Obesity Special Interest Group
The Pediatric Obesity SIG is a national organization affiliated with Div. 54 and APA. Its mission is to promote the health and well-being of overweight and obese youth and their families by fostering the provision of evidence-based assessment and treatment methods utilizing the principles of psychology. The SIG provides a forum for communication and collaboration in both clinical and research realms, in order to further the field’s knowledge of developmental and contextual factors contributing to the etiology of obesity, course and outcome of pediatric obesity, assessment and treatment of behavioral and emotional comorbidities, and obesity prevention initiatives. We also aim to provide education, training and mentoring of psychologists in the care of overweight/obese youth and advocacy for public policy.
The Pediatric Obesity SIG began as an unofficial interest group, operating since 2007. Div. 54 recently began a review process for all SIGs and we were officially approved in 2010. The SIG founding chair is Wendy L. Ward, PhD, and founding vice chair is Ann M. Davis, PhD, MPH, ABPP. The inaugural meeting of the SIG occurred at a Div. 54 regional (Cincinnati) conference, and met again at the Kansas City regional conference in 2009. In 2012 the SIG had its first election and new officers started their terms in 2013. The current chair is Marilyn Stern, PhD; the vice chair/chair-elect is Eli Getzoff-Testa, PhD; the secretary is Adelle Cadieux, PsyD; and the student representative is Amy Fahrenkamp. Our group has an active email list with 82 current members.
Our current agenda for SIG activities includes fostering research collaboration as well as networking/coordination regarding billing (health/behavior codes) and successful clinical prevention and treatment programs. We also will continue to maintain an email list for members to communicate with each other. We intend to work toward goals of advocacy for the work we do on national and state levels.