Courses and Education

Visit the Educational Enrichment section for more information on education by MNOC and our seminar series.

Obesity Courses Offered

Several courses dealing with obesity-related issues are now offered at the University of Minnesota by Minnesota Obesity Center Participants. The basics of energy metabolism and balance as well as obesity are taught in the Medical School by Drs. Allen Levine and Charles Billington. Drs. Simone French and Robert Jeffery teach a class on Assessment, Treatment and Complications of Obesity and Eating Disorders in the School of Public Health. Drs. Cathy Kotz and Allen Levine teach a course entitled "The Neural Regulation of Feeding and Energy Metabolism" offered through the Department of Food Science & Nutrition at the UMN. Center Participants provided many lecturers for both courses. A course currently offered on "Obesity and Eating Disorders" is taught by a team of Center Participants covering all aspects of obesity represented by the expertise of the Center investigators.

Continuing Medical Education

The Minnesota Obesity Center collaborates with the Department of Continuing Medical Education at the University of Minnesota in an initiative to heighten awareness of obesity as a major threat to public health. Researchers from the Minnesota Obesity Center participated in a workshop the CME Department sponsored to educate Minnesota physicians about obesity. Likewise, the Minnesota Obesity Center has received additional funding from the Department of Continuing Medical Education to subsidize the costs of external speakers for the annual Obesity Research Day.

The Mayo/ASPEN Nutrition Course

This course is held annually and includes obesity related topics. Dr. Jensen and other members of the Minnesota Obesity Center participate in the Regional Visiting Faculty program to provide current information on obesity pathophysiology and treatment to community physicians. The Mayo Clinic Diet Manual, for which Dr. Jensen is an editor, provides information on obesity treatment for professionals. Dr. Jensen served as guest editor for an edition of The Medical Clinics of North America on the topic of “Obesity” published in March 2000. Mayo Clinic Nutrition in Health and Disease.

This course has taken place annually since 2001. In all but one year speakers have been invited from the University of Minnesota/Minnesota Obesity Center to present. Almost one full day of the two-day conference is devoted to obesity. The collaboration between Mayo and University of Minnesota investigators facilitated by the MN Obesity Center has clearly improved the course. Several Center investigators were on the faculty, including CJ Billington, SJ Crow, DD Hensrud, MD Jensen, JA Levine.

Center for Obesity Research and Education (CORE)

The Minnesota Obesity Center has received continued funding for a Center for Obesity Research and Education (CORE) through various private sources. CORE is a national consortium of seven academic centers with research, education, and service programs in obesity. Two CORE operations are associated with the Minnesota Obesity Center: one in Minneapolis under the leadership of Dr. Billington and a second in Rochester under Dr. Jensen's leadership.

The CORE's mission reflects the educational goals of the Minnesota Obesity Center, which is:

  1. to provide timely, relevant education and training about obesity to Primary Care Physicians and other Health Care professionals;
  2. to bring expertise to bear as an educational and informational resource in the field of obesity, nationally and in the individual communities served; and
  3. to raise the public awareness about the problem of obesity and the risk of excess weight including options for prevention and management in fostering health improvement.

The primary activity of the CORE centers within the Minnesota Obesity Center is education. In Minneapolis, CORE support has allowed a series of Obesity Workshops that provide continuing education about obesity in an interactive small group setting. The Mayo group associated with CORE educates about obesity in traditional large format CME settings, which benefits from the drawing power of the Mayo Clinic.