Links Between Genetics, Lifestyle and Weight Tops Discussion at Annual Lillian Fountain Smith Conference

Note to Editors: Media representatives are invited to attend the annual Lillian Fountain Smith Conference June 15-16 at the Fort Collins Marriott, 350 E. Horsetooth Road. To arrange interviews or attendance, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at 970-491-6009 or email

New findings on the links between genetics and lifestyle to body weight regulation, controversial topics in women’s health, genetically modified food and world hunger, as well as the role of vitamin D and calcium in preventing chronic disease are among the topics for a premier national nutrition conference June 15-16 hosted by Colorado State University.

The 28th Lillian Fountain Smith Conference for Nutrition Educators will be held from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 15 and from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 16 at the Fort Collins Marriott, 350 E. Horsetooth Road.

The conference is specifically designed for physicians, nurses, physician assistants, dieticians, nutritionists, exercise physiologists and other health educators. A goal of the conference is to provide participants with the most current, objective and authoritative information available in important and emerging areas of human nutrition.

The first session on June 15 will focus on controversial topics in women’s health, including the impact of estrogens on metabolism and the possible role of vitamin E and low doses of aspirin in preventing cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The early afternoon session will focus on recent research suggesting that vitamin D deficiency is increasing in the United States, which may contribute to cancer, diabetes and poor bone health.  The second afternoon session will delve into the pros and cons of using genetically modified food sources to address world hunger.

A session on Friday, June 16th will address current issues in body weight regulation and the dilemma of the nature-nurture question of obesity. Another session will cover useful tools and approaches for modifying food intake and discuss why keeping weight off after weight loss is a challenge.

The annual Lillian Fountain Smith Nutrition Education Conference draws health professionals from around the nation because of its outstanding reputation among nutrition researchers and professionals.

"The disproportionate availability of nutrients is a major contributor to human disease, with an excess of food and a deficiency of physical activity contributing to obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes, which affect virtually every American in one way or another. At the same time, food insecurity and hunger remain major nutritional issues for many populations throughout the world. The Lillian Fountain Smith conference gives scientists and practitioners a unique opportunity to discuss the latest research in an effort to address these serious health issues," said Chris Melby, chair of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. "We are pleased to sponsor this event every year, and have arranged an outstanding program for this year’s conference."

Lillian Fountain Smith was a 1918 graduate in home economics at Colorado State University. Recognizing the importance of nutrition in her own life and the lives of her family members, Smith chose to assist the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Colorado State in improving and extending its nutrition outreach activities.

The annual Lillian Fountain Smith Conference is sponsored by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition in the College of Applied Human Sciences at Colorado State.

To attend the conference, contact Pam Blue at 970-491-7435 or e-mail . More information can be found at

Panel discussions follow each session.

The full schedule:

Thursday, June 15

8 a.m. registration at the Fort Collins Marriott Hotel, salons A-H

8:30 a.m. Conference opening remarks. April Mason, dean of the College of Applied Human Sciences.

8:40 a.m. Session 1: Controversial Topics in Women’s Health. Moderated by Jennifer Anderson, Colorado State professor and Cooperative Extension specialist.

In the Wake of the Women’s Health Initiative Trials: Overlooked Metabolic Actions of Estrogens, Wendy Kohrt, medical professor, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

9:50 a.m. The Women’s Health Study: The Role of Low Dose Aspirin and Vitamin E in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer, Julie Buring, epidemiology professor at Harvard University and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.

12:30 p.m. Session 2, Current Issues in Vitamin D and Calcium, moderated by Mike Pagliassotti, Lillian Fountain Smith Endowed professor at Colorado State.

Vitamin D and Health: A D-Lightful Story, Dr. Michael Holick, MED Endoctine Laboratory, Boston University.

1:25 p.m. Vitamin D, Calcium Metabolism and Bone Health: Beyond Rickets, Connie Weaver, head of the Purdue University Department of Foods and Nutrition.

3:10 p.m. Session 3, The Role of GMOs in Addressing World Hunger, moderated by Garry Auld, associate professor at Colorado State.

Tooling for Agriculture and Health, Roger Clemens, director, Laboratory for Analytical Research and Services, University of Southern California School of Pharmacy

4:05 p.m. Biotechnology – Is it the Solution for Reducing World Hunger? Pat Byrne, associate professor of soil and crop sciences, Colorado State.

Friday, June 16

     8:30 a.m. registration

     9 a.m. Session 4, Current issues in Body Weight Regulation, moderated by Chris Melby, chir of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Colorado State

     The Nature/Nurture Dilemma of Obesity in the US, Jose Fernandez, assistant professor of nutrition sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham

     10:05 a.m. Modifying Human Food Intake: Practical Approaches and Useful Tools, Art Campfield, food science and human nutrition professor, Colorado State.

Noon, Why is it so Hard to Keep Weight Off  After Weight Loss? Paul MacLean, assistant professor of physiology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center