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


Saturday, February 22, 2014
10:00 am to 4:30 pm


UCSF Medical Center Conference Hall
500 Parnassus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94143


General Admission: $80 Student/Food Activist under 30: $60

More Info



Slow Food San Francisco’s Annual Childhood Obesity Bay Area Conference brings together local stakeholders in childhood obesity prevention to promote innovation and provide insight into work being done on this critical issue.

Participants will walk away with a more comprehensive understanding of childhood obesity and knowledge of the challenges impacting different fields and individuals. The place-based approach of the COBA Conference allows for meaningful networking and the exchange of effective and local best practices. We hope all attendees walk away better equipped to create successful models for change.

The day’s schedule includes six diverse speaker presentations, four breakout sessions, and great information from local food and health organizations. Breakfast, lunch and the reception will once again highlight local and sustainable food graciously provided by our major sponsor Summer Kitchen Bakeshop, as well as Bi-Rite Market, Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, Canyon MarketSan Franola Granola, and The Fruit Guys. Funds raised will support Slow Food San Francisco’s Youth Food Education program.



Robert Lustig, MD, Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF and author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Foods, Obesity and Disease. Dr. Lustig will discuss his research on sugar consumption as the underlying cause of obesity.

Todd Putman, Chief Marketing Officer at Bolthouse Farms and former Vice President of Marketing at Coca Cola. Mr. Putman will discuss the marketing tactics of the food and beverage industry and how we can market healthier food to kids most effectively.

Barbara Abrams, Ph.D, R.D., Professor of Epidemiology, Maternal and Child Health, and Public Health Nutrition at UC Berkeley will discuss transgenerational obesity and what we can do to help.

Karen Brown, Creative Director at the Center for Ecoliteracy, a nonprofit utilizing systems thinking, leadership dynamics, and knowledge of how young people learn, to redesign school meal programs and nutrition education in the Bay Area, California, and beyond. Ms. Brown is an award winning designer who has lectured throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan on the human and environmental consequences of design.

Gina Fromer, MS District Vice President of the YMCA of San Francisco, and Executive Director of Bayview-Hunters Point YMCA. Ms. Fromer will discuss her work on health equity and increasing access to physical activity opportunities for youth.

Laurel MellinPh.D, R.D., Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine and Pediatrics at UCSF and Founder of Emotional Brain Training. Dr. Mellin will discuss the psychological and emotional components of childhood obesity and how to best incorporate them into prevention and reversal programs.

Sarah Fine, Project Director for The Bigger Picture Campaign. The BPC is a collaborative youth-led type 2 diabetes prevention campaign between the youth arts nonprofit Youth Speaks and CVP that uses spoken-word and media to motivate and empower youth to become agents of health justice.

Obasi Davis, Founding member of the poetry ensemble Young, Gifted and Black. Obasi has been named Oakland’s 2013 Youth Poet Laureate and represented the Bay Area as a member of its delegation to the 2013 Brave New Voices international Teen Poetry Slam and Festival.

Break Out Sessions

Incorporating childhood psychology into childhood obesity prevention – Led by Laurel Mellin, Ph.D, R.D.

Prenatal and postnatal education for parents on early childhood obesity prevention – Led by Barbara Abrams, Ph.D, R.D. and Naomi Stotland, MD, associate professor of Ob/Gyn and Reproductive Sciences at UCSF

Building community voice  to promote healthy lifestyles in adolescents and teens – Led by Metria Munyan and Susan Vitulli from Network for a Healthy California. 

Improving access and utilization of existing health resources – Led by Gary Appelsies, MS, CHHC, AADP, Integrative Nutritionist at An Apple A Day Health and Wellness


Tabling Organizations Include

Slow Food San Francisco


Center for Ecoliteracy

18 Reasons

The Fat Chance Cookbook – Authors Dr. Robert Lustig and Cindy Gershen will be on site signing books

Girls on the Run of the Bay Area


Our Generous Sponsors

We are incredibly thankful for our new and returning sponsors who make this conference possible. Thank you to our major sponsors, Summer Kitchen Bakeshop and UCSF. Thank you also to CUESABi-Rite MarketRainbow Grocery CooperativeCanyon MarketSan Franola GranolaThe Fruit GuysAwesome Bars, and gimMe Health Foods.


Conference Schedule

9:30-10:00am           Registration 

10:00-10:10am         Welcome and Introductions

10:15-11:15am         Dr. Robert Lustig, Keynote

11:20 – 11:45am      Karen Brown, Speaker

11:50am -12:40pm   Break Out Sessions

12:45 -1:20pm          Lunch

1:25 -1:50pm            Dr. Barbara Abrams, Speaker

1:55-2:20pm             Dr. Laurel Mellin, Speaker

2:25-2:50pm             Gina Fromer, MS, Speaker

2:50-3:00pm             Break

3:05-4:05pm             Todd Putman, Keynote

4:10-4:25pm             Sarah Fine and Obasi Davis, Bigger Picture Campaign 

4:30-4:35pm             Closing Remarks

4:35-5:00pm             Reception


For questions regarding participation and general questions or comments, please contact:

Laura O’Donohue at or Priya Fielding-Singh at



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