Temple professor Gary Foster was named president of the Obesity Society at the group’s annual meeting in New Orleans. The 25-year-old society is committed to the research, advocacy, education and organizational development of obesity.
Foster is also the director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education and a professor in the College of Health Professionals and School of Medicine. His research explores the behavioral and metabolic aspects of obesity.
He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Duquesne University and his Ph.D. in psychology from Temple.
Morgan Downey, J.D., executive vice president of the society, has known Foster for several years and said he is highly respected in the field.
“Dr. Foster is widely seen as not only a very credible researcher, but also a very effective communicator, and you don’t always get that in the field,” Downey said.
Dr. Foster’s research has brought several National Institutes of Health studies to Temple. The NIH studies explore the prevention of obesity and diabetes and school settings and other various topics.
In a press release, Foster stressed the importance of researching obesity.
“Obesity is the most pressing public health problem of our time, and the Obesity Society is ideally poised to make a difference in understanding, preventing and treating obesity and advocating for those who suffer from it,” Foster said.
Foster’s appointment as president is part of a three-year leadership process. Downey said the society’s members elect individuals to serve on a nominating committee, and then the 2,000 members vote on the candidates. The winner then serves as vice president for a year, president-elect for a year and finally president for a year.
In addition to his role as president, Foster has also been involved with the Nominations Committee, the Public Affairs Committee and the Annual Meeting Program Committee for the Obesity Society.
Downey said the Obesity Society will continue to serve the research community and become involved in the treatment of clinical obesity.
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