The SOS is the largest regional obesity prevention event in the United States, drawing hundreds of participants from the 16 southern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. SOS provides a platform for collaborative action to address obesity in the South, which has the highest obesity rates and disparities in the country. The 13th Annual Southern Obesity Summit will be held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma October 28-30, 2019. With a focus on improving systems to promote healthy people and resilient communities, this year’s Summit will bring together leadership from across the south to share, learn and develop strategies to address the obesity epidemic with a systems lens. Moreover, because obesity is a global epidemic driven by complex systems that span regional and national boundaries, SOS invites participants from diverse backgrounds to share insights and strategies for systems change.
Attendees will include policymakers, leaders from community-based organizations, federal and state government officials, health care providers, non-profits, youth and members from national and state associations.
Participants will convene to publicize effective and emerging obesity prevention practices to inspire and energize grassroots efforts in the 16 Southern States.
State-based teams will meet in a special session to provide opportunities for regional collaboration and collective impact. These sessions offer a venue for state-based learning communities for obesity prevention and ongoing coordinated action for systems change.
The three-day conference will offer networking opportunities, dynamic breakout sessions, workgroup meetings, and plenary sessions. Pre-summit workshops and sessions also offer continuing education credit.
This year especially welcomes new participants who can share their expertise and experience in the diverse systems that drive the global obesity epidemic.
SOS 2019 will feature learning opportunities to nurture systems approaches and networking with non-traditional partners.
Interactive Plenary Sessions will feature experts and practitioners to strengthen participants’ understanding of systems approaches to obesity prevention. Four Breakout Sessions are divided into six tracks to support dialogue about existing obesity prevention through a systems lens.
The SOS 2019 Tracks include:
Healthy Eating and Food System Drivers
Active Living and Environmental Drivers
Social Forces and Individual Psychology
Game Changing Science and Medicine
Local Ecological Systems
Systems Approach to State and National Policy Change
The Southern Obesity Summit began with seed capital from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a spinoff project of the Southern Rural Access Program, a seven-year initiative to improve access to care. The Southern Rural Access Program’s National Advisory Committee was led by Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, and previous Surgeon General of the United States. Texas Health Institute (THI) and Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) partnered to put on the inaugural SOS in Little Rock in 2007. Since Little Rock(2007), SOS has been held in Birmingham, AL (2008); Austin, TX (2009); Atlanta, GA (2010); New Orleans, LA (2011), Charlotte, NC (2012), Nashville, TN (2013), Louisville, KY (2014) and Jackson, MS (2015) , Houston TX (2016), Atlanta GA (2017)