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The Albert J. Stunkard Weight Management Program
October 9, 2007, Volume 54, No. 7



Dr. Albert J. “Mickey” Stunkard, professor emeritus of psychiatry, and internationally renowned scholar, began his career at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1957. To honor his 50 years of service at Penn and major contributions to the field of obesity research, Penn’s Department of Psychiatry—which he chaired for 11 years—and the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders has opened the newly-established Albert J. Stunkard Weight Management Program.

The program offers comprehensive, medically-supported treatment to patients in a variety of ways, including individual and group treatment sessions. As part of UPHS, it draws on the expertise of specialists in several areas. The multidisciplinary treatment team provides patients with one-on-one consultations with nutritionists, exercise specialists, mental health professionals, and other medical specialists. Other services include: individual nutrition counseling, psychological counseling, resting metabolic rate, body composition analysis and physical fitness assessment.

The new program provides professional services to the general public rather than only to participants in research studies and collaborates with Penn’s Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, founded by Dr. Stunkard over 45 years ago to better understand the causes of weight and weight-related disorders. Dr. Stunkard directed the program’s (formerly the Obesity Research Group) research efforts and remains an active and integral member of the group. Renowned for his pioneering research on the causes, consequences, and treatment of obesity, he remains an energetic and productive investigator at the Center. Dr. Stunkard’s research and dedication to patient care have been recognized by numerous awards, including his election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

For more than 50 years, Dr. Stunkard has been a pioneer in the field of obesity and eating disorders. He was the first to describe the powerful environmental influence on obesity of social class and, through the study of identical twins separated at birth, of the even greater power of genetics. He has developed a widely-used questionnaire to assess the psychological aspects of eating behavior. He helped to define behavioral medicine as a field of intellectual endeavor and was an early President of the Society for Behavioral Medicine.

The Center’s current director, Dr. Thomas A. Wadden, professor of psychology in psychiatry, came to Penn in 1981 and is a preeminent authority on the treatment of overweight patients, binge eating, and related problems. Under Dr. Wadden’s leadership, the group continues to conduct a wide variety of studies on the causes and treatment of weight-related disorders. Dr. Wadden is the executive director of the new Program.

Dr. David Sarwer, associate professor of psychology in psychiatry is the director of clinical services for the Center; and director of the Weight Management Program. Andrea Diamond, a registered dietician, is the program director.

The Weight Management Program is located at 3535 Market Street. To schedule an initial consultation, attend an orientation for a group program or for more information call (215) 746-4100 or visit www.med.upenn.edu/weightloss/.

Stunkard Center

At the ribbon cutting for the new Stunkard Weight Management Program (left to right): Dr. Dwight Evans, chair of psychiatry department; Dr. Allbert ‘Mickey’ Stunkard, the pioneer for whom the Weight Management Program is named; Dr. David Sarwer, associate professor of psychology in psychiatry; and Dr. Thomas A. Wadden, professor of psychology in psychiatry.



Almanac - October 9, 2007, Volume 54, No. 7