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Congratulations to the Foster/Schauer Travel Grant recipients
TOS
During the inaugural ObesityWeek conference in 2013, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and The Obesity Society (TOS) announced a new travel grant for young investigators. This grant has been named in honor of Gary Foster, PhD and Philip Schauer, MD, the original ObesityWeek founders/chairs. Each winner is awarded a travel stipend of $2500, which is intended to offset the cost of travel to attend ObesityWeek.

Winners are selected based on the quality and ranking of an abstract that has been accepted by either ASMBS or TOS, for presentation during ObesityWeek. Further, the research selected represents the goal of creating a multidisciplinary conference on obesity through the collaboration of ASMBS and TOS, is international in scope, and should be of interest to the members of both societies.

To qualify, candidates must reside/study outside of the United States and be either a graduate student or have received a PhD or MD less than 5 years ago.

Congratulations to this year's recipients!

TOS Recipient:
Ruth Brown, MSc, PhD Candidate, York University School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences
T-3126-OR: The Association between Calorie Intake, Macronutrient Intake, and Physical Activity with Obesity Over Time

ASMBS Recipient:
Ali Aminian, MD, Bariatric Clinical Scholar; The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
A201: Development of a Sleeve Gastrectomy Risk Calculator
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ASSOCIATION NEWS


Consumers say 'added sugars labeling will be helpful, not confusing'
Contributed by Ted Kyle, RPh, & Diana Thomas, PhD
New research published in the journal Obesity finds that consumers believe — by a wide margin — that information about added sugars on Nutrition Facts food labels will be more helpful than confusing.

The FDA proposal to require this information has attracted 287,874 public comments and intense opposition from some elements of the food industry. One of the arguments against disclosing added sugars on food labels is that the information will be confusing. The new research seems to undercut that argument.

The Obesity Society and a host of other health organizations are on record supporting this, along with other changes FDA has proposed to the Nutrition Facts panel on food products. Read more here.

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Congratulations to Ceren Ozek, recipient of TOS Ethan Sims Award
TOS

Ceren Ozek and Steven Smith, MD
Each year at TOS's Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek, five finalists are selected to compete for the Ethan Sims Award, created to recognize excellence in research by young investigators based on their science submitted to and presented at the meeting. Each finalist receives a $1,000 travel award and competes for an additional $1,000 cash prize.

This year's session was dominated by young female investigators who all offered compelling oral presentations during the plenary session held Thursday, Nov. 6. Of the contenders, Ceren Ozek, PhD Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania was selected as the winner for her research entitled, "PTP1B Is a Novel Physiological Regulator of BDNF/TrkB Signaling in the Brain." Her research demonstrates that PTP1B is a novel physiological regulator of central BDNF/TrkB signaling and that mice with PTP1B-deficiency are hypersensitive to central BDNF-induced thermogenic effects.

"Our research opens up new areas of investigation in understanding the role of central BDNF/TrkB signaling in metabolic control, as well as developing PTP1B inhibitors as safe and efficient therapies for obesity treatment," said Ozek. She's always been fascinated by the complexity of the brain and says she's learned from some of the best at UPenn who study the neural control of energy balance.

Congratulations to Ozek and the other Ethan Sims Candidates!

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Living near more sports facilities and closer to the coastline, supermarkets may help reduce BMI
Contributed by Chris Ochner, PhD
In a study published in the November issue of Obesity, Australian researchers led by Gavin Abbott found that a higher density of sports facilities and closer proximity to coastline and supermarkets can mediate the relationship between BMI and education. The findings have implications regarding the effect of the environment on body weight and environmental-approach interventions to combat the obesity epidemic.

It is well known that there is an inverse relationship between education and BMI; less educated individuals tend to have higher BMI’s. However, little data exists about which, and to what extent, factors in residential neighborhood environments account for this relationship.

Abbott and colleagues examined the extent to which particular characteristics of the built environment explained the association between education and adiposity in 1819 Australian women. Forty percent of the sample were overweight or had obesity. Self-reported BMI and level of education were used as the measures of adiposity and education. Objective measures of participants' residential neighborhood built environment were obtained using a Geographic Information System.

The results show that women who did not complete high school had higher average BMI, which was partially explained by lower density of sports facilities and living less proximally to the coastline and to supermarkets. The number of sports facilities and presence of the coastline within 2 km of participants' homes were significant mediators of the observed socioeconomic disparity in BMI. Read the full study here.

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Missed ObesityWeek? We've got you covered.
TOS
For the first time, TOS is making key content from this year's meeting available in a CME accredited online program with ObesityWeek on Demand. ObesityWeek on Demand contains 100 hours of presentations sponsored by TOS covering a multi-track schedule of topics including abstract presentations, partner symposia, educational courses, video sessions and more. This broad coverage allows participants to experience every aspect of obesity research, education and policy. More information is available here.

Did you also know you can access all the abstracts from the meeting online? Find poster and oral abstracts from TOS and ASMBS here.

Missed the news coming out of ObesityWeek 2014? Find details on this page.

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Dr. Carey Lumeng appointed as interim Basic/Experimental Council Representative
TOS
TOS is pleased to announce the appointment of Carey Lumeng, MD, PhD as interim Basic/Experimental Council Representative. With Allen Levine, PhD, FTOS, now serving as TOS Vice-President, the Basic/Experimental Council position was vacant. In keeping with TOS by-laws, the Executive Committee, with recommendations from the Nominating Committee, has filled the vacancy. Dr. Lumeng will serve in an interim capacity on Council until the next scheduled election.

Dr. Lumeng is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A TOS member since 2008, he has been actively engaged in promoting the scientific and education missions of TOS. Dr. Lumeng has served on the Annual Scientific Program Committee as a member and Chair as well as on the ObesityWeek Board of Managers. Find out more in his bio here.

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$7.5 million grant program aims to improve population health in urban areas
TOS
Just launched, the BUILD Health Challenge offers a $7.5 million grant program to improve population health in urban communities. The effort aims to develop tested models to achieve the "triple aim" of population health: higher quality of care, improved health, and reduced health care costs.

Here's a brief overview:
  • $7.5 million in grants, low-interest loans, and program-related investments
  • Founding partners: The Advisory Board Company, the de Beaumont Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Targeting low-income, urban areas
  • Equal partnership between hospital/health system, local health department, and nonprofit organization(s) required
  • Hospitals/health systems must match grant money with community benefit dollars
Find out more about how to get involved by joining a Q&A web conference on Dec. 2, 4 or 9. Read more about the program here.

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ABOM Item Writing Committee seeks new members
ABOM
Would you like to help shape the future of obesity medicine? Are you a current American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) Diplomate who is an expert in the field? Are you interested in raising the bar for all physicians working in this important specialty? If you answered "yes," then the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) Item Writing Committee is looking for you.

Established in early 2014, the Item Writing Committee oversees the creation of new items for the ABOM item bank of examination questions. Currently, the ABOM is seeking new Item Writing Committee members. Committee members are provided with annual item writing training in coordination with the ABOM board directors’ training at the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) facility in Philadelphia.

Current Item Writing Committee members include Drs. Sarah Armstrong, Sayeed Ikramuddin, Shanu Kothari, Richard Lindquist, Jennifer Seger, Wendy Slusser and Sean Wharton.

Learn more about and apply to serve on the Item Writing Committee here.

Please note: To maintain absolute confidentiality and separation between the examination writers and all preparatory or review courses for this examination, ABOM Item Writing committee members are not allowed to teach, lecture, provide seminars, assist, make comment or in any way participate in such courses while serving the Board.

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OBESITY IN THE NEWS


CDC shelves workplace obesity website after complaints
NBC News
The CDC has taken down a website that offered an "obesity cost calculator" to help American bosses tally financial losses linked to their overweight employees, a spokeswoman for the agency confirmed. Called Lean Works!, the federal program drew recent criticism from some nutritionists and advocates for overweight Americans who claimed the site and its obesity calculator fueled workplace discrimination and perhaps even led some companies to fire fat people.
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5 surprises in the costs of obesity
ConscienHealth
A new study of the costs of obesity and savings that come from its treatment holds a few surprises. Having such a rigorous and up-to-date analysis is itself a nice surprise. But within the study, you'll find a few surprises.
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Deaths from high BP, irregular heartbeat up
HealthDay News via WebMD
Deaths from heart disease are dropping, but deaths related to high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats are on the rise, a new government study finds. From 2000 to 2010, the overall death rate from heart disease dropped almost 4 percent each year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found.
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Telephone wellness coaching used more when combined with financial incentives
Healio
Interest in telephone health coaching offered through a nonprofit health plan in New England grew when incentives were offered for the use of motivational services, according to research presented at ObesityWeek 2014.
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Infographic: The cost of obesity
Health Central
Here's how the condition affects both your health and society.
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Working while others sleep? Obesity may be a higher risk; here's why
Los Angeles Times
Try as they might to adjust to a schedule that has them toiling while others sleep, swing-shift workers do not fool their bodies into burning calories and using nutrients the way people who obey their internal circadian clocks do, says a new study.
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New guidelines: 65 percent of Americans need help with weight loss
Medscape
Largely because the criteria have been expanded to include more categories of overweight people and still include all obese people, new weight-loss guidelines issued last year recommend behavioral treatment for 140 million American adults — 65 percent of the population, a new study indicates. Of these, 116 million would be candidates for adjunctive pharmacotherapy, and 32 million could be considered for bariatric surgery.
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Type of diet may not make a difference
Health Central
A study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes has found the long-term impact of several popular diets on weight loss and heart health remains unclear. The study analyzed clinical trials of four diets — Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers and Zone, as well as "usual care."
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Obesity risk more likely to be higher for disabled adolescents
Examiner
Teens who have mental or physical disabilities are more likely to be obese than their non-disabled peers, says American Public Health Association. The findings were announced at the American Public Health Association's 142nd Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
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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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