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Making Waves in 2015
Letter from the President
Dear Colleagues,

The obesity research and treatment community is already making waves in 2015, which we hope provides a sneak peak of what we'll accomplish throughout the remainder of the year. Just one month into the New Year, news headlines have shared exciting progress for the treatment of obesity, both regarding clinical practice and public perception.

You've likely heard of the new, FDA-approved medical device for obesity treatment — the first device that targets brain-to-stomach signaling. This is a novel device that gives clinicians yet another tool to help patients with obesity not finding success with diet and exercise alone.

On the heels of this announcement, the Endocrine Society published the first pharmacological guideline for obesity treatment. TOS is pleased to have been involved in the development of the guideline, which supplements TOS/AHA/ACC Obesity Treatment Guidelines to fill a gap in treatment. I encourage you to explore this new roadmap for clinicians considering anti-obesity drug treatment for patients.
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ASSOCIATION NEWS


Is Obesity a Disability? Experts Weigh In
TOS
In a joint position statement, The Obesity Society (TOS) and its partners in the Obesity Care Continuum agree with the premise behind a recent European Court of Justice ruling supporting disability protections for obesity under certain circumstances and call for these protections to be enacted in the United States. The EU decision that sparked the development of the new position relates to a case of a child-care worker who claimed he was fired from his job because of his weight.

"Although obesity may not always be a disability by itself, it can lead to health problems that constitute disability," TOS and co-signers the Obesity Action Coalition, the Americans Society for Bariatric Physicians, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery agree in the statement. "This recognition should help form the foundation for employers to offer considerations to employees affected by health disabilities due to obesity."

For next steps, the groups recommend federal and state policy measures to protect people with obesity from workplace discrimination and urge employers to recognize that while people with obesity are not inherently disabled, the disease can lead to disability.

Read more in the press release here and the full position statement here.

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Obesity during mid-life increases risk of later-life disability
Contributed by Tapan Mehta, PhD
In a recent study published in the February issue of Obesity, researchers Wong and colleagues used a longitudinal dataset to examine the association between duration of obesity and risk of physical disability. The researchers found that the duration of obesity in middle-aged individuals (45-65 years) is associated with increased risk of disability over and above the attained BMI in later life. Findings from this study highlight the need for obesity treatment and interventions earlier in adulthood.

This is an important finding in light of the current debate surrounding the European court ruling about obesity and disability, and reinforces the need to develop and provide coverage for effective obesity treatments. There is increasing evidence that the lifespan shortening association of obesity is reducing, perhaps due to improvements in medical care related to cardiovascular disease. However, this encouraging trend may be coupled with an increase in incidence of obesity-associated disability over time.

To conduct the study, authors used data on 2,095 disability-free participants from the examination 5 (1991-1995, baseline) of the Framingham Offspring study. Duration of obesity was estimated using data from examination 1 until examination 5 of the study, which were 20 years apart. Onset of disability was ascertained using data from examinations 6-8. Disability was determined using the questions pertaining to the activity for daily living.

Read the full study here.

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TOS President joins OAC and PFCD to discuss obesity in PhRMA Conversations
TOS
TOS President Nikhil Dhurandhar, PhD, FTOS joins experts from the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) and the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) in the PhRMA Conversations forum to answer the question, "How can we best tackle obesity before it takes a staggering personal and economic toll on society?"

"More than one-third (about 35.7%) of American adults are affected by obesity, a serious disease that is tied to more than 30 other health conditions, including heart disease and cancer," said Dr. Dhurandhar. "TOS calls for continued momentum by our community, public and private sector partners toward developing a full spectrum of obesity treatment tools. Further, the Society urges all healthcare practitioners to treat obesity seriously and start discussing the disease and its health effects with patients. Finally, we encourage policymakers to provide better access to these novel treatments for the disease by taking the first step to expand health insurance coverage through Medicare and state health insurance exchanges."

See the full response from Dr. Dhurandhar here.

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Most weight loss participants are willing to pay for continued behavioral treatment
Contributed by Maya Vadiveloo, PhD RD
The financial value of behavioral weight-loss interventions to participants is unclear, which has implications for the sustainability of such interventions. In a recent study by Jerome and colleagues, weight-loss participants in the 2-year randomized POWER trial overwhelmingly reported a willingness to pay (WTP) for ongoing lifestyle counseling, regardless of whether it was delivered in-person or via phone. Ninety-five percent of adults were willing to pay a median of $45 per month to continue receiving lifestyle counseling, with African-American participants willing to pay significantly more ($65) than Non- African-American participants ($45). Importantly, WTP was not affected by weight-loss or income.

The researchers also found that price anchoring influenced the amount participants were willing to pay; those presented with higher suggested amounts first ($100/month) were willing to pay more than those presented with lower suggested amounts ($10/month). Although $45/month is lower than what has been reported previously, this is one of the first studies to specifically study weight-loss participants and examine their interest in actual vs. hypothetical weight loss counseling. This study also highlights the importance of pricing evidence-based weight-loss programs competitively with commercial weight-loss programs.

Read the full article in the Obesity journal here.

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  Introducing the Obesity Hyperguide™
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Attention obesity clinicians: New clinical trial resource to share with patients
TOS
Do you treat patients with obesity? Would these patients be good candidates for clinical trials? If so, you may want to tell them about CenterWatch.com, the leading source for information on clinical trials for both clinical research professionals and patients.

Center Watch allows patients to search for relevant clinical trials by condition (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, etc.) or geographic location. Currently, Center Watch provides a listing of 240 obesity-focused clinical trials around the U.S.

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eHealth/mHealth Reading Corner
Contributed by eHealth/mHealth Section
To keep the community up to date on the developments in this important area, TOS eHealth/mHealth section offers the eHealth/mHealth Reading Corner. This week's articles include:
    Turner T, Spruijt-Metz D, Wen CKF, Hingle MD. Prevention and treatment of pediatric obesity using mobile and wireless technologies: a systematic review. Pediatr Obes. 12 Jan 2015 (online first) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijpo.12002/abstract

    Baker TB, Gustafson DH, Shah D. How Can Research Keep Up With eHealth? Ten Strategies for Increasing the Timeliness and Usefulness of eHealth Research. J Med Internet Res 2014;16(2):e36 http://www.jmir.org/2014/2/e36/

    Cavallo DN, Tate DF, Ward DS, DeVellis RF, Thayer LM, Ammerman AS. Social support for physical activity—role of Facebook with and without structured intervention. Transl Behav Med. 2014 Dec;4(4):346-54 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25584083
If you have an article you would like to share, we would love to hear from you! Please send article information to Danielle Schoffman (schoffmd@email.sc.edu), and we'll add it to the EMS Reading Corner Library.

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OBESITY IN THE NEWS


Europe opens the way for 2 new obesity drugs
ConscienHealth
Let's just say it. European regulators were spooked by obesity drugs for quite a few years. So news that first buproprion/naltrexone (Contrave U.S./Mysimba EU) and now liraglutide (Saxenda) have been recommended for approval in Europe is good news indeed.
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How your sleep schedule affects your weight gain and disease risk
Shape
Why would you ever wake up earlier than you need to on a Saturday? Here's one reason: Sleeping in on the weekends can increase your weight and disease risk. Social jet lag — or the difference in your sleeping patterns between days you work and wake up with an alarm and days you have off and sleep according to your natural clock — may increase your risk for obesity-related diseases.
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Weight loss: Options for a long, healthy life
The Inquisitr News
As the New Year begins, many set out to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle. However, the way in which one goes about achieving this goal may vary to a great degree. There is a barrage of fad diets, gyms to join and devices to use that assist in the weight loss effort.
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Biggest Loser producers: Our show does not promote dangerous weight loss
Examiner
"The Biggest Loser" producers deny allegations made by former contestant Kai Hibbard that the reality TV show promotes dangerous weight loss practices. Producers called Hibbard's allegations "false," and said the show has inspired millions of people around the world to lose weight and get healthy.
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Early enteral nutrition offsets 'obesity paradox'
Medscape
The phenomenon in which mortality rates are higher in normal-weight critically ill patients than in those who are overweight or obese — the so-called obesity paradox — can be offset when tube feeding is provided in the intensive care unit, according to the results of a new study.
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Obesity is rising in India. So are weight-loss surgeries.
The Washington Post
These days, real estate developer Prateek Sawhney ignores junk mail fliers from plus-size stores. Instead, he shows off his slim physique with designer duds, while sporting around New Delhi in a shiny, green BMW. Sawhney, 49, says he shrank his morbidly obese 350-pound frame four years ago after stomach bypass surgery helped him drop almost half his weight. He now has become a self-appointed ambassador for bariatrics in India, as growing numbers of the country's rapidly expanding urban population embrace stomach bypass and stapling surgeries to lose weight.
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Workplace wellness: Can these employer money-savers keep you healthy?
U.S. News & World Report
There's a good chance your employer offers wellness perks, whether it's a discount on your gym membership, a smoking cessation program or companywide weight-loss challenges. But the mere existence of these programs won’t make you healthy — they require your involvement.
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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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