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Kaiser Permanente offers physician experts in all health-related topics, including women's health, prevention and wellness, cardiac care, diabetes, weight management, infectious disease, pharmacy, research, health care workforce, community benefits and more.

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Diet can be a serious risk factor for a number of diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and some cancers, but the exact effect of different components of food may depend on your individual genetic makeup. For example, a single letter change in DNA in people living in Scandinavia 10,000 years ago allows most Caucasian adults today to drink milk without getting sick due to lactose intolerance.

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Mary Anne Foo is founder and executive director of the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, a nonprofit community-based organization helping the Asian and Pacific Islander communities with health, policy, youth, education and community and economic development needs. Foo has spent the past 20 years working with the Southern California Asian and Pacific Islander community. She serves on numerous boards and advisory committees and has been a national trainer for Asian Pacific Islander tobacco control, cancer prevention, cultural competency and women's health care issues.

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UC Davis community nutrition specialist Lucia Kaiser can talk about how Latinos have changed their eating patterns in the United States and the nutritional effects of the new diet. She also is an expert on nutrition; the impact of acculturation and food insecurity among Latinos on household food supplies and food patterns; cultural beliefs regarding diabetes; and childfeeding strategies.

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Lorena Garcia is an Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences at the UC Davis School of Medicine. Her research focuses on health disparities and social determinants of health, in particular cardiovascular related health outcomes such as obesity and diabetes, and immigrant health.

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Dr. Kelly Acton is director of the Indian Health Service Diabetes Program. She has worked in the Indian Health Service for more than 20 years. In 1981, Dr. Acton earned her M.D. degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and in 1996, her M.P.H. from the University of Washington. She is board-certified in internal medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. She has worked on the Crow and Flathead Indian reservations in Montana and the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina.

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James S. Marks, M.D., M.P.H., senior vice president, directs all program and administrative activities of the RWJF Health Group. This includes the Foundation's work in childhood obesity, public health and vulnerable populations. Prior to joining RWJF in December 2004, Marks retired as assistant surgeon general after serving as director of the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion for almost a decade.

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Harold Goldstein is executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established jointly by the Northern and Southern California public health associations to raise awareness about critical public health issues and mobilizes communities to promote effective health policies. Goldstein is a nationally recognized leader in the growing movement to address the epidemics of childhood obesity and diabetes by advocating for state and local policies that promote healthy eating and physical activity.

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Dr. Foster's research interests include the behavioral and metabolic aspects of obesity. He studies a variety of treatment approaches including behavior therapy, pharmacotherapy, and surgery. His currently funded NIH research studies include the effects of weight loss on sleep apnea, the safety and efficacy of low- and high-carbohydrate diets, and the prevention of obesity and diabetes in school settings.

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Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor is a professor of family and preventive medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine. An internationally recognized expert in epidemiology, Barrett-Connor's main focus is on the factors promoting a healthy old age. She is founder and director of the three-decade-old Rancho Bernardo Heart and Chronic Disease Study, which has produced data defining causal factors for diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis as well as cardiovascular disease. Her research focuses on healthy aging and gender differences in disease, with strong emphasis on women's health.

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