The events produced by Slow Food SF are a collection of educational and fundraising events aimed to increase awareness, build community and spread the word and joy of conscious eating in the Bay Area.

Childhood Obesity Bay Area Conference 2015


Friday, March 06, 2015
Saturday, March 7, 2015


UCSF Medical Center
500 Parnassus Ave.
San Francisco, CA


General Admission: $250 Student and Food Activists under 30: $180

Building Our Community,
Empowering Our Children

We are excited to expand COBA into a two-day conference to include a comprehensive array of content and more time for attendees to connect and collaborate. In addition to keynote presentations, panel discussions, break-out sessions, a poster session, and a slam poetry performance, COBA 2015 will feature more opportunities in the spirit of Slow Food, such as tastings from sustainable wineries at Friday night’s reception, an optional garden tour, and small group dinners.

By bringing together the newest research, best practices, and local heroes in one place,  we hope to highlight the strength of vibrant professional communities working together to educate each other on the causes and solutions to childhood obesity so we can better serve and empower our youth.

CPE (Continuing Education Credits) will be available for attendees through the Commission on Dietetic Registration. More information is available on their website and please contact us with specific questions.


Keynote Speakers:

Daphne Miller, M.D., Author of Farmacology and The Jungle Effect

Christopher Gardner, Ph.D., Professor at Stanford Prevention Research Center

Hilary Seligman, M.D., Researcher and Professor of Medicine at UC San Francisco

Elissa Epel, Ph.D., Director of UCSF’s Center for Obesity Assessment, Study, and Treatment and Professor of Psychology at UC San Francisco 

Lenard Lesser, M.D., MSHS, Research Physician at Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Research Institute and Family Physician.


Special TEDx Presentation ‘Why we Fight with our Food” from Maya Adam, MD, Lecturer, Dept. of Pediatrics, Stanford School of Medicine, Founder, Just Cook for Kids


Panel Discussions: 

Increasing Physical Activity for Children

-Chuck Collins, President and CEO of YMCA SF

-Juliet Starrett, Stand Up Kids and Co-Founder of San Francisco CrossFit

-Jessica de Barros Barreto, Manager of Citywide Health at Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco

-Natalie Stack, Girls on the Run Bay Area Program Director

Understanding Food Deserts and Food Swamps

-Maureen Silva, Program Coordinator at Prevention Institute

-Dana Harvey, Executive Director at Mandela Marketplace

-Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager at SPUR

Offering Effective Lifestyle Advice in the Clinic Setting

-Julia Getzelman, MD, GetzWell Pediatrics

-Shad Marvasti, MD,  Adjunct Instructor at Stanford University School of Medicine and Founding Board Member of the Stanford Food Summit

-Elizabeth Shepard, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine

Lessons from the California and San Francisco Soda Tax Campaigns

-Supervisor Scott Wiener, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 8, Co-Author Prop E

-Elizabeth Velten, MPH, State and National Policy Coordinator at CA Center for Public Health Advocacy

-Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, MD, PhD, Director of UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations 

Pre- and Post-Natal Health and Childhood Obesity Risk

-Dr. Janet Wojcicki, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor at UCSF

-Julie Matthews, CNC, Founder and President of Nourishing Hope

Collaboration Within the School Food Movement

-Miguel Villareal, Food and Nutrition Director of the Novato School District

-Hollie Greene, Founder and CEO of JoyFoodly

-Gail Woodward-Lopez, MPH, Associate Director, Center for Weight and Health at UC Berkeley 


Breakout Session Topics Include:

Sugar Addiction and Retraining Taste Buds with Marcella Spera, MD, GetzWell Pediatrics and Claire Hoyt, Founder and CEO of Big Dipper Baby Food

Antibiotic Use and Childhood Obesity with John Morton, MD, Chief of Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Stanford School of Medicine.

Technology, Apps, and Childhood Obesity Prevention with Thea Runyan, MPH, Co-Founder, Content & Coaching, and Awara Mendy, Business Development & Marketing at Kurbo Health

Poverty and Childhood Obesity, A Youth Led Discussion with Berkeley Youth Alternatives 

National Child Nutrition Act Re-Authorization with Jamie Lockwood, Development Director of the National Farm to School Network


We are incredibly grateful to our new and returning sponsors this year who make this conference possible, including UCSFSummer Kitchen Bake Shop, Acre GourmetBi-Rite MarketRainbow Grocery CooperativeSan Franola, Farm HillThe Fruit GuysGimMe Snacks, and Health Warriors.


Conference Schedule

Friday March 6th

9:30-10:00am Breakfast and Registration

10:10-11:10am Keynote – Elissa Epel, PhD

11:15am-12:00pm Panel – Collaboration within the School Food Movement 

12:10 -12:55 Breakout Sessions

Sugar Addiction and Retraining Taste Buds

National Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization

Positive Psychology in Childhood Obesity Treatment

1:00-1:35 Lunch and The Bigger Picture Campaign Performance

1:40-2:40 Keynote – Lenny Lesser, MD, MSHS

2:50-3:25 Panel – Lessons from the California and San Francisco Soda Tax Campaigns

3:30-4:30 Keynote – Christopher Gardner, PhD

4:40-5:25 Panel – Increasing Physical Activity for Children

5:30-6:30 Reception featuring tastes from local and sustainable wineries

Saturday March 7th

8:45-9:30am School Garden Tour led by Arden Bucklin-Sporer, Executive Director of Education Outside (tickets available soon)

9:30-10 Registration

10:10-11:10 Keynote – Daphne Miller, M.D. 

11:15am-12:00pm Panel – Offering Effective Lifestyle Advice in the Clinic Setting

12:10-12:30 TEDx Presentation ‘Why we Fight with our Food” with Maya Adam, MD

12:30-1:10 Lunch and The Bigger Picture Campaign performance

1:20-2:20 Breakouts

Antibiotic Use and Childhood Obesity

Poverty and Childhood Obesity: A Youth Led Discussion

Technology, Apps, and Childhood Obesity Prevention

2:35-3:20 Panel – Understanding Food Deserts and Food Swamps

3:30-4:30 Keynote – Hilary Seligman, M.D., Researcher and Professor of Medicine at UC San Francisco

4:40-5:25 Panel – Pre- and Post-Natal Health and Childhood Obesity Risk

5:30-6:15 Casual Reception

6:30-8pm Small Group Dinners at Paulines Pizza, Plant Cafe Organic and Hillside Supperclub (tickets available soon)


COBA is an annual conference that brings together local stakeholders in childhood obesity prevention to promote innovation and provide insight into work being done on this critical issue.

For questions regarding participation, please contact Laura O’Donohue at or Priya Fielding-Singh at

Thank you to the COBA Conference Planning Committee:

Jillian Graham, Kai Paine, Natalie Funai and Emma Hare



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