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Letter from the President
To coincide with the opening of ObesityWeek 2016 registration, I'm pleased to highlight some of the planned activities designed specifically for early career professionals in attendance. Advancing the careers of early career researchers and clinicians is a top priority for TOS, one that we have worked diligently toward during the past several years. I hope you'll take a few minutes to learn more about them, and share the details with your friends and colleagues who may be interested in participating.
One of the best things about ObesityWeek are the many opportunities for early career professionals to interact with scientists, clinicians and professionals across a range of specialty areas and career stages.
Tuesday, Nov. 1: Early Career Academic Workshop
This free, TOS pre-conference workshop has something for everyone who is in academia or anyone considering an academic path. This year, we are honored to have Dr. David Allison from the University of Alabama at Birmingham present at the workshop. Dr. Allison is an Associate Dean for Science, Director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center and the Office of Energetics, and the Principal Investigator on several training grants. The Academic Workshop will also include a roundtable session with discussions and hands-on activities.
Finally, you can get a head start on networking at ObesityWeek with a meet-and-greet session at the Workshop with representatives from TOS’s Sections, the Early Career Member Committee and TOS Fellows.
Registration is officially open for ObesityWeek 2016. This is your opportunity to advance your career with the latest obesity research and treatment strategies. Join thousands of professionals who are working to solve the obesity epidemic through research and treatment in New Orleans, Oct. 31 – Nov. 4. ObesityWeek is the leading international conference where you can:
Health professionals of all types will come together for this meeting in vibrant and historic New Orleans, Louisiana – home of Mardi Gras, Jazz, and Jambalaya. Explore the online schedule and find out more about pricing at ObesityWeek.com. We hope to see you there!
- Learn and collaborate with 5,000+ clinical and research experts
- Participate in any of 100+ sessions
- Access more than 30 CME/CE accredited sessions
- Gain exposure to more than 1,800 scientific presentations
Contributed by TOS's Bio-behavioral Research Section
Are you a student, post-doctoral fellow or early career investigator? If you would like the chance to present your research idea and gain valuable feedback from leaders in the field, you can apply for the opportunity to give a five-minute "Ignite Talk" at the 2016 TOS Bio-Behavioral Research Section Business Meeting on Thursday, Nov. 3 at ObesityWeek 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
To be considered, please submit a project narrative (500 words or less) by July 13, 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your narrative should include:
An Ignite Talk is a high-energy, fast and fun presentation where speakers present on a subject accompanied by 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. Using this format, presenters will be expected to discuss the following in five minutes:
- An innovate, creative, and exciting idea related to obesity research
- Why your idea is truly creative
- Brief overview of the approach
Your presentation will be followed by a three-minute discussion and feedback session with experts in the field. Application details are available here.
- Overarching research question
- Current plans for approach
- Clinical or real world implications
Are you interested in getting involved in TOS and engaging its leadership? Apply today to join a committee.
TOS has a variety of committees that play an active role in assisting the Council to plan and administer the programs and activities that are at the heart of The Society's function. Committees (standing and ad hoc) are responsible for studying issues, making recommendations, carrying out liaison activities, and implementing specific short-term projects approved by the Council.
The Council urges interested members to volunteer and appreciates your assistance in this effort to increase the effectiveness and productivity of The Society's committees.
The Call for Volunteers will remain open through Monday, June 27. Find out more about how to apply online here.
Contributed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced a series of public workshops about menu labeling to help industry comply with requirements to provide calorie and other nutrition information to consumers. The workshops will address the menu labeling final rule – Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments. Federal law and FDA regulations require certain chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments to give consumers nutrition information on standard menu items. The compliance date for these requirements is May 5, 2017.
According to the FDA, the purpose of these workshops is to further the dialogue with industry about implementation of the menu labeling final rule and provide additional clarity on the requirements. Interested parties will have the opportunity to discuss specific menu labeling questions and concerns directly with FDA subject matter experts through pre-scheduled one-on-one sessions.
Find out more and register here.
During the past several years, a trend has emerged where for-profit companies started reaching into the nonprofit world to host scientific meetings on obesity research and treatment. Some of these meetings are named so similarly that many in the field are confused into attending the wrong meeting. Given the concern, ObesityWeek partners aim to ensure our members, colleagues and other potential attendees recognize ObesityWeek 2016 as the combined annual conference of TOS and ASMBS – rather than by any other name.
Per TOS past president, Patrick O'Neil, PhD, "Misled attendees also pay an opportunity cost, as they likely miss attending the authentic scientific conference they were looking for, which would have probably cost less."
Here are some of the meeting not to be confused with ObesityWeek:
ObesityWeek 2016 is the only the annual meeting of both TOS and ASMBS, Oct. 31 – Nov. 4 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- OMICS 6th World Congress on Obesity, Aug. 8 – 12, Toronto, Canada
- 7th Obesity & Endocrinology Specialists Annual Meeting, Oct. 10 – 12, Manchester, U.K.
- 8th Global Obesity Meeting, Nov. 14 – 15, Dubai, UAE
- MomentEra Global Congress on Obesity, Nov. 21 – 23, Dubai, UAE
- 9th International Conference on Obesity Medicine, Nov. 28 – 29, Melbourne, Australia
- 10th International Conference and Exhibition on Obesity & Weight Management, Dec. 8 – 10, Dallas, Texas
Physicians with an interest in obesity medicine are invited to sit for the 2016 American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) certification exam. Applications received by July 15 are eligible for a $250 discount. Exam candidates are required to complete 60 Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits on the topic of obesity in order to qualify to sit for the test.
As a pre-conference to ObesityWeek 2016 in New Orleans, TOS offers a Review Course for the ABOM exam for 15.5 CME credits. Taught by the industry's top educators, the Course is designed to strengthen physicians' obesity knowledge and offers sample exam questions, didactic lectures, and a 100-page educational workbook for attendees to take home.
ObesityWeek attendees may use the CME credits from the meeting to count toward their 60 CME credits required to sit for the ABOM exam, even though the conference takes place after ABOM's final application deadline of Aug. 30. Now that registration is open for ObesityWeek 2016, be sure to add TOS's Review Course for the ABOM Exam to your schedule.
Key ABOM dates:
Find out more ABOM here.
- July 15: Early application deadline (Save $250)
- Aug. 30: Final application deadline
- Oct. 31 & Nov. 1: TOS Review Course for the ABOM Exam at ObesityWeek 2016 in New Orleans
- Dec. 3-10: Exam administered at Prometric computer testing centers throughout the US and Canada
Contributed by TOS Early Career Committee
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 Guang Sun, PhD, FTOS, Professor of Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Guang Sun, PhD, FTOS
Q: Will you tell us about your current work and your professional developmental trajectory?
A: I am interested in research in genetic, endocrine and dietary factors in the development of human obesity and diabetes. I have studied and worked through the typical path from medical school, MSc, PhD, postdoc, assistant, associate and full professor with continuous national funding by Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Q: What aspects of obesity research are the most exciting to you right now?
A: Food addiction and its contribution to human obesity in the general population.
Q: What advice do you have for today's junior obesity researchers?
A: Widen your knowledge and plan early for your career.
Q: What are your favorite things to do when you're not at work?
A: Hiking, target shooting and travel trailer camping.
Read the rest of the interview with Dr. Sun here.
If you've ever announced to the world – maybe on social media – that you wanted to shed a few pounds, you may have heard this advice from your friends: eat healthier and exercise more.
It seems like a simple way to lose weight.
The same way tackling Mount Everest is just a matter of hiking farther and climbing higher.
For many people who have obesity or are overweight, though, getting that first toehold toward a healthier weight – as well as a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some types of cancer – seems like an insurmountable task.
Although an active child, Nancy Hulslander began gaining weight exponentially after kindergarten. By second grade, she was nearing the level of obesity on the growth chart for girls her age, and encountered teasing.
Nancy was on an all-too-familiar path: Nationally, one in three children either has obesity or is overweight; obesity rates have more than doubled for children and quadrupled for adolescents in the past 30 years.
People hold onto some odd ideas about what constitutes helpful comments. "Don't eat so much, you're getting fat" are words that resonate into adulthood, especially for women. A new study by Brian Wansink, Lara Latimer, and Lizzy Pope explains how unhelpful such commentary can be.
In a cross-sectional survey of 501 women aged 20 to 35 years, the researchers asked about weight and food related comments recalled by the subjects from their childhood. They also asked standardized questions about weight satisfaction, eating habits, and BMI.
Medical News Today
An unhealthy diet is considered a key contributor to obesity. When it comes to cravings for sweet treats, however, impairments in the brain's reward system might be to blame. In a new study published in the journal Diabetes, researchers found age and receptor levels of the reward-associated chemical dopamine influence preference for sweet foods among people of a healthy weight, but not for people who have obesity.
After several hints that gut microbes may be key players in the obesity epidemic, a new study provides a mechanistic explanation of how the intestinal inhabitants directly induce hunger, insulin resistance, and ultimately obesity in rodents.
After mice and rats were fed a high-fat diet, their gut microbes produced more acetate, a short-chain fatty acid made during bacterial fermentation. That acetate spread throughout the rodents' bodies and into their brains where it activated the parasympathetic nervous system. This system, largely involving the vagus nerve, controls the body's unconscious actions, such as digestion, excretion, and sexual arousal.
Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes
Continuing in my miniseries on reasons why obesity should be considered a disease, I turn to the idea that obesity is largely driven by biology (in which I include psychology, which is also ultimately biology).
This is something people dealing with mental illness discovered a long time ago – depression is "molecules in your brain" – well, so is obesity!
Women with obesity can pass on the weight problem to at least three generations, a new study found. In particular, even if the offspring eats healthier diets, women with obesity who consume high-sugar and high-fat diets can cause their descendants to have obesity as well.
Previous studies showed a woman's health during pregnancy affects her unborn child's obesity risk in the future. A recent study conducted on mice showed that pre-pregnancy health can also cause genetic abnormalities that can be passed on to future generations through the mother's bloodline.
Having established that excessive fat tissue can fuel the growth of certain cancers, researchers have turned their attention to the molecular mechanisms involved in the process in the hopes of developing new cancer treatments.
The discovery of an on/off switch for a common obesity-associated malignancy could aid those efforts, report scientists from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the journal Nature Communications.
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