Pennington Center obesity research program to be featured on Discovery Channel

For more information, contact our Media Relations Manager, Ted Griggs, 225-763-2862 or our Communications Director, Lisa Stansbury, at 225-763-2978. Our news email box is also available at

Released: Thursday, May 23, 2002

"Big as Life: Obesity in America" airs nationwide on Sunday, June 9, at 8 p.m.

Check out the Pennington Biomedical Research Center's internationally recognized obesity research program on the upcoming Discovery Channel program, "Big as Life: Obesity in America." The program airs nationwide on Sunday, June 9, at 8 p.m.

The Discovery Channel producers interviewed many of the Pennington Center's world-class obesity scientists on February 4, 5, and 6. Those interviewed include Pennington Center Executive Director Dr. Claude Bouchard; Dr. David York, associate executive director of Basic Science; and research scientists Drs. George A. Bray, Melinda Sothern; Don Williamson; Hans Berthoud; Lilian de Jonge; Michael Hamilton; and Steve Smith.

The "Big as Life: Obesity in America" program scheduled to air June 9 is described by Discovery Channel as, "Touching lives of obese individuals as they share their personal challenges. From Fat Love clubs to surgeries that result in spectacular physical transformation, many experience exquisite pain and joy in a quest for a healthy lifestyle." According to the producers the Pennington Center is the only research institute featured.

"It's gratifying to see the Pennington Center receive the recognition we now receive in both the scientific community and through worldwide media coverage after only being in operation for 14 years," says Executive Director Bouchard.

"As we continue with our plans for rapid expansion, this recognition will only grow. This recognition, in turn, helps us attract substantial amounts of competitive research dollars to Baton Rouge and Louisiana and create many jobs locally," he says.


The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. It is a campus of Louisiana State University and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 44 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and support personnel, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Pennington Biomedical's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 222-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.