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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

Wing Presents Gordon Lecture in Epidemiology, May 18

Dr. Rena Wing, seated at table with bookshelves behind her

Dr. Rena Wing of Brown University will present the Robert S. Gordon, Jr. Lecture in Epidemiology on May 18.

The Office of Disease Prevention will host the Robert S. Gordon, Jr. Lecture in Epidemiology on Wednesday, May 18 at 3 p.m. ET. Dr. Rena Wing of Brown University will present “Should Older Adults with Diabetes and Obesity Lose Weight.”

Whether older individuals with diabetes and obesity should be encouraged to lose weight remains controversial. Observational studies have suggested that weight loss in older adults may be associated with increased risk of mortality, but this conclusion may be due to unintentional weight loss. 

A randomized trial in which some individuals are assigned to a weight loss program is the best way to address the question of whether intentional efforts to lose weight are appropriate for older individuals who have diabetes and obesity. 

This was the rationale that led—in 1999—to NIH’s decision to launch Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes), a randomized trial comparing intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) in adults who had type 2 diabetes and were overweight/obese. 

Wing will review design of the trial and its primary outcome on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and discuss several possible explanations for these results. 

Professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University and director of the Weight Control & Diabetes Research Center at the Miriam Hospital, Wing is well known for her research on behavioral treatment of obesity and particularly its application to type 2 diabetes. She has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles on these topics. 

Currently, she is the principal investigator on the Diabetes Prevention Program and has developed the lifestyle intervention being used in all 27 centers in that study. 

Registration is not required. Watch the lecture at: The presentation will be recorded and available on the ODP website within approximately 2 weeks. 

The Gordon Lecture, established in 1995 to honor the former assistant surgeon general and special assistant to former NIH director Dr. James Wyngaarden, is part of the NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series. See for WALS info. 

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