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|In Memoriam: Leann L. Birch, PhD (1946–2019)
A distinguished member of The Obesity Society (TOS) is being remembered for her past accomplishments and contributions not only to the Society, but to the obesity field in general, after recently passing away. Leann L. Birch, William P. "Bill" Flatt Professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition at the University of Georgia, died on May 26, 2019.
Birch is the recipient of numerous awards, most notably, the 2013 Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Career Award and the 2011 Leadership in Outreach Scholarship Award from the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State. She also received the 2012 E. V. McCollum Award from the American Society for Nutrition, the 2010 Oded Bar-OR Award for Excellence in Pediatric Obesity Research from The Obesity Society and the 2003 Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Penn State. She was named a Fellow of the American Society for Nutrition in 2011.
"Leann profoundly influenced the field of early childhood feeding and care and, in later years, focused on obesity prevention," said Susan Johnson, PhD, a friend and mentee of Birch. "As a mentor, she was both generous and challenging, humorous and provocative, and always striving for the best work and best experiences for her mentees. She inspired us all and will be missed."
Birch authored more than 250 publications and was awarded more than $30 million in federal research funding.
TOS is saddened at the loss of our colleague and offers its deepest sympathy to the Birch family and loved ones.
In honor of Leann Birch's dedication to the field of obesity, contributions are being accepted for the Leann L. Birch Graduate Research Award and can be sent to The Obesity Society, 1110 Bonifant Street, Suite 500, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
|The Obesity Society 2019 Call for Awards
The Obesity Society's (TOS) awards promote, reward, and encourage research in the field of obesity. Each award recognizes specific research achievements and major contributions to the basic science, treatment and prevention of obesity. Awards highlighting the careers and accomplishments of obesity researchers will be presented during TOS’s 37th annual meeting held at ObesityWeek℠. ObesityWeek 2019 will be held in Las Vegas, NV, November 3-7, 2019.
TOS encourages its members to identify the talented and exceptional people in the field of obesity who deserve to be recognized and awarded for work in their field.
Nominations will be reviewed by The Obesity Society's Awards Committee and the recipients will be announced later this summer.
All award nominations should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Awards nominations must be received by Monday, July 1, 2019.
Atkinson-Stern Award for Distinguished Public Service
The George A. Bray Founders Award
The George A. Bray Master's Thesis Award
The George A. Bray Doctoral Dissertation Award
The TOPS Research Achievement Award
The Friends of Albert (Mickey) Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award
Thomas A. Wadden Award for Distinguished Mentorship
Contact Regina Williams at email@example.com for more information.
Do you make your colleagues laugh? Do you know someone who does? Smart people often have a killer sense of humor, and let's face it — members of TOS are brilliant. TOS is hosting a Nerd Night at ObesityWeek. We are looking for members who can deliver real science in a funny presentation. Nerd Nights are becoming an institution at campuses all over the world. We are having ours in Mandalay Bay on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 8:30-10pm. Nominate yourself or a colleague to present by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth who said they were teased or ridiculed about their weight increased their body mass by 33% more each year, compared to a similar group who had not been teased, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The findings appear to contradict the belief that such teasing might motivate youth to change their behavior and attempt to lose weight.
|Research Reveals Association Between Youth Who are Teased and Weight Gain
Natasha A. Schvey, PhD, of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues at NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development conducted the study. In addition to Schvey, authors include TOS Council member Susan Yanovski; and TOS members Jack Yanovski and Marian Tanofsky-Kraff.
The study involved 110 youth who were an average of 11.8 years of age when they enrolled. The participants were either overweight (defined as a body mass index above the 85th percentile) when they began the study or had two parents who were overweight or had obesity. At enrollment, they completed a six-item questionnaire on whether they had been teased about their weight. Participants then participated in annual follow-up visits for the next 15 years.
The researchers found that youth experiencing high levels of teasing gained an average of .20 kg (.44 lbs) per year more than those who did not. The authors theorize that weight-associated stigma may have made youths more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors such as binge eating and avoiding exercise. Another possible explanation is that the stress of being teased could stimulate the release of the hormone cortisol, which may lead to weight gain.
The study appeared in the May 29, 2019, issue of Pediatric Obesity.
View an abstract of the study.
Results from three long-term studies following host and microbiome characteristics during pregnancy and preterm birth, inflammatory bowel disease, and prediabetes have expanded our understanding of how humans and microbes interact and the resulting consequences for our health. The studies were funded as part of a second phase of the National Institutes of Health's Human Microbiome Project. Key findings, datasets, and new techniques developed over the course of this phase were published in a series of research articles in the Nature family of journals.
|NIH Studies Expand Understanding on How Humans and Microbes Interact
Read the NIH press release.
National Institutes of Health
|Final NIH Lecture on the Gut Microbiome Scheduled for June 2019
“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 have focused 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 is taking 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/.
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.
|Workshop to Focus on MRI of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders
Senior investigators and junior scientists are encouraged to register for the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) Workshop on MRI of Obesity & Metabolic Disorders. This workshop will be held July 21–24, 2019, at the Matrix Building in Singapore.
Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy have become widely used to quantify not only fat accumulation in adipose tissue depots, organs, and muscles, but also the molecular substrates, products, and dynamic rates of metabolism and biochemical pathways. As a follow-up to the 2012 ISMRM workshop held in Long Beach, California, on water-fat MRI, the purpose of this proposed workshop is to bring together and reunite internationally recognized scientists and clinicians who are currently developing and applying advanced MRI and MRS techniques to investigate the causes and consequences of obesity and metabolic dysfunctions.
Continuing Medical Education credits will not be offered for the workshop.
Early-bird registration rates end on July 8, 2019.
Register now and book your hotel reservation.
Read more about the workshop.
|Advanced Therapies for Pediatric Obesity Oct. 4, 2019
University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital
PRESENTED BY: Center for Pediatric Obesity Medicine (CPOM)
Claudia Fox, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, CPOM Co-Director
Aaron S. Kelly, PhD, Associate Professor, CPOM Co-Director, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota
Advanced Therapies for Pediatric Obesity (ATPO) is a workshop with a focus on youth with severe obesity who are often unable to lose a clinically-meaningful amount of weight with lifestyle modification alone. Pharmacological therapies are emerging as a recognized adjunctive strategy to address this otherwise recalcitrant disease, yet no guidelines currently exist for the responsible clinical use of obesity pharmacotherapy in the pediatric patient.
This workshop is offered as a Continuing Education designated activity with up to 6.75 AMA PRA Category1 Credits™. ATPO invites healthcare providers, researchers, and others interested in the clinical management of pediatric obesity while utilizing case studies, lectures and group discussions.
Following completion of this activity, attendees will be better able to utilize pharmacotherapy for pediatric obesity in a safe and responsible fashion, identify biological targets of obesity treatments, and identify the mechanisms of action and outcomes of current FDA-approved and off-label medications for the treatment of obesity in adults and youth. Workshop enrollment is limited.
For more information or to register, visit http://www.z.umn.edu/PedsObesity
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