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FDA approves first medical device for obesity treatment targeting brain-to-stomach signaling
TOS
Last week, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved EnteroMedic's VBLOC® vagal blocking therapy, delivered via the Maestro® System, which is the first medical device approved for obesity treatment that targets the nerve pathway between the brain and the stomach. The device acts by sending an electrical pulse to block vagal nerve signals involved in controlling feelings of hunger and fullness. The Maestro System is approved for the treatment of adult patients with obesity who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 35 to 45 kg/m2 with one or more obesity-related health conditions and who have failed to lose weight in a supervised weight management program within the past five years.

"This is a novel device that interrupts signals from the stomach to the brain that are believed to be involved with stomach emptying and feelings of fullness," said Martin Binks, PhD, FTOS, Secretary/Treasurer of The Obesity Society (TOS) and Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University. "In addition to the five FDA-approved anti-obesity drugs now available, such novel treatment options can give additional choices to individuals with obesity who have found little success with diet and exercise alone."

For many years, TOS has advocated for enhanced understanding and treatment of obesity as a complex, chronic disease in need of new treatment options. Read more here.
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ASSOCIATION NEWS


First pharmacological guideline for obesity provides clinical roadmap for drug treatment
TOS

Dr. Donna Ryan
TOS is pleased to support the Endocrine Society and the European Society of Endocrinology to release the first-ever clinical practice guideline for the drug treatment of obesity. This guideline, "Pharmacological Management of Obesity: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline," offers a new tool for health practitioners looking to the latest pharmacotherapy strategies as a means of treating patients with obesity.

"The pharmacotherapy guideline provides a roadmap for clinicians considering anti-obesity drug treatment for patients not finding success with diet and exercise alone," says Donna Ryan, MD, TOS past-president and spokesperson, member of the development panel and professor emeritus at Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center. "The new guideline provides doctors with recommended medications and dosage based on obesity-related comorbidities, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Further, it gives specific recommendations for transitioning patients off drugs that cause weight gain, shifting the treatment paradigm from treating weight last, to treating weight first."

As the first pharmacotherapy guideline for the treatment of obesity, the new resource expands upon the "Guidelines (2013) for Managing Overweight and Obesity in Adults," published in Obesity in November 2013 by TOS, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

Read more about the announcement here.

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How many TOS members are in your state? Check out the new TOS Heat Map
TOS
Have you ever wondered where your TOS colleagues are located in the United States? Now you can find out in the all-new heat map that shows the number of TOS members per state.

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Don't miss this TOS early career webinar: Strategies to build a successful research program
Contributed by TOS Early Career Committee
Have you considered developing a research program, but aren't sure how to get started or how to be successful? The Obesity Society's Early Career Member Committee is pleased to announce its first webinar titled: Strategies to Build a Successful Research Program in Obesity Related Research. The webinar will be held on Thursday, February 19 at 2:00 pm ET. All are welcome.

Two successful investigators, Drs. Oliva Affuso and Jean-Philippe Chaput, will share their experiences and provide expert advice. To reserve your spot, please register online by February 13. Find more details here.

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Congratulations to TOS Members recently invited to join ABOM Item Writing Committee
TOS
The American Board of Obesity Medicine Nominating Committee has extended invitations to the following TOS-member physicians to serve on the ABOM Item Writing Committee, in addition to those already serving. Item Writing Committee members are tasked with writing new items for the ABOM item bank of examination questions. Congratulations to the following members:
  • Sunil Daniel, MD, FTOS, University of Alabama At Birmingham
  • Lisa DeRosimo, MD, American Board of Obesity Medicine
  • Holly Lofton, MD, NYU Langone Weight Management Center
  • Vyvyane Loh, MD
  • Caren Mangarelli, MD, Duke Hospital and Health System
  • Amy Rothberg, MD, University of Michigan
  • Stephanie Sogg, PhD, MGH Weight Center
  • Daniel Weiss, MD, Your Diabetes Endocrine Nutrition Group
  • Adrienne Youdim, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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Get to know a TOS Fellow! Q&A with David Arterburn, MD, MPH, FTOS
Contributed by TOS Early Career Committee

Dr. David Arterburn
It's time for another edition of the Q&A interviews with TOS Fellows! This is the perfect opportunity to get to know leaders in the obesity field a little better, and learn more about their personal lives outside of work. Here are some questions and answers from our interview with TOS Fellow David Arterburn, MD, MPH, FTOS, Associate Investigator for the Group Health Research Institute and Affiliate Associate Professor for the Department of Medicine at University of Washington in Seattle, WA:

Q: Please tell us about your current work and your professional developmental trajectory.
A: I am a general internist and a health services researcher who holds positions as an Associate Investigator at Group Health Research Institute and as an Affiliate Associate Professor with the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

Q: What advice do you have for today's junior obesity researchers?
A: Network aggressively with other obesity researchers. The greatest opportunities in my career have come as a result of research funding or ideas that came through my colleagues and mentors.

Q: What aspects of obesity research are the most exciting to you right now?
A: The greater focus on comparative effectiveness research at the national level.

Q: What are your favorite things to do when you're not at work?
A: I like to bike, run, climb, hike, ski, and snowboard.

Read the rest of the interview with Dr. Arterburn here. These interviews are featured bi-monthly in the TOS eNews. Don't miss the next one on February 4!

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Attention TOS members: Submit your topic and speaker suggestions for 2015 Your Weight Matters National Convention
TOS
The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is pleased to accept applications for interested speakers and topic ideas for the 2015 Your Weight Matters National Convention, August 13-16 in San Antonio. The OAC's Your Weight Matters National Convention is the nation's leading patient educational conference designed to present evidence-based weight management strategies from the country's leading experts in weight and health. This 3-day educational conference offers more than 40 educational topics all geared toward the everyday individual concerned with all topics relating to weight and health.

The development of the Convention educational program and speaker selection is handled by a Program Agenda Committee, led by Drs. Robert Kushner and Lloyd Stegemann. The OAC welcomes the input and interest from the members of TOS and invites any interested speaker to submit their application and/or topic ideas to the Convention Program Agenda Committee. All topics submitted must appeal to a patient audience and should be directed at the everyday individual interested in evidence-based weight management strategies. Topic areas and speaker expertise needed for YWM2015 include: evidence-based treatment options for excess weight and obesity, weight maintenance strategies, post-surgical care, nutrition (general and surgical), mental health, exercise, childhood obesity and family health strategies, and obesity-related conditions.

Find complete information and submit your interest and/or topic suggestion here. All interested speakers and topic suggestions must be received no later than Monday, January 26, in order to be considered for the 2015 Convention Agenda.

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Submit your nominations for the World of Children Health Award
TOS
Do you know someone who has made a positive impact on children with obesity? Nominations for the World of Children Health Award open this month, and this year's winner will receive a minimum grant of $50,000 to elevate their work. This award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to children in the fields of health, medicine and/or the sciences.

Award honorees are not necessarily doctors or medical professionals; however, all have achieved and continue to achieve measureable accomplishments to improve the health of children around the world. These selfless individuals are dedicated to making a difference for children who need help regardless of political, religious or geographic boundaries.

The online nomination system closes April 1 at 11:59 pm PDT. Find more information about the award and its requirements here.

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OBESITY IN THE NEWS


Reflections on ObesityWeek 2014: What to look for next year
Endocrinology Advisor
After more than 5,000 attendees traveled by car, train, bus and plane to Boston for ObesityWeek in November, 2014 ended with a bang. The breadth of this meeting — which featured over 100 sessions scheduled across dozens of hours — combined with the presence of many expert researchers, practitioners and advocates made Obesity Week not just a space for comprehensive review, but also an opportunity for creative synthesis.
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New US obesity guidelines: Treat the weight first
Medscape
A new Endocrine Society clinical-practice guideline on the pharmacological management of obesity outlines a plan for the use of weight-loss agents as well as for shifting away from drugs to treat other conditions that promote weight gain. The document represents "a blueprint for how to treat obesity with comorbidities," Dr Caroline M Apovian (Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts) said during a telephone press briefing to introduce the guidance.
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Device to fight obesity shows change in perspective on disease
U.S. News & World Report
A newly approved device by the Food and Drug Administration signals a different approach to combating obesity — one that takes into account the role the nervous system plays in the disease. Historically, the public has viewed obesity as a matter of personal choice, as a lack of willpower to eat healthy and exercise. Weight-loss drugs, in turn, have been associated with cosmetic motivations. Increasingly, however, the medical community recognizes obesity as a disease with multiple factors that can contribute to whether a person will succeed in losing weight.
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Corporate wellness programs shouldn't punish employees
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
It sounds great. A little bit of carrot and a little bit of stick and maybe employers can nudge their workers to be healthier. Corporate wellness programs have grown into a $6 billion industry based on the promise of a win-win proposition. Employees enjoy better health. Employers enjoy lower health costs. So why is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission raining on this happy parade?
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Obesity more expensive to treat than smoking
HealthDay News via Doctors Lounge
Annual health care expenses are substantially higher for smokers and the obese, compared with nonsmokers and people of healthy weight, according to a report published online in Public Health. In fact, obesity is actually more expensive to treat than smoking on an annual basis, the report author concludes.
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'Healthy obesity' turns unhealthy
HealthCentral
In recent years, some research has suggested that it's possible to be both obese and healthy. But now a study by scientists at University College, London debunks that notion, concluding that obesity almost always becomes unhealthy.
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Experts zero in on pizza as prime target in war on childhood obesity
Los Angeles Times
Kids love pizza, but a new study shows that it doesn't love them back. On days when children eat pizza, they consume an average of 408 additional calories, three additional grams of fat and 134 additional milligrams of salt compared with their regular diet. For teens, putting pizza on the day's menu adds 624 calories, five grams of fat and 484 milligrams of salt.
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Picturing obesity
ConscienHealth
When the media publish stories about obesity, something special goes into picturing obesity — and it's not good. Compare just a small sample of the images used to illustrate a recent story about obesity to a sample of images used for a recent story about diabetes and you will see a stark difference.
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The brutal secrets behind 'The Biggest Loser'
New York Post
In a country where two-thirds of the population is overweight or obese, "The Biggest Loser" has multifaceted appeal: It's aspirational and grotesque, punitive and redemptive — skinny or fat, it's got something for you. It's not uncommon to see contestants worked out to the point of vomiting or collapsing from exhaustion. Contestants, collegially and poignantly, refer to one another as "losers."
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The Obesity Society eNews
Mollie Turner, News Editor, The Obesity Society  
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Caitlin McNeely, Senior Editor, 469.420.2692   
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Disclaimer: eNews is a digest of the most important news selected for The Obesity Society from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiBriefs, an independent organization that also manages and sells advertising. The Obesity Society does not endorse any of the advertised products and services. Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the author and not of The Obesity Society.

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