’s TrimTalk meets the needs of dieters seeking a lasting solution by addressing the three primary components of successful weight loss: nutrition, exercise, and emotional support. Dr. Ram earned his medical degree at State University of New York located in Brooklyn, NY. He is a member of the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) – the leading scientific society dedicated to the study of obesity.

PR Contact: Merilee Kern



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