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Letter from the President
TOS
Dear Colleagues,

This month I'd like to spend a few minutes discussing with you an area that you may not have heard much about from The Obesity Society in the past, but you will be hearing more about in the future: advocacy to end bias and discrimination against individuals with obesity. While many researchers may not be confronted with the impact of this discrimination in our everyday work, advocacy in this area certainly serves an important purpose in our field.

Imagine for a minute that I conduct animal-based research focused on metabolism in obesity (which I in fact do!). How does bias and discrimination impact me in my lab?
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ASSOCIATION NEWS


Most in US Support Laws to Crack Down on Weight Discrimination
TOS
New research published in the Obesity journal shows that most Americans support policies that address weight discrimination. In fact, approximately three out of four individuals support efforts to add body weight as a protected class under Civil Rights laws, and the majority of those surveyed (at least 60 percent) are supportive of other policy efforts to address weight discrimination across the nation.

More than two-thirds of adults in the United States are affected by overweight or obesity, meaning they are also vulnerable to the stigma and discrimination that these proposed policies and laws would help prevent. The study, led by researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, is the first to document a positive change in public attitudes toward legal measures to address weight discrimination.

In a separate editorial published in the May issue of Obesity, TOS member, Ted Kyle, RPh, encourages the use of people-first language for obesity, or putting people before their disease. TOS and other leading obesity organizations also recently released newly updated, "Media Guidelines for the Portrayal of Individuals Affected by Obesity," developed to ensure that all persons, regardless of their body weight, are represented equitably and accurately in journalistic reporting.

For additional information on the study, editorial or media guidelines, please review the press release.

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Capitol Update: OCC Leaders Meet with IN, MA & TX Legislators
TOS
On May 5, leaders from the Obesity Care Continuum (OCC) participated in the monthly OCC advocacy day meeting with key legislators from the Indiana, Massachusetts and Texas congressional delegations. The focus of these meetings was to secure a champion to initiate a sign-on letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging the department to issue guidance similar to what the Office of Personnel Management announced in March clarifying coverage requirements for obesity treatment services in the Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) Program.

Advocacy efforts continued the next day when the OCC attended an informational congressional briefing held by the California Healthcare Institute titled: Combating Obesity: Advancements in Treatment Options and Access to Care. California representative Scott Peters (D-CA-52) kicked off the briefing, which included speeches from leading obesity panelists, including: Richard L. Atkinson, MD, from TOS; Alex Brill, CEO of Matrix Global Advisors and Research Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute; and Joe Nadglowski, President and CEO of the Obesity Action Coalition. All of the panelists emphasized the importance of funding research for obesity treatment.

On May 1, TOS representatives presented on OCC advocacy efforts to a group of more than 50 high school students visiting Washington with the Close Up Foundation.

Read more about TOS's efforts in Washington in the May Capitol Update.

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SPONSORED CONTENT


TOS's Abstract Submission Site for ObesityWeek℠ 2014 Closes June 2
TOS
Time is running out to submit your abstracts for oral and poster presentations at ObesityWeek 2014! The abstract submission site remains open through June 2.

Each year, ObesityWeek highlights cutting-edge findings across a broad range of topics — from the basic science of obesity, to treatment and prevention. You won't want to miss this prestigious opportunity to present your research to your esteemed colleagues, industry, media, state and federal health authorities and the public.

You can find a full list of instructions for submitting your abstracts here, and access the submission site here.

Don't forget to also submit your research to the 2nd Annual Obesity Symposium at ObesityWeek 2014! The editors will select six winning papers and the session will be promoted to the obesity research community and to the press. In addition, the papers will be published in a special section of the November 2014 issue of Obesity. The deadline for online manuscript submission is June 1. To be considered for the Obesity Symposium, please submit your manuscript online on or before June 1 here.

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Reminder: 2014 Obesity Society Awards Nominations Due Tomorrow
TOS
The deadline for 2014 TOS award nominations is May 15. The Obesity Society's Awards Program promotes, rewards and encourages research in the field of obesity. This is your last chance to submit nominations for the following 2014 awards:
  • 2014 Atkinson-Stern Award for Distinguished Public Service
  • 2014 George A. Bray Founders Award
  • 2014 Lilly Scientific Achievement Award
  • 2014 Mickey Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2014 TOPS Research Achievement Award
Nominations will be reviewed by TOS's Awards Committee and the winners will be announced in June. Awards will be presented at ObesityWeek 2014, from Nov. 2 – 7 in Boston. Find out more about each award as well as instructions for how to submit a nomination here. Please contact scampbell@obesity.org or 301-563-6526 if you have questions regarding these awards.

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Does More Exposure to Obesity Mean Greater Acceptance?
TOS
Contributed by Chris Ochner, PhD, FTOS
Is there a downside to increased acceptance of obesity? In a new article in the May issue of Obesity, Robinson and Christiansen conduct a series of three experiments to test the hypothesis that exposure to heavier body weights affects both the acceptance of obesity and the perceived need for weight loss. In all three experiments, participants were exposed to images of either males with obesity or males at a healthy weight, determined by random assignment.

For all three trials, the exposures to obesity resulted in participants being more likely to judge males with obesity more positively, and believe that the person with obesity did not need to lose weight.

Thus, although there is certainly some benefit to increased acceptance of obesity in reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with the disease, this study raises the question of whether increased acceptance resulting from more widespread exposure to obesity may serve to perpetuate the epidemic by decreasing the perceived need for intervention. The full article is available here. See also commentary from ConscienHealth 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 is sharing the latest research in its eHealth/mHealth Reading Corner. This week's articles include:
    Azar KM, Lesser LI, Laing BY, Stephens J, Aurora MS, Burke LE, Palaniappan LP. Mobile applications for weight management: theory-based content analysis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013 Nov; 45(5):583-589. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24139771

    Ko L, Turner-McGrievy GM, Campbell MK. Information processing versus social cognitive mediators of weight loss in a podcast-delivered health intervention. Health Education & Behavior. 2014 Apr;41(2):197-206. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24082027

    O’Reilly GA and Spruijt-Metz D. Current mHealth technologies for physical activity assessment and promotion. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013 Oct;45(4):501-507. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24050427
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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Check Out TOS's Treat Obesity Seriously Website for Clinician Resources
TOS
Did you know that you can sign up to receive free clinician resources to improve conversations with patients about obesity on the Treat Obesity Seriously website? Sign up on the website (scroll to the bottom of the page) to get Treat Obesity Seriously clinician kits shipped to your practice, which include office posters, BMI wheels and BMI prescription pads. Also encourage your staff to take the Treat Obesity Seriously pledge and wear your lapel pins proudly.
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Register Now for the OAC 3rd Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention
TOS
The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC)'s educational program is available for its 3rd Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention taking place Sept. 25 – 28 in Orlando, Florida. With more than 50 educational topics, the agenda aims to educate on evidence-based weight management strategies presented by the country's most notable obesity experts.

Early bird registration starts at $30/day, and a full convention registration, offering access to all convention events, is $95. Those interested in attending the convention are encouraged to register by June 4 to receive the early bird discount pricing. To register and view the complete educational program, visit www.YWMconvention.com or call 800-717-3117.

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OBESITY IN THE NEWS


USPSTF: Obese patients need counseling for heart health
MedPage Today
Obese and overweight adults with at least one other cardiovascular risk factor should receive intensive behavioral counseling to promote healthy diet and physical activity for heart disease prevention, according to a U.S. Preventive Services Task Force preliminary recommendation. The draft of the grade B recommendation expands on previous guidance from the task force by including a physical activity component and calling for more at-risk adults to receive behavioral interventions.
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Early obesity linked to disease later in life, but not for the reason you think
The Huffington Post
We've long known that a high BMI in early adulthood increases a person's lifetime risk of obesity-related diseases like hypertension, stroke and heart disease. But a new study that followed the obesity status of 25-year-olds for more than 10 years sheds new light on the connection between the two. The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that both men and women who were obese by age 25 were far more likely to be morbidly obese more than 10 years later, after age 35
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Jobless contend with weight gain as they search for work
The Washington Post
With its blue-collar jobs vaporizing by the day, this once proud city of airplane builders, pipe organ laborers and ice cream makers has been wrestling unsuccessfully with stubborn and still-high unemployment. Now it's confronting one of the side effects: Soaring obesity.
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Exercise crucial for women's heart health after 30
Everyday Health
Staying physically active is far more likely to determine a woman's future risk of heart disease than any other well-known factor, including smoking, obesity and high blood pressure, a new study reports. Looking across the lifespan of Australian women using data on more than 32,000 of them, University of Queensland researchers found that physical inactivity served as the leading risk factor for heart disease at every age from the early 30s to late 80s.
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Couric's 'Fed Up' documents kids' obesity crisis
USA Today
Hollywood villainy takes countless forms and motives, but Katie Couric has discovered a unique antagonist in "Fed Up": soda pop. Slickly branded, aimed at kids and as addictive as cocaine, sugared drinks are at the root of an American health crisis visited on the young by corporate snack manufacturers. Or so asserts this unsettling documentary from broadcast journalist Couric and director Stephanie Soechtig.
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Finally, some optimism about obesity
The New York Times
Earlier this year, we got what seemed like the first good news on obesity rates: A study in JAMA found that there had been a 43 percent drop in the obesity rates of 2- to 5-year-old children in the last decade. But then, last month, that news was contradicted by researchers at the University of North Carolina who used the same data to find that obesity rates had remained flat after all.
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Fasting may change brain's hunger response
MedPage Today
Intermittent fasting caused changes in the hypothalamus of rats that may explain the low feeding efficiency, reduced body mass and overeating seen in these animals, researchers reported. Alicia J. Kowaltowski, MD, PhD, of the University of San Paulo in Brazil, and her colleagues found increased expression of the orexigenic neurotransmitters agouti-related peptide and neuropeptide Y, which stimulated appetite and energy conservation, in a group of rats.
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Perceived age, weight discrimination worse for health than racism, sexism
Science Daily
Perceived age and weight discrimination, more than perceived race and sex discrimination, are linked to worse health in older adults, according to new research. "Our previous research showed that perceived discrimination based on body weight was associated with risk of obesity. We wanted to see whether this association extended to other health indicators and types of discrimination," said lead author of the study.
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Current budget law makes Congress too nearsighted
The Hill
The gridlock that has persisted on Capitol Hill in recent years has largely stemmed from fundamental disagreements over how to address our country's major health and economic challenges. Some very public disagreements have stalled progress on a variety of promising policy proposals, including sustaining funding for important obesity prevention measures across the age spectrum.
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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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