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|TOS President-elect Speaks about Latest Science of Obesity on Capitol Hill
TOS President-elect Lee M. Kaplan, MD, PhD, FTOS, of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital presented the latest science on obesity during a recent presentation on Capitol Hill.
“We are here today to emphasize the value of evidence-based public policy,” Kaplan explained to approximately 25 obesity prevention advocates and Congressional staff who convened for the event titled, Why Weight?, a briefing about the biology of obesity and the importance of enhancing access to its treatment. The Obesity Care Advocacy Network (OCAN) sponsored the briefing, which was supported in part by Novo Nordisk, Inc.
According to the best estimates, 1.2 billion people worldwide have obesity. Kaplan described obesity as excess body fat that presents a risk to health, using the definition pioneered by the World Health Organization rather than the commonly-used body mass index. He reported that multiple factors can conspire to cause obesity, including changes in food chemistry, labor-saving devices, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, environmental toxins, medications, and genetics. Kaplan emphasized that there are many different subtypes of obesity, with different causes and requiring different treatments, and that ultimate success in combating this epidemic will require better understanding of the wide variability of this disease.
Kaplan explained that the number of people with obesity continues to rise despite growing knowledge about its origins, mechanisms, and serious medical and social consequences. He noted that obesity is a risk factor for more than 200 comorbid conditions that include metabolic disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and fatty liver disease, as well as many types of auto-immune and neurological diseases and cancers.
“In the past 40 years, not a single country has seen a reduction in rates of obesity,” Kaplan said, noting that “this is not uniquely a U.S. problem,” but rather “a serious worldwide challenge.” Recognizing the global impact of obesity on personal and public health, The Obesity Society and the European Association for the Study of Obesity issued a joint a press release to mark World Health Day on April 7. Other obesity-related organizations, including the World Obesity Federation, Obesity Canada, and the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) endorsed the initiative. The World Health Organization sponsored the international health observance.
Kaplan shared that numerous approaches to treating obesity have been demonstrated to be effective in clinical trials, including changing dietary content, maintaining healthy muscle through physical activity, decreasing chronic stress, improving sleep health, anti-obesity medications, and bariatric surgery. Different treatments work best in different patients, and combinations of these therapies are often the most effective strategy.
Kaplan added “there is no single best approach to reversing the current obesity epidemic and no individual treatment that is effective for everyone.” As a result, he emphasized that “it is important for people with obesity to have ready access to all proven treatment options, and essential to support research to develop and test additional therapies.
Other guest speakers at the event included Joe Nadglowski, president and chief executive officer of the Obesity Action Coalition, a non-profit organization representing individuals with obesity, Chris Sloan, an associate principal with Avalere Health, and Wayne Su, a former director of the Life Sciences practice at IHS Markit, each of whom presented evidence in support of the clinical and economic benefit of the proposed Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA), a federal bill that aims to improve patient access to a full spectrum of obesity therapies.
Describing the predicted budgetary impact of TROA, Su and Sloan underscored the extraordinarily high contribution of obesity on overall healthcare costs, and the substantial savings that can be achieved by effective treatment of this disease. Those savings were estimated at between $25 million and $20 billion during the next 10 years alone. The lower figure, based on a study by Sloan and colleagues at Avalere, used methodology employed by the Congressional Budget Office to estimate the direct impact of the legislation on federal spending. The higher estimate, based on a study by Su and colleagues, reflects the broader impact of obesity on U.S. healthcare and productivity costs.
Representing TOS and many other obesity-related organizations, OCAN continues to be a strong advocate for sponsorship and passage of TROA. In the wake of OCAN’s Winter Advocacy Day in February, co-sponsorship for this legislation continues to grow. Nine senators and 17 members of the House of Representatives are currently co-sponsors of the bill.
The average hospital loses out on $22 million in revenue annually due to obesity – because of the costs of obesity itself, as well as revenue lost when obese patients are turned away from treatment and surgery due to their weight. But Dr. Troy Schumann of St. Elizabeth’s Physicians Weight Management Center has found a win/win revenue generating solution not just for his program, but for numerous departments within his health care institution through coordinated interdepartmental referral strategies. Learn more about his innovative model in this brand new white paper from Robard Corporation.
|Closing April 22: TOS Abstract Submission for ObesityWeek℠ 2019
Don't miss this chance to present research on basic science, prevention, and treatment at the annual meeting for The Obesity Society at ObesityWeek in Las Vegas, NV. Selected abstracts will be presented at ObesityWeek, Nov. 5–7, 2019.
Submit your abstract to one of the following tracks:
Track 1: Metabolism and Integrative Physiology
Track 2: Neuroscience
Track 3: Intervention and Clinical Studies
Track 4: Population Health
Track 6: Health Care Policy/Public Health Policy
These awards are administered as part of the Call for Abstracts for the Society’s annual meeting at ObesityWeek.
Ethan Sims Young Investigator Award recognizes excellence in research by young investigators based on their submitted abstracts and presentation during ObesityWeek. Each year, five finalists who are TOS members, are selected during the Call for Abstracts. Each finalist will be reimbursed up to $1,000 to cover travel expenses for the current ObesityWeek. The five finalists are invited to present their oral abstracts during a concurrent session where the award is presented. The recipient will be chosen at the conclusion of the session and awarded an additional $1,000.
The Rolls-Simons Travel Award is part of The Obesity Society’s commitment to young investigators in the field of obesity research. This award was established by TOS Past President Barbara Rolls after losing her mother, Pat Simons, to obesity-related disease. Eight recipients who are students or post-doctoral TOS members will be reimbursed up to $1,000 in travel costs to attend the current ObesityWeek.
Early Career Travel Award supports early-career investigators in their efforts to contribute to the field of obesity. Two winners who are TOS members will be reimbursed up to $1,000 to assist with ObesityWeek travel-related expenses.
The Foster-Schauer International Travel Award is provided to non-US, early-career investigators or students, who present at ObesityWeek. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and The Obesity Society select one recipient each, respectively, at their annual meeting. To qualify, you must be an early-career or student member, reside outside of the United States, and travel to ObesityWeek to present your oral or poster abstract. The recipient selected by TOS will be reimbursed up to $2,500 to cover travel expenses.
|Call for Papers—7th Annual Obesity Journal Symposium at ObesityWeek℠ 2019
The editors of Obesity want your best research for the 7th annual Obesity Journal Symposium, which will be held during the annual meeting of The Obesity Society (TOS) at ObesityWeek℠ Nov. 3-7, 2019, in Las Vegas, NV. The Symposium and the accompanying special section of Obesity are designed to showcase the journal’s top papers that provide important insights into preventing and treating obesity.
The authors of the winning papers will give oral presentations during the Symposium. A special section located in the front of the November 2019 issue of Obesity will be reserved for their work. The Symposium and the full published papers will be publicized to the obesity research community and the press.
The presenting authors will also receive complimentary ObesityWeek registration. In addition, for all submissions that are accepted by the journal but not chosen as winners, the journal is offering immediate online publication.
Investigators planning to submit an abstract for ObesityWeek are also encouraged to submit their full paper for the Symposium in order to bring greater visibility to their work. In particular, papers discussing state-of-the art research on the mechanisms of energy balance, innovative clinical or translational studies that challenge current paradigms, and novel “proof of concept” papers are of special interest for this year’s event.
Entries are now being accepted through the journal's online manuscript submission system. All papers must be received for consideration by June 1, 2019. The winners will be announced this summer.
The full call for papers is available on the TOS website. Take time to read the winning papers from the 2018 competition on the Obesity journal website.
|Interdisciplinary Nutrition Sciences Symposium
The Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has announced a new annual translational nutrition science conference titled Interdisciplinary Nutrition Sciences Symposium (INSS) scheduled for July 24-25, 2019. The inaugural theme will be Synergizing Animal and Human Obesity Research.
The goal of the conference is to develop ideas for advancing scientific rigor in translational obesity and nutrition studies from animal to human research. The conference will include a series of keynote presentations by leaders in translational science followed by pragmatic and transdisciplinary panel discussions on successful engagement in cutting-edge translational nutrition and obesity science. These discussions are designed to encourage collaborations across academia and industry for scientists at all stages of their careers.
Attendees are encouraged to share new research at the conference by submitting an abstract by May 1, 2019. Three abstracts will be selected for oral presentations.
May 1 is also the deadline for early-bird registration rates.
To learn more or register, visit www.interdisciplinarynutrition.org or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|European Congress on Obesity
Online registration is open for the 26th European Congress on Obesity. This year’s event will take place April 28–May 1, 2019, at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, Scotland. Glasgow has been voted as the world’s friendliest city.
Dozens of workshops and sessions focused on obesity science will take place at the annual event. You can learn more about the various activities by viewing the Provisional Program for the congress.
This event is sponsored by the European Association for the Study of Obesity.
|Obesity Clinical Immersion Program
TOS members are encouraged to attend the first-ever Obesity Clinical Immersion Program. This week-long event will take place May 13–17, 2019 in Boston, MA, at Boston Medical Center and will be led by faculty in the Nutrition and Weight Management Center.
TOS Immediate Past President Caroline Apovian, MD, FACP, FTOS, DABOM, will be among the nationally recognized faculty who will guide program participants in the use of the latest treatment options, giving participants the confidence necessary to implement new practices in their own clinics. Apovian serves as director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center.
This immersion program emphasizes intensive interaction between participants and educators working toward immediate practice change. The objective of the program is to equip participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to effectively treat their patients with obesity.
The target audience includes physicians, hospital administrators, primary care physicians, internists, pediatricians, gastroenterologists and other sub-specialists interested in obesity medicine clinical practice.
Attendance is limited.
Learn more and register today!
|Early-Career Travel Awards Available for NIH Pediatric Body Composition Workshop
Early-stage investigators (ESIs) are encouraged to register for the Body Composition Measurements from Birth through 5 Years: Challenges, Gaps, and Existing & Emerging Technologies Workshop to be held on the campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from May 30–31, 2019, in Bethesda, Maryland. TOS President Steven B. Heymsfield, MD, FTOS, and TOS member Dympna Gallagher, EdD, will co-chair the workshop.
The aim of the workshop is to identify specific needs for research that will help fill existing knowledge gaps and to identify opportunities to improve measurement of body composition components in infants from birth through age 5 years, with a special focus on measures that can be used longitudinally and for evaluation of intervention studies.
Event organizers anticipate support will be available to cover allowable travel, lodging, and per diem expenses for a limited number of ESIs to attend this workshop. ESI attendees will be asked to participate in the workshop discussions and interactions as appropriate, and to give a presentation in the form of a poster on May 30, 2019.
Candidates will need to submit a 1-page abstract for the poster session topic along with a cover letter containing a brief justification explaining why the candidate feels the topic of the poster presentation would be relevant and contribute to the topic of the workshop. Event organizers anticipate accommodating up to 20 competitive poster presenters and their travel expenses.
The registration deadline is May 20, 2019.
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|NIH to Host Spring Lecture Series on the Gut Microbiome
“Microbes in Our Gut: Emerging Insights on Health and Disease” is the theme of a series of lectures in Spring 2019.
The human microbiome is the community of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi that naturally live in and on our bodies. These talks will focus on specific components of the gut microbiome, and natural products of interest produced by these organisms that might confer health benefits. Natural products and their potential effects on health promotion and various clinical conditions are a priority research area for the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Gut health, what affects it, and its potential connections with wellness and illness are of interest to NCCIH and the public as well.
The series will take place on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, and will be streamed live and archived on NIH Videocast (videocast.nih.gov) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/nih.nccih). The presentations are part of NCCIH's Integrative Medicine Research Lecture Series. Admission is free to the public.
Videocast: Watch these NCCIH lectures online! Go to “Today's Events” at https://videocast.nih.gov/.
Gut Microbes in a Disruptive Age
Speaker: Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, PhD
Henry Rutgers Professor of Microbiome and Health
Departments of Biochemistry and Microbiology, and Anthropology
Interim Director, NJ Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Date: May 9, 2019 11:00 a.m. ET
Location: Lipsett Amphitheater, NIH Clinical Center, NIH campus, Bethesda, MD
Video: Watch this Live at NIH Videocast
The microbiota, sometimes referred to as the microbiome, is a community of microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, viruses, and fungi) that is naturally present at various sites in the body. It is transmitted through generations. Dominguez-Bello will discuss the impact of changes in lifestyle, such as increasing urbanization on the microbiota; the need for research on microbes that become “lost”; and future restoration strategies.
Bacteria Get on Your Nerves: How Bugs Modulate Pain and Immunity
Speaker: Isaac Chiu, PhD
Assistant Professor of Immunology
Department of Immunology
Harvard Medical School
Date: June 10, 2019 11:00 a.m. ET
Location: Lipsett Amphitheater, NIH Clinical Center, NIH campus, Bethesda, MD
Video: Watch this Live at NIH Videocast
Chiu's research focus is uncovering interactions between the nervous system, the immune system, and microbes, in health and disease. Ultimately, Chiu’s goal is to leverage knowledge to develop novel treatment approaches for chronic pain and inflammatory diseases. Among his discoveries, Chiu has found that bacteria directly interact with sensory neurons to modulate pain, and that neurons signal to the immune system to modulate bacterial survival and inflammation.
National Institutes of Health
|NIH to Host Workshop on the Physiology of the Weight Reduced State
Preventing regain of lost weight is the most difficult challenge in the treatment of obesity. Various physiological adaptations occur that make maintaining weight loss difficult by reducing energy expenditure and increasing energy intake.
The overarching goal of this workshop is to explore the mechanisms and integrative physiology of adaptations in appetite, energy expenditure, and thermogenesis (metabolic adaptation) that occur in the weight reduced state and may oppose weight loss maintenance.
The workshop will include:
- Clinical experience with weight reduction and weight loss maintenance versus regain across interventions
- Factors opposing weight loss maintenance
- Factors affecting energy intake in the weight reduced state, including neural and endocrine regulation and the integration of homeostatic and hedonic pathways along with microbiome links
- Metabolic adaptation/adaptive thermogenesis and tissue-specific roles and mechanisms
- Strategies for understanding the physiology of the weight reduced state and improving weight loss maintenance
- Factors potentially responsible for physiological variability in weight maintenance versus regain
Rudolph L. Leibel, MD, Columbia University
Kevin D. Hall, PhD, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Mary Evans, PhD, NIDDK
Maren Laughlin, PhD, NIDDK
Christopher J. Lynch, PhD, NIDDK
Stavroula K. Osganian, MD, ScD, MPH, NIDDK
Susan Z. Yanovski, MD, NIDDK
The registration deadline is May 25, 2019.
|8th Annual Your Weight Matters Convention and EXPO
The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) has opened registration for the 8th Annual Your Weight Matters (YWM) Convention & EXPO, scheduled for Aug. 1–3, in Tampa, FL. The event will take place at Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina.
The YWM2019 experience and agenda was created with you in mind—your goals, challenges and your health journey. The convention will offer:
Interested attendees can read session descriptions and learn more by viewing the YWM2019 conference program and schedule.
- Real Experts—Top-notch weight and health education presented by the nation’s leading physicians, researchers, scientists, and other industry experts.
- Real People—Meet people invested in their health and who care about the issues surrounding obesity and weight.
- Real Support—Whether from a speaker who is also a health care provider to the new friend you met chatting before a session, YWM2019 is a welcoming, safe place to seek education and support.
Single-day registration starts at $50 per day while the Full Convention rate is $105. Make sure to register by May 31, 2019, to access these early-bird rates! Advanced and on-site registration rates are also available.
The OAC was able to secure a discounted hotel room rate of $145 per night (single/double occupancy) for the conference. After you register for the conference, reserve your hotel room.
The OAC will offer up to 18 CE credits for nurses and some healthcare professionals. For attendees seeking continuing education (CE) credits, a higher registration rate will be charged.
We strongly encourage health professionals to check their eligibility prior to registering to earn CE Credits at the convention. To determine your eligibility, contact Taylor College at 1-800-743-4006 and reference the Your Weight Matters Convention & EXPO.
Read more and register for the conference.
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