One World, One People

A Body Larger Than LifeWe are in the United States. The United States is not Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, South America, Australia, Canada, Mexico or Central America; we are all of them. Likewise, CNS researchers are also, “all of them.” We are an eclectic group, with researchers from every continent, all echelons, and various journeys, bringing a global perspective to a world pandemic. Diversity of vantage is among the primary weapons in our arsenal. When the task is completed, we, or those who follow us, will have looked at ingestive behaviors, the pathophysiology of stress and obesity from every perspective. However, when triaging life-threatening wounds, stopping the critical bleeding is the priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control more than 78 million Americans are obese. Nearly 8 million of these people weigh over 500 pounds. The lion’s share of them are black and brown Americans. Thus, of the 1.4 billion overweight people metabolically bleeding in this world, black and brown Americans are experiencing the severest hemorrhaging. So, in employing the clinical wisdom of triage, understanding obesity in black and brown America becomes a priority.

Just as we honor the wisdom of triage, we must honor who we are. We identify the underlying mechanisms that create and sustain ingestive behavioral conditions and obesogenic outcomes. We are not the team that evacuates the city when the flood waters start to rise. We are not the people who build dams and bridges or blow up the levies. We are the people who figure out how the rains fall, when the snow melts, how raging rivers flow and where surging waters go.

Mission Statement: Our cardinal concern is to not only articulate the underlying mechanisms that cause and sustain maladaptive ingestive behavior and obesity in all people, but to also understand if black and brown Americans differ from those in other populations.

To that end, we welcome the marginalized, and in the past often-mistreated, obese black or brown research subject. No matter how large you are, or how much your eating habits and obesity have deconstructed your life, you are welcome here. We know; omission and commission are common themes in research for people who are obese and black or brown. We can address this regrettable attitude in four words, “Not in our house,” because the spirit of Hippocrates lives here, and “do no harm” extends to everyone. So, no matter how little attention research has given obese black or brown Americans in the past, it is a brand new day, and at UCLA CNS, we give you MORE.