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ObesityWeek: Key Dates and Deadlines
Letter from the President


Dear Colleagues,

While we're only approaching the end of February, TOS is already hard at work planning for our Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek 2015 in Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 2 – 7. Several staff members from TOS and ASMBS traveled to LA last week for a site visit, exploring all that the city has to offer, the ins and outs of the Convention Center and nearby hotels, and exciting venues for the social events that give you an opportunity to connect with your colleagues at the conference.

As our staff and Program Committee work to nail down these and other details, I'd like to provide you with some key dates and deadlines for your calendars. While they are subject to change, we hope these dates will give you a strong idea of when to get a first look at the meeting program, submit your research and register to secure early bird rates.
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ASSOCIATION NEWS


New research provides first glimpse of weight gain guidance for pregnant women with obesity
Contributed by Shu Wen Ng, PhD
While current pregnancy weight-gain recommendations do not distinguish among the classes of obesity, a recent study by Hutcheon and colleagues published in the March issue of Obesity presents the first look at reference values for pregnancy weight gain in women with varying levels of obesity. This marks a start for monitoring and studying relationships between weight gain and pregnancy outcomes, particularly among women with different classes of obesity.

In the study, researchers used data on serial weight measurements collected over the course of pregnancies from more than 4,000 women with pre-pregnancy BMI ≥25, uncomplicated full-term singleton pregnancies and deliveries from a large women's hospital in PA from 1998-2010. After excluding outliers, their models included a median of 11 weight-gain measurements for each of the four weight classes (overweight, class I obesity, class II obesity and class III obesity).

Based on their best-fitting models for each of the weight classes, they present select percentiles of pregnancy weight gain over gestational age. For all obesity classes, the median (50th percentile) of gestational weight gain was close to zero (i.e., little weight gain) until mid-pregnancy. The rate of weight gain during the second half of the pregnancy is gradual and slows with increasing severity of obesity. The expansion of this approach in a nationally representative sample can lead to future recommendations for gestational weight gain by obesity class associated with optimal pregnancy outcomes. Find out more in TOS press release here and read the full article in the Obesity journal here.

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"You don't choose obesity, obesity chooses you" says TOS President on CNN
TOS
Two weeks ago, TOS responded to a bill under debate in Puerto Rico proposing a $500 - $800 fine for parents whose children have obesity and have not improved after parent-focused education. The legislators supporting the bill under debate say it is intended to improve children's health by encouraging parents to make healthier choices for their families. While some public and pediatric health organizations have called the bill "unfair," The Obesity Society (TOS) and The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) have gone further to call it a misguided policy that ignores the core scientific understanding of obesity as a disease.

Just last week, TOS President Nikhil Dhurandhar, PhD, FTOS, appeared on CNN to discuss the bill. He was the second TOS representative to appear on the international network to discuss the issue.

"The underlying premise [of this bill] is that some people acquire obesity by choice, and getting rid of obesity is only a matter of deciding to do so," said Dr. Dhurandhar during the interview with CNN. "In reality, major organizations like The Obesity Society and the American Medical Association have declared that obesity is a disease like diabetes or cancer. This means that just like these diseases, you don't choose obesity, obesity chooses you."

The full interview with CNN is available here. Read more about TOS's statement in the press release here.

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TOS calls for a broader, global approach to obesity treatment and prevention
TOS
A recent Lancet series explores various international efforts to address obesity, and calls for public health and policy approaches to improve the food environment as it relates to obesity treatment and prevention. TOS supports ongoing dialogue and collaborative discussions with the food industry, other industry stakeholders and public health officials, and calls for developing evidence-based initiatives to improve public health. Recent initiatives by food and beverage companies in the US to reduce calories in food products are encouraging, however more can be done.

"While we recognize the significance of improved nutrition as one part of the effort, it is important to acknowledge that the exclusive focus on lifestyle modification has not translated into reductions in the global obesity epidemic," says Dr. Dhurandhar. "We must ensure that appropriate attention is paid to the many factors that influence weight and health."

The full statement from The Obesity Society is available online.

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AMWA focuses on obesity prevention and treatment at its Centennial Meeting
Contributed by the American Medical Women's Association
The American Medical Women's Association (AMWA), an organization of women physicians, healthcare professionals, students and supporters, will celebrate its 100th year with a Centennial Meeting and Gala in Chicago from April 23-26, 2015. Education about obesity prevention and treatment is an important focus of the Centennial Meeting.

AMWA, founded at a time when women physicians were an underrepresented minority, has evolved into a multidisciplinary organization that is committed to improving public health through education, research and high-quality medical care. AMWA recognizes that obesity is a global problem with complex etiologies and adverse effects on health. AMWA, through its Preventive Medicine Task Force, has partnered with The Obesity Society to provide educational materials to attendees and to offer them the opportunity to take "The Obesity Pledge" to show their commitment to treating obesity as a disease with significant co-morbidities that deserves serious attention. Learn more about and register for AMWA's Centennial Meeting here.

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First pharmacological guideline for obesity now open access
TOS

Dr. Donna Ryan
Last month, the Endocrine Society and the European Society of Endocrinology released the first-ever clinical practice guideline for the drug treatment of obesity. This guideline, "Pharmacological Management of Obesity: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline," is now open access and available to all.

"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 initial announcement from TOS here.

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Join World Obesity's 2015 Hot Topic Conference: Dietary Sugars, Obesity and Metabolic Disease Risk
TOS
This June, World Obesity will host its next Hot Topic Conference in Berlin, Germany with a focus on the consumption of dietary sugars. As the consumption of dietary sugars continues to increase, it's more important now than ever for local, national and global policymakers to consider issues such as sugar/soda taxes, warning signs on foods/beverages that are high in sugars and global trade policies. The science showing the link between dietary sugars and obesity/metabolic outcomes is rapidly developing, and this event will allow the scientific community to come together to review the science. The conference also aims to resolve numerous evolving controversies and discrepancies in this field of study by bringing world experts together into an atmosphere of collegial sharing and consensus building.

This event features an interactive poster session and will appeal to a broad inter-disciplinary mix of basic, clinical, epidemiological and population based researchers working in the area of dietary sugars and obesity/metabolic diseases. Potential attendees include researchers, clinicians, health professionals, policy and public health scientists in addition to representatives from government, policy institutes and industry.

The conference will be held at the Ameron Hotel ABION in Berlin, Germany from June 29 – 30, 2015. Additional information is available here.

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TOS Fellows: Highlight Your FTOS Credential
TOS
Are you a TOS Fellow? As an active Fellow member, we encourage you to proudly distinguish yourself as Fellow of The Obesity Society (FTOS) when:
  • Writing articles for publication in medical journals, newsletters and publications
  • Making presentations during medical conferences and conventions
  • Submitting your information for listing in professional and membership directories
  • Promoting your experience and your practice
  • Updating or submitting your curriculum vitae for consideration as a medical expert, new position or medical or board acceptance
  • Indicating how your name should be listed or published as an author, presenter, board or committee member, panelist, graduate or member
  • Updating your Medical Licensing Board Profile and/or group practice listings
Are you interesting in applying for TOS Fellowship? Fellowship is one of the highest honors bestowed by TOS and sets you apart by acknowledging your high-level contributions to the field of obesity research, treatment and/or prevention. Find out more and apply online here.

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eHealth/mHealth Reading Corner
TOS
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:
Liu F, Kong X, Cao J, et al. Mobile Phone Intervention and Weight Loss Among Overweight and Obese Adults: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Am. J. Epidemiol. 2015 Feb 10 (online first).

Kim JY, Oh S, Steinhubl S, et al. Effectiveness of 6 months of tailored text message reminders for obese male participants in a worksite weight loss program: randomized controlled trial. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2015 Feb 3;3(1):e14.

Comstock J, post on MobiHealthNews. Fitness device makers say engagement, not accuracy, is most important. 2015 Feb 18.
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


Lots of seniors are overweight, but few use free counseling for it
NPR
Anne Roberson walks a quarter-mile down the road each day to her mailbox in the farming town of Exeter, deep in California's Central Valley. Her daily walk and housekeeping chores are her only exercise, and her weight has remained stubbornly over 200 pounds for some time now. Roberson is 68 years old, and she says it gets harder to lose weight as you get older: "You get to a certain point in your life and you say, 'What's the use?'"
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Nutrition panel calls for less sugar and eases cholesterol and fat restrictions
The New York Times
A nutrition advisory panel that helps shape the country's official dietary guidelines eased some of its previous restrictions on fat and cholesterol on Thursday and recommended sharp new limits on the amount of added sugar that Americans should consume. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which convenes every five years, followed the lead of other major health groups like the American Heart Association that in recent years have backed away from dietary cholesterol restrictions and urged people to cut back on added sugars.
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Humana and Weight Watchers join forces to help employers tackle obesity
Businesswire via Yahoo Finance
With levels of obesity and its health-related impacts continuing to rise in the U.S., employers are facing a fast-growing threat to productivity and employee health. Humana Inc., one of the nation's leading health and well-being companies, and Weight Watchers International, Inc., the world's leading provider of weight management services, announced that they have teamed up to help employers attack the problem.
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Have big-box superstores helped to make us fat?
NPR
The humorist Bill Bryson once wrote that "the purpose of the modern American suburb is to make sure that no citizen is ever more than 500 yards from a food product featuring melted cheese." That's an exaggeration, but health officials have long worried that our environment of plentiful, cheap and easily accessible calories is contributing to obesity.
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Closing the gap in obesity treatment?
ConscienHealth
Policymakers urging people with obesity to do something about it are a dime a dozen. And most people with excess weight would dearly love to do something about it. Largely out of their own pockets, Americans spend more than 50 billion dollars on products and services for controlling their weight. But the real problem is a gap in obesity treatment access — access to options that might really help
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High-protein spurs metabolism, but effect is fleeting
Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News
A high-protein diet may spark a person's metabolism, causing it to burn more calories in the process of digestion than it would with a standard diet, and may result in enhanced storage of lean muscle tissue. But, this effect disappears immediately once a person resumes a normal diet, according to new research presented at ObesityWeek 2014. "This study is one more nail in the coffin for the magic bullet for eating everything we want without gaining weight," said Dale Schoeller, MD, professor emeritus of nutritional sciences at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison. "It's the holy grail of metabolism research, but it's always come up negative."
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Medical centers expand practices to address the child obesity epidemic
Time Warner Cable News
Medical centers across the country are expanding their practices to address the childhood obesity epidemic. The Children's Healthy Weigh of Buffalo is one of the few programs across the country that's a comprehensive pediatric weight management center. It just started in December and they're already booked through June. "Our first child who walked through the door weighed 500 pounds, BMI of 72, so here on the front end, we're going to be dealing with the extreme patients who need to be taken care of desperately," said Dr. Carroll Harmon, Pediatric Surgeon-in-Chief at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and Surgical Director of Children’s Healthy Weigh of Buffalo.
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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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