Sokol Lecture Features Noted Obesity Expert James A. Levine

Photo: Mike Peters

Renowned obesity expert James A. Levine, MD, PhD discussed the importance of movement in his presentation at the 2011 Margaret and Herman Sokol Science Lecture held recently at Montclair State University’s Alexander Kasser Theater.

Levine’s talk, “Move it and Lose It…Weight Loss for the New Age,” dealt with his belief in the power of motion—the kind that gets people up and moving—as a way to achieve a healthy weight. Regular daily activities such as walking, standing, or climbing stairs burn calories—what Levine calls, “non-exercise activity thermogenesis” or NEAT.

The originator of the idea that NEAT, together with good nutrition, is a viable way to achieve a healthy weight, Levine discussed his theory and talked about issues related to obesity. An energetic and entertaining speaker, Levine modeled the behavior he was describing as he paced and moved around the stage, rarely stopping to stand still. He even wore a specially-designed business suit that zipped up like a track suit for comfort and mobility.

“Burning calories is important in obesity and in our daily lives,” said Levine. “There’s a different way of living available to us all. Those who join the movement win in terms of better health, being more productive, and being able to do more fun things.”

The Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and Chief of Endocrinology and Director of the Center on Obesity at University Hospital’s Case Medical Center, Levine is a designated ‘Expert’ to the United Nations, NIH, and the National Science Foundation. He is the author of Move a Little Lose a Lot (Random House, 2009), and of many articles in newspapers and journals such as Science, Nature, and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Presented by the College of Science and Mathematics, the Sokol Science Lecture Series was established in 2002 through a gift from benefactors Margaret and Herman Sokol. The annual lectures provide an opportunity for members of the University and surrounding communities to gain a greater appreciation and expanded knowledge of important issues in science. Topics explored in the past include gravitation, human evolution, and the effects of global warming on the Arctic.

See more photos from the lecture and watch it online.