January 4, 2011 (REVISED January 5, 2011) Panel Discussion on "Weight Loss Through the Ages" Jan. 19

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Constance Carter (202) 707-1205 | Science, Technology and Business Division (202) 707-5664

Weight loss, of course, ranks high on many lists of New Year’s resolutions. What better time for a comprehensive and fascinating discussion on the struggle to shed pounds? Nutrition, obesity and weight-loss experts will gather at the Library of Congress to present “Weight Loss Through the Ages: Where We’ve Been, What We’ve Learned and Where We’re Going” at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 19, in the Mumford Room, on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The panel discussion will be moderated by David Kirchhoff, president and chief executive officer of Weight Watchers International, and will feature four distinguished experts. Sponsored by the Library’s Science, Technology and Business Division and Weight Watchers International, the event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed. Afterward, a reception provided by Weight Watchers will take place in the Mumford Room foyer, and attendees will have the opportunity to talk with panelists. More than 100 books from the Library’s collection on diets and diet cookbooks will be on display. Copies of low-calorie recipes and bibliographies on “Diets and Dieting: A History of Weight Loss in America” and “Health Effects of Obesity”—compiled by Library staff members—will be available to the public. The “Diets and Dieting” bibliography will begin with William Banting’s “Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public” from 1864 and carry up to the present. The speakers will be:

  • Ellen Granberg, assistant professor of sociology at Clemson University, who will discuss “The History of Weight Loss”
  • Karen Miller-Kovach, chief scientist and general manager of research and development at Weight Watchers International, who will discuss “Weight Loss: Men vs. Women”
  • Ann Albright, director of the Division of Diabetes Translation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who will discuss “The Cost of Extra Pounds and the Looming Type 2 Diabetes Epidemic”
  • Patrick M. O’Neil, director of Weight Management Center at the Medical University of South Carolina and president-elect of the Obesity Society, who will discuss “Looking Forward: Weight Loss and Prevention.”
The panel discussion will be followed by a question-and-answer session for the audience and concluding remarks by Kirchhoff. The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds nearly 145 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library maintains one of the largest and most diverse collections of scientific and technical information in the world The Library’s Science, Technology and Business Division provides reference and bibliographic services and develops the general collections of the Library in all areas of science, technology, business and economics, with the exception of clinical medicine and technical agriculture, which are the subject specialties of the National Library of Medicine and the National Agricultural Library. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.


PR 11-001
ISSN 0731-3527