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Social Ecology in Action: a Comprehensive Approach to Childhood Obesity Prevention

The focus of this talk will be on best practices and innovations in community-based coalitions for public health.

Adam B. Becker, PhD, MPH is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Executive Director of the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC). CLOCC is a nationally recognized organization with a coordinated, multi-sector and multi-level approach to preventing childhood obesity. Since 2002, it has been the catalyst to build a broad-based network of over 3,500 individuals representing over 1,300 organizations working together to education children and families, shape child-serving institutions, and create and support environments that promote healthy eating and physical activity. CLOCC has been identified as a leading community model by the Institute of Medicine, American Medical Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  It is housed at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.


Dr. Becker received his Master of Public Health in 1994 and his Ph.D. in 1999, both in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University Of Michigan School Of Public Health, and his BA from Tufts University in Medford, MA.  Dr. Becker has extensive training and experience in the practice of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and has written a number of book chapters and articles on this approach to examining and addressing public health problems.  Some of the issues to which Dr. Becker has applied this methodology include:  the impact of stressful community conditions on the health of women raising children, youth violence prevention, and the impact of the social and physical environment on physical activity.  He currently leads the obesity implementation action team for Healthy Chicago 2.0; Chicago’s public health system 5-year plan, serves as co-chair for the Healthy Food Access Working Group of West Side United; a collaborative of six Chicago hospitals seeking to increase life expectancy on Chicago’s west side, and serves as the co-chair for the Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Task Force. Dr. Becker teaches in the MPH program at Northwestern and was a member of the faculty for six years at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.  He has taught courses in community organizing, qualitative methods and CBPR, community-engaged research, program evaluation, and community change strategies.  Prior to becoming the Executive Director of the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC), Dr. Becker was the Director of Evaluation and Research at the Louisiana Public Health Institute in New Orleans.