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New presidential medals presented at ObesityWeek 2014
TOS
The Obesity Society's outgoing president, Steven Smith, MD, presented the first-ever presidential medals to influential public figures during the Opening Session of the Society's annual meeting, ObesityWeek℠ 2014, last week in Boston. The recipients include TOS past-president and pioneer in obesity research and treatment, George Bray, MD; United States Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO); HBO's John Oliver; and, former FDA leader, Eric Coleman, MD. This is the first time TOS has recognized key public figures for efforts that support the Society's goals and mission.

This award, which will continue annually, was created by Dr. Smith to honor and recognize the efforts of individuals who have made an impact on the care of persons with obesity through:
  • Outstanding and enduring scientific achievement;
  • Public service with the aim of improving the health of the public;
  • Advocacy for persons with obesity, and/or;
  • Having made a tenacious and/or bold effort to spotlight obesity-related issues.
For more information about the new annual award and other ObesityWeek highlights, including a note from new TOS President Nikhil Dhurandhar, PhD, and an overview of the five-year TOS Strategic Plan, review the press release.
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ASSOCIATION NEWS


Dr. Mark's Keynote: The value of science is only related to how widely it is applied
TOS
James S. Marks, MD, MPH, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) delivered last Wednesday's ObesityWeek keynote address titled "Catalyzing Social Change for Health: Childhood Obesity." A former Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Dr. Marks spoke about how RWJF came to embrace obesity as a major issue and how it seeks to strategically create culture change, specifically for the benefit of children's health. Noting that millions of Americans live in environments where healthy personal choices are impossible to make, Dr. Marks said that early on it was clear to RWJF that addressing pediatric obesity would require a host of strategies, including many outside clinical care. He outlined the spectrum of healthy food and physical activity programs that have fueled downward trends in childhood obesity in both New York and Philadelphia.

"These two cities make it clear that if a city makes these changes, their children will get healthier," he said.

Emphasizing that there is much more to be done, Marks described key future initiatives at RWJF including closing disparity gaps, bringing increased attention to pregnant women and young children, building public interest in demanding healthy changes, and fostering partnerships between the health care sector and social services.

Regarding the relationship between RWJF and scientific researchers, Marks asserted that the value of science is only related to how widely it is applied. "What if you want your science to matter? We want it to matter a lot, and it will matter a lot if it reaches every community in need and the changes last."

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Puhl: Weight bias and stigma detracts from efforts to address obesity
TOS
"Weight bias is interfering with our efforts to effectively address obesity," said Rebecca M. Puhl, PhD, during the ASMBS Integrated Health Keynote at ObesityWeek. The Deputy Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, Puhl said that negative attitudes about excess body weight are rarely challenged and have become so socially acceptable that even healthcare providers are not immune to them. In fact, in one survey of women, doctors were the second most common source of interpersonal weight stigma reported (second only to family members).

Puhl explained that the ways people cope with weight stigma can contribute to obesity, and in fact, a large body of evidence shows that such stigma is actually associated with the likelihood of becoming obese. Binge eating, physiological stress and negative feelings toward exercise are some of the consequences that can increase the likelihood of obesity. We also know that patients who have experienced bias from healthcare providers often delay and cancel healthcare services, particularly preventive care. In addition, weight stigma has implications for those seeking weight loss surgery; those who lose weight through surgery are perceived as more lazy and less competent than those who lose weight though diet and exercise, and patients with internalized stigma have been shown to lose less weight after surgery.

Faced with what Puhl called our "culture of blame and shame," what can healthcare providers do? She challenged providers to examine how their implicit biases may be affecting how they communicate with patients, including not only their words, but also their body language, facial expressions and spatial distance. She mentioned that the STOP Obesity Alliance tool released this week can help address providers' uncertainty on how to initiate empowering and sensitive conversations with patients about their weight. Find the tool here.

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Did you use #OW2014 on social media last week?
TOS
If you did, you might be interested in seeing this social media report showing how the hashtag was used during The Obesity Society's annual meeting, ObesityWeek, last week.

According to the report, the following Twitter handles had the most mentions during the week
    1. @weightlossbio — 1,060 mentions
    2. @obesitysociety — 587 mentions
    3. @obesityweek — 336 mentions
    4. @yonifreedhoff — 305 mentions
    5. @drsherrypagoto — 258 mentions
Similarly, the top tweeters included:
    1. @weightlossbio — 232 tweets
    2. @obesitysociety — 228 tweets
    3. @bigshotinbound — 128 tweets
    4. @nutritionnerd — 102 tweets
    5. @health_tips — 94 tweets
Thank you to all who used our hashtag and helped us spread awareness of ObesityWeek 2014!

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TOS honors named award recipients at ObesityWeek
TOS
TOS honored the esteemed recipients of its 2014 Named Awards last week in the Opening Session and TOS Awards Ceremony at ObesityWeek in Boston. The awards program was created more than a decade ago to promote, reward, and encourage research in the field of obesity, with the end goal of helping to improve the lives of those affected. Each award recognizes the honoree for their scientific achievements and major contributions to the basic science, treatment and prevention of obesity. Congratulations to the following recipients: Take a moment to learn more about the recipients here.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Visit the Obesity Hyperguide™ Booth #1034
Are you attending TOS’s 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting? Join us at the Obesity Hyperguide™ booth to explore how you can earn free CME credit and improve your clinical practice with this unique online learning platform. Informational materials detailing registration, activity options, and customizable features will be available onsite.
 


ObesityWeek Hot Topic Forum Recap: Calorie Labeling — Who's Paying Attention and Why
TOS
Last Monday's food industry Hot-Topic Forum at ObesityWeek titled, "Calorie Labeling: Who's Paying Attention and Why," explored this anti-obesity strategy from the perspectives of consumers, the restaurant and foodservice industry and government regulators. A senior consultant on FDA regulatory matters, Geraldine A. June, gave attendees a look back at the history of food labeling, from the 1993 launch of the mandated "Nutrition Facts" panel we are familiar with today to the recent proposed changes, including mandating that these labels list "added sugar."

While the Affordable Care Act requires that restaurants display calorie content on their printed menus and signs, the FDA has been given the authority to determine the specifics of these regulations — no word yet on when these regulations will be released. Deanne Brandstetter with Compass Group, the world's largest foodservice provider, described the unique difficulties that these new rules could impose on the industry. These include the challenges of standardizing recipes and methods of preparation, as well as listing specific calorie counts for menu items with infinite combinations of ingredients such as sandwiches, pizzas and burritos.

The forum's final speaker, Christina Roberto of Harvard University, one of this year's Early-Career Research Grant recipients, acknowledged that while the research is mixed on the effectiveness of calorie labeling, there are specific ways that this strategy could help consumers make better food choices.

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JAMA hosted ObesityWeek symposium on two key articles for obesity treatment
Journal of the American Medical Association
JAMA and TOS have enjoyed a productive relationship resulting in a substantial increase in obesity-related articles published in the journal. JAMA has supported TOS in disseminating clinically important information about obesity management to the nearly 1 million readers of JAMA per week, most of whom are primary care providers.

In recognition of ObesityWeek, JAMA published two key articles for obesity treatment in last week's edition. A review by former TOS president, Thomas Wadden, PhD, and colleagues, "Behavioral Treatment of Obesity in Patients Encountered in Primary Care Settings: A Systematic Review," summarizes behavioral treatment of obesity with specific emphasis on how this relates to Medicare reimbursement for obesity management. There is also a summary written by TOS and ASMBS member Bruce Wolfe, MD, and Steve Belle, "Long-term Risks and Benefits of Bariatric Surgery: Research Challenge," of a JAMA Surgery paper, "Long-term Outcomes of Bariatric Surgery: A National Institutes of Health Symposium," summarizing the results of last year's NIH obesity surgery workshop. These papers and two others on obesity were available for free during ObesityWeek for meeting attendees.

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Get to know a TOS Fellow! Q&A with TOS President Nikhil Dhurandhar, PhD
Contributed by TOS Early-Career Committee

Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar
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 Nikhil Dhurandhar, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University, and President of The Obesity Society.

Q: Please tell us about your current work and your professional developmental trajectory.
A: Right after medical school, as a physician, I learned obesity medicine from my father, Dr. Vinod Dhurandhar, whom many consider as the father of obesity practice in India. He was the founding president of the Indian Obesity Association (AI-AARO) and started obesity practice in India in 1962. Although I started as an obesity practitioner, later, upon obtaining my MS in Nutrition and PhD in Biochemistry, I became a full time obesity researcher. Inducing and maintaining substantial weight loss remains a challenge for the majority. This led me to investigate causes of obesity, including Infectobesity — Obesity of Infectious Origin. My long term interest is to develop prevention and treatment approaches that are effective and widely applicable in free living communities.

Q: What advice do you have for today's junior obesity researchers?
A: Even seemingly unexpected data may be telling some important story. Pay careful attention, particularly to anomalous results.

Q: What are your favorite things to do when you're not at work?
A: Swimming, racquet ball, and observing human behavior. But, most importantly, to debate and solve all world problems!

Read the rest of the interview with Dr. Dhurandhar here. These interviews will be featured bi-monthly in the TOS eNews.

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Spotlight on ObesityWeek Research: T-3054-OR - Mice Fed High-Fat Diet Showed Long-Term Reduced Leptin Sensitivity
TOS
It is well documented that diet-induced obesity can cause the brain to become insensitive to leptin — the hormone that tells your brain when you are full. Michael Morabito, PhD, of Columbia University, and his team of researchers fed a group of mice a high-fat diet until they had become so-called, "leptin resistant." From there, the researchers switched the diet of the mice so that they lost weight, and then re-measured their leptin sensitivity. The researchers found that the mice's leptin sensitivity did not return to its initial levels, and it was restored to control levels in only 7 out of 15 brain regions. This study shows that maladaptive changes in the brain resulting from obesity may not be easily or completely reversible by a weight-loss diet even if normal body weight is restored. The research could have clinical implications and help with the development of future anti-obesity medications, which may be able to mimic the action of such naturally occurring appetite suppressants in the brain.

The research was showcased in an oral presentation at ObesityWeek, and can be accessed online here.

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Obesity Prevalence Higher in Hotter Climates
Contributed by Amanda Staiano
In this month's issue of Obesity, Valdés and colleagues demonstrated a significant positive association between mean annual temperature and obesity prevalence across Spain, such that the odds ratios for obesity increased in a dose-response manner across higher quartiles of temperature. Height and weight were measured objectively from a large population-based, representative sample of Spanish adults, and regional temperature was compiled from the national meteorology agency. Associations remained when controlling for socio-demographic variables including age, gender, educational level and marital status, as well as lifestyle factors including self-reported physical activity, diet and smoking. The authors propose that the thermogenic properties of brown adipose tissue may be activated in colder climates and act as a protective factor against obesity, resulting in population-level associations between temperature and obesity.

The findings are supported by prior studies indicating a parabolic relationship between temperature and obesity, with the present study not having sufficient data on temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius to test for the parabolic relationship. It remains to be seen if this observation of rising obesity with rising temperatures can be leveraged in interventions to prevent or treat obesity.

Read the full study 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:
    Bennett GG, Steinberg DM, Stoute C, Lanpher M, Lane I, Askew S, Foley PB, Baskin ML. Electronic health (eHealth) interventions for weight management among racial/ethnic minority adults: a systematic review. Obesity Reviews. 2014;Suppl 4:146-58. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25196411

    Mann DM, Quintiliani LM, Reddy S, Kitos NR, Weng M. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension: Lessons Learned From a Case Study on the Development of an mHealth Behavior Change System. JMIR Mhealth and UHealth. 2014; 2(4):e41. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25340979

    Petrella RJ, Stuckey MI, Shapiro S, Gill DP. Mobile health, exercise and metabolic risk: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health. 2014;14(1):1082. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25326074
If you have an article you would like to share, we would love to hear from you! Please send article information to Anne Gilmore (anne.gilmore@pbrc.edu), and we'll add it to the EMS Reading Corner Library.

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  AirPal Bariatric Lateral Transfer Kit
AirPal, the original inventor of air-assisted lateral transfer technology for safe patient handling, will introduce a prepackaged disposable Bariatric Lateral Transfer Kit (BLT KIT™) at ObesityWeek. The economical kits are specifically tailored to organizations that occasionally encounter bariatric transfer situations, such as EMS, post-acute care, and home care agencies. READ MORE

See us at Obesity Week 2014 - Booth 1028
 


OBESITY IN THE NEWS


Financial incentives shown to increase uptake in employee wellness programs
TOS
New research from TOS unveiled at ObesityWeek shows that when employers offered financial incentives, employees were 33 times more likely to participate in telephone health coaching, and did so sooner, than employees without incentives. Telephone health coaching — one-on-one phone calls with a personal health coach — is one of myriad employee wellness programs that employers and insurers can offer today. With all that goes on in the workplace, employee wellness programs can sometimes go unnoticed; however this new research shows that adding an incentive can drastically change participation numbers, thus leading to a potential increase in overall health and a decrease in costs for health plans.

For more information, read the press release online.

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Study suggests the human body cannot be trained to maintain a higher metabolism
TOS
New research unveiled last week at ObesityWeek suggests that high- and normal- protein diets are tied to higher metabolism and 45 percent more storage of lean tissue, or muscle mass, versus fat when compared to low-protein diets. Further, it shows that this increase in metabolism tied to a high-protein diet is not sustainable when changing to a normal-protein diet, suggesting that the human body cannot be trained to maintain a higher metabolism.

For more information, read the press release online.

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The Obesity Society hits milestones, looks ahead to its 'growth phase'
Healio
With a record-setting attendance and number of abstracts this week at Obesity Week, the president of The Obesity Society outlined his strategic plan for "an organization that's in a growth phase." Steven R. Smith, M.D., spoke with Endocrine Today about the values and strategic goals of The Obesity Society, known as TOS.
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The truth about menu labeling
Women's Health
Food labels have a bit of a controversial history in the U.S. Are they inadequate? Do they need to be updated? Do they even help people make healthier choices? But a new study presented at the Obesity Journal Symposium — the first long-term look at calorie labeling — shows that labels actually help prevent weight gain, after all.
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Distractions diminish food cravings
MedPage Today
Researchers have sharpened their focus on the brain's reward centers with the hope of developing new strategies for dealing with obesity. Two studies reported at the Obesity Week meeting show that cognitive strategies for turning attention away from food cravings help patients turn off the desire to indulge — at least temporarily.
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Food cravings: Tapping your forehead could reduce them
The Huffington Post
Some simple, 30-second distraction tasks could help reduce cravings, even for your favourite foods, according to a new study. In the study, Richard Weil, M.Ed. CDE, Director of the Weight Loss Program at Mt Sinai St. Luke's Hospital in New York City, tested the effects of three short distraction tasks plus a control task on 55 obese male and female participants.
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Study: Calorie labeling effective in reducing weight gain by 50 percent
Health Canal
Displaying the calorie content of meals in canteens and restaurants could significantly reduce weight-gain in customers, a new study shows. Researchers conducting the first long-term study of the effects of labeling meals in a university's students' residence canteen over the course of two 36-week academic years found students had reduced weight gain by an average of 3.5kg.
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The weight loss strategy you've never thought of — but might want to try
Women's Health
If you were having trouble with your career or dealing with tricky relationship problems, you might consider spending some time on a therapist's couch. Yet if you were struggling with weight-loss issues, you'd probably never consider talking them out with a counselor. But it's an idea to give some thought to, and it now has the backing of a group of researchers. In a set of just-published guidelines from journal Obesity, researchers suggest that people who need to lose weight for health reasons would benefit from behavioral weight-loss treatment.
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If you build bike paths, cyclists will come
Grist
Science says you should keep babies away from ledges and going bald is upsetting. The latest from the Journal of Duh: More people ride their bicycles when infrastructure makes it easier and safer to get around on two wheels. The Obesity Society just publicized results of a study by University of North Carolina researchers examining how the development of the Minneapolis Greenway — an intercity system of bike freeways connecting the places where people live and work — affected commuters' habits over a decade.
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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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