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The Obesity Society remembers Timothy Bartness, PhD
Contributed by Past-President Harvey Grill, PhD, FTOS & Vice President Allen Levine, PhD, FTOS
Timothy Bartness, PhD, died on September 24, 2015 in Atlanta, GA. He was 62 years old and had been battling multiple myeloma. His impact on obesity research and on his fellow scientists is worthy of attention. His interests were broad and he contributed insightfully and deeply to our knowledge of adipose (WAT and BAT) sympathetic and sensory nervous system innervation, neural control of WAT lipolysis and BAT thermogenesis, obesity reversal, neural control of foraging and hoarding, and photoperiodism/melatonin receptor signaling. Tim was a sought after and extremely effective speaker at many international meetings related to the neural control of adipose tissue, obesity and ingestive behavior. His work is widely cited and can fairly be said to have changed thinking about the functional effects subserved by the brain-adipose and adipose-brain axes.

Tim demonstrated his leadership in many ways including multiple and continuous stints on NIH study sections were he was a tireless advocate for the support of quality neural and neurobehavioral research on energy balance control and an incessant voice for the inclusion of appropriate peer reviewers on otherwise diverse panels. He was a champion for early career investigators in various ways including his advocacy for inclusion of the professional development sessions at a variety of meetings. At Georgia State University, his long-term academic home, he taught a course he designed called "survival skills" to enhance the writing and presentation skills so important for graduate student success. He was active in three scientific societies: The Obesity Society (he was an original member NAASO), Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), and the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. He was an active member of TOS and served on the Annual Program Committee as chair of Track 2 and delivered a keynote talk at the Vancouver meeting to a huge crowd. At SSIB his served as its president, on its board, and as an ardent advocate for annual giving. Tim was a dedicated mentor of graduate students (Masters [7] and PhDs [15]), postdocs [13] and research scientists [2]). Tim's loyalty and generosity were among his most admirable qualities and the impact of his death is reverberating and will resound among his numerous colleagues and many friends and trainees across the world.

A more detailed discussion of Tim's scientific contributions and a more complete remembrance will follow in an obituary piece to be published in Obesity.
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ASSOCIATION NEWS


Free session for the public at ObesityWeek℠ gives individuals tools to improve weight, health
Obesity Action Coalition
Your Weight Matters (YWM) Local — Los Angeles 2015 is a FREE event by the OAC designed for the everyday individual who has ever wanted to learn more about their weight and health. This half-day event will include presentations on what is proven safe and effective in helping individuals manage their weight, all presented by the nation's top experts in the weight industry.

For those who are interested in learning more about how weight and health go hand-in-hand, how excess weight impacts health, and how to take action to improve quality of health, YWMLocal – Los Angeles 2015 is the perfect opportunity to get educated.

Individuals interested in attending this FREE event can find out more here.

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Cardiometabolic Think Tank reaches consensus on the metabolic syndrome
TOS
Convened on June 20, 2014, in Washington, DC, the Cardiometabolic Thank Tank called on more than 20 professional organizations, including The Obesity Society, to define new patient care models and approaches to address cardiometabolic risk and disease. The group reached the consensus: "metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a complex pathophysiological state comprised of a cluster of clinically measured and typically unmeasured risk factors, is progressive in its course, and is associated with serious and extensive comorbidity, but tends to be clinically under –recognized."

Read more in the full paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology here.

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Daily self-weighing and graphic feedback promotes weight control
Contributed by Kiyah J. Duffey, PhD
Preventing excessive weight gain during early adulthood — a period characterized by increased independence and major life events — may be an important strategy for reducing the overall prevalence of adult overweight and obesity. A recent study published in the Obesity journal examined an intervention strategy to test the hypothesis that daily self-weighing can prevent weight gain in young adults over a one-year period. Bertz et al. enrolled 167 first-year college students to test the efficacy of a caloric titration method (CTM; daily self-weighing following immediately by graphic electronic feedback) compared to a control condition (three weight measurements taken over the course of one week every six months) at preventing body weight change over a one-year period. After adjusting for important confounders and accounting for study attrition using an intention to treat analysis, the authors found that after one year the control group had gained 1.1 ± 4.4 kg whereas the CTM group lost 0.5 ± 3.7 kg (F=3.39, P = 0.035). The difference in weight change between these two groups was statistically significant (p=0.004) and retention rate was high (81%).

This research importantly demonstrates that weight gain prevention can be maintained for a full year using a low-intensity internet-based self-weighing and graphic feedback loop and may be a viable strategy for weight control among young adults. Read the full article to learn more.

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Get insight into careers in industry at a free ObesityWeek panel discussion & reception
TOS
In its second year, TOS Early Career Professionals Industry Workshop and Reception offer attendees a chance to network and connect with industry leaders who have successfully applied their scientific and/or clinical skills to build careers in industry.

This year's panelist include:
  • Gary Foster, PhD, FTOS, Chief Science Officer of Weight Watchers International, Inc.
  • Richard Black, PhD, Vice President, Global Nutrition, PepsiCo, Inc.
  • Kelly Gilroy, PhD, Takeda
  • The panel will be moderated by Sylvia B. Rowe, President-SR Strategy, LLC.

    We hope you'll join us for the networking reception immediately following the panel where you can enjoy casual conversation, refreshments and light hors d'oeuvres. You do not have to attend the Industry Panel to come to the reception, but those who are interested in learning more about careers in industry will have the opportunity to speak with our corporate sponsors in this relaxed setting. All attendees are welcome to join this FREE discussion (Wednesday, Nov. 4, 6:30-7:30pm in LACC-Peetree D) and reception (Wednesday, Nov. 4, 7:30-8:30pm in LACC-Peetree C). Mark your calendars!

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    Call for Applications: George Bray, MD, Master's Thesis & Doctoral Dissertation Awards
    TOS
    Beginning in 2015 and awarded annually at ObesityWeek, TOS is pleased to announce the establishment of two new awards targeting our student members.

    1) George Bray, MD, Master's Thesis Award
    2) George Bray, MD, Doctoral Dissertation Award

    Each recipient receives $1500 travel and registration for ObesityWeek plus a $500 cash award.

    These awards were created to honor two students for their complete master's thesis or doctoral dissertation (respectively) that was successfully defended in the current year (between May 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015). Applications will be judged by a committee of three appointed TOS members based on: significance, relevance/potential impact in the field of obesity, scientific methodology, writing quality, overall approach and scope and innovation.

    The winners will be announced/awarded at ObesityWeek during the George Bray Founders Award Lecture. Find out more here and submit your application before the October 15, 2015 deadline.

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    Get to know a TOS Fellow! Q&A with Ruth Loos, PhD, FTOS
    Contributed by TOS Early Career Committee

    Ruth Loos, PhD,
    FTOS
    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 Ruth Loos, PhD, FTOS, Professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. 



    Q: Will you tell us about your current work and your professional developmental trajectory?
    A: My primary research interests focus on the identification of genes and genetic loci contributing to the risk of obesity and related metabolic traits. I have been involved in gene - discovery since 2005, when genome-wide association was introduced and have since actively contributed to many consortia that use this approach to identify genetic loci for a large number of metabolic traits. Increasingly, my gene-discovery work also focuses on the identification of low-frequency variants through the implementation exome-chip genotyping and sequencing projects, not only in individuals of white European descent, but also in those of African and Hispanic descent. Besides gene-discovery, I use epidemiological methods to follow up on established loci with the aim to elucidate the pathways through which they increased risk of metabolic disease. Furthermore, my work also assesses the public health implications of the established loci by examining their predictive value and their interaction with lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity.

    Q: What aspects of obesity research are the most exciting to you right now?
    A: The enormous progress in the field of gene discovery that has been made over the past 10 years, which is only the beginning of so many more biological discoveries and eventually a better understanding of the causes of obesity.

    Q: What advice do you have for today's junior obesity researchers?
    A: Research is about finding the truth, not (just) about publishing (another) paper (because you need more). Put yourself in the shoes of fellow scientists and your lay audience; you don't want them to "take home a message" you do not believe in yourself.

    Q: What are your favorite things to do when you're not at work?
    A: Sports, running in particular, but any outdoor sport refreshes my mind.

    Read the rest of the interview with Dr. Loos here. These interviews are featured bi-monthly in the TOS eNews. Don't miss the next one on Oct. 14!

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    OBESITY IN THE NEWS


    Obesity maps put racial differences on stark display
    NPR
    Take a look at the latest obesity data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and you can see that the country's obesity epidemic is far from over. Even in Colorado, the state with the lowest rate, 21.3 percent of its population is obese. Arkansas tops the list with 35.9 percent. "It is the largest epidemic of a chronic disease that we've ever seen in human history," says Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, chair of the department of preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
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    How much is our weight really in our control?
    Fusion
    Earlier this month a video titled "Dear Fat People" went viral for all the wrong reasons. The video starred a kind-of-famous-on-YouTube comedian named Nicole Arbour, who decided to use her platform to address the millions of people who are not as skinny as she is. She wanted to let overweight people know just how disgusting she thinks they are.
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    Child obesity rates may finally be falling
    The San Diego Union-Tribune
    A major study of more than 1.3 million Southern California children shows that obesity rates in the region may have not only peaked but even begun to decline. The report, published Thursday in the journal Pediatrics, shows small but significant reductions in the incidence of overweight or obese kids ages 2 to 19 who were seen at Kaiser Permanente's medical offices and hospitals from Bakersfield south to San Diego and east to Victorville and Palm Springs. The analysis covered visits between 2008 and 2013, the most recent year for finalized data.
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    Dieters: Don't replace saturated fats with processed carbs
    Drugs
    When trimming saturated fat from your diet, subbing in whole-grain foods helps your heart, but turning to white bread doesn't, a new study shows. "This is very important stuff," said Dr. Robert Vogel, a cardiologist at the University of Colorado, Denver, who wrote a commentary accompanying the published study. "If you substitute high-quality carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, then lives are saved. It's that simple."
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    The US doesn't have enough of the vegetables we're supposed to eat
    NPR
    If you are looking for proof that Americans' vegetable habits lean towards french fries and ketchup, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has it: Nearly 50 percent of vegetables and legumes available in the U.S. in 2013 were either tomatoes or potatoes. Lettuce came in third as the most available vegetable, according to new data. And while the USDA's own dietary guidelines recommend that adults consume 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables a day, the agency's researchers found that only 1.7 cups per person are available.
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    Electricity may spark medical treatment
    The Boston Globe
    The treatment seemed as ridiculous as wearing a foil hat to block CIA transmissions: 20 patients with overactive bladder syndrome had electrodes stuck to the soles of their feet for three hours every evening, producing a gentle vibration and causing the big toe to rhythmically bend and straighten. But after a week or so, the patients' symptoms had improved more than typically happens with medication, University of Pittsburgh researchers will report at a scientific meeting.
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    Common reasons for weight regain after bariatric surgery
    HealthCentral
    As anyone who has ever been on a diet knows, the deal on weight loss is never closed. There are many who succeed, but losing weight and keeping it off is a challenge. And unfortunately in the weight loss challenge, failure is an option. Many raise the bar on their efforts and vie for bariatric surgery as a remedy.
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    Official: Obamacare sign-ups will be harder next year
    BloombergBusiness
    Getting new people signed up for Obamacare will get harder this year as the program tries to access poorer, younger, harder-to-reach individuals, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said. There are about 10.5 million uninsured Americans who are eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act and who haven't enrolled yet, Burwell said during a speech at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington. Many are confused about how subsidies the law created to help people afford insurance can be accessed, Burwell said.
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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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    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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