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Letter from the president
TOS
Dear colleagues,

On the impending first anniversary of the declaration of obesity as a disease by the American Medical Association (AMA), I'd like to take a moment to revisit the impact of this decision, our progress since and what's ahead.

It was at its policy making meeting last June that the AMA joined the call for this designation by The Obesity Society (2008) and a number of other leading health organizations, including the National Institutes of Health (1998), the Social Security Administration (1999), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2004) and the American Association for Clinical Endocrinology (2012).
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ASSOCIATION NEWS


AMA joins call for coverage of obesity treatments and medications
TOS
The Obesity Society President Dr. Steven R. Smith, MD, responded in a statement today to the American Medical Association's affirmation of physician support for concrete efforts to address the nation's obesity crisis. Dr. Smith calls the organization's passage of the "Patient Access to Evidence-Based Obesity Services" resolution an action that gives the AMA decisive direction to support advocacy efforts to improve patient access to all evidence-based obesity treatments.

The move comes at the one-year anniversary of the organization's declaration of obesity as a disease, a policy change that echoed support for a long-held classification by a number of leading health organizations, including The Obesity Society (2008).

"TOS member clinicians and scientists have long supported both efforts: to treat obesity as a serious disease and improve access to treatment," says Dr. Smith. "With the nation's largest physicians' group on board, U.S. policy makers and health insurers must take action to improve access to and coverage of these procedures and medications that are often the last hope for individuals with severe obesity."

Read the full statement here.

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TOS pledges support for the 6th Annual National Employee Wellness Month
TOS
Recognizing the benefits of workplace wellness programs for health, last week TOS announced its support for and participation in the sixth annual National Employee Wellness Month (NEWM), which began on June 1.

This yearly initiative highlights the importance of healthy practices in the workplace to engender a healthy, happy and engaged workforce. TOS joins more than 200 other leading U.S. organizations as a supporter of the month, and is taking action to implement some of the health and wellness challenges it implemented during last year's National Employee Wellness Month. TOS also offers advice for companies looking to implement their own programs, and encourages them to focus on incentives for participation, rather than penalties.

Unfortunately, according to a study presented by TOS member Ted Kyle, RPh, MBA, of ConscienHealth and Joe Nadglowski of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) at last year's ObesityWeek℠ conference, wellness programs are commonly setting weight goals for employees, but most often they are paired with employer health plans denying coverage for evidence-based obesity treatment. Further, in a TOS position statement released in 2013, TOS members evaluated the research in the area, and made recommendations for employers when developing these programs. See the infographic on the right for these recommendations.

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Capitol update: OCC monthly advocacy days continue
TOS
On June 2, OCC leaders flocked to Capitol Hill for their monthly advocacy day — specifically targeting the state of Illinois. Among them was TOS member Lisa Neff, MD, who met with a number of key legislative offices with the Illinois congressional delegation. Dr. Neff urged delegation members to support a congressional sign on letter to HHS Secretary Burwell — instructing the department to issue to state health exchange plans guidance that mirrors what the Office of Personnel Management recently issued to the Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) Program. In a March 20 letter to FEHB Program Carriers, OPM stated that carriers may no longer exclude coverage for obesity treatments on the basis that obesity is a "lifestyle" condition or that obesity treatment is "cosmetic.”"

Also on June 9, the Obesity Care Continuum (OCC) submitted comments in response to draft recommendations issued by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) stating that adults affected by excess weight and obesity with at least one other cardiovascular risk factor should receive intensive behavioral counseling to promote healthy diet and physical activity for heart disease prevention. Read the full comments here.

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Get involved today with TOS Council & Committees
TOS
Do you want to do more with your TOS membership? TOS has several open positions on its Council and Committees.
  • Nominate someone for Council or the Nominating Committee: TOS has several open positions for its Council and Nominating Committee. Nominees must be Fellows or regular members of TOS in good standing. North American and international residents are eligible for office. Find out more about the nomination process here.

  • Apply to join all other Committees: TOS has several other Committees to assist the Council in planning and administering the programs and activities of the Society. Appointments to the Committees, except the Nominating Committee, are made by the President-Elect prior to the annual meeting (November 2014). TOS members are now invited to consider and volunteer for committee service. Find out how to apply here.
The deadline for Council Nominations and Committee Applications is Friday, June 27.

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SPONSORED CONTENT


Obesity Journal releases virtual issue on inflammation and obesity
TOS
In support of the TOS symposium on insulin-resistant obesity that was held at this year's Immunology 2014 conference, the editors of the Obesity journal have created a free access virtual issue collating recent articles on the relationship between inflammation and obesity.

Check out the following articles from the virtual issue: See the virtual issue, with all 10 articles, here.

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ACOG calls for ethical medical treatment of women with obesity
TOS
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' (ACOG's) Committee on Ethics recently released ethical guidelines for physicians who treat women affected by excess weight and obesity. The recommendations, "Ethical Issues in the Care of the Obese Woman," include guidance for caring for patients with obesity in an ethical, nonjudgmental manner, while being cognizant of the medical and social implications of obesity.

Ob-gyns play an integral role in making recommendations to promote behavioral change for women who are obese or at risk of obesity. "As physicians, we must serve as advocates for our patients who are affected by obesity, while providing them with the resources necessary to deliver the best possible care," said Sigal Klipstein, MD, chair of the College's Committee on Ethics, which developed the recommendations.

According to the guidelines, one way to reduce weight bias is to classify obesity as a medical condition. The guidelines also recommend improving physician education by offering curriculum that teaches the specific medical, cultural and social issues of the women with obesity.

For more information on these recommendations, read the press release from ACOG. The full recommendations are available here.

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Physician teaching resource adds obesity curriculum from ABOM director
TOS
Congratulations to director of the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM), Joan Temmerman MD, MS, FAAFP, whose obesity management curriculum was accepted by the Family Medicine Residency Curriculum Resource. The resource was established by the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors (AFMRD) and Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) and provides peer-reviewed, competency-based curriculum content for family medicine residency programs.

The goal of Dr. Temmerman's curriculum is to increase residents' confidence in assessing patients with obesity, and in employing lifestyle and behavioral changes as a cornerstone of weight management. Find additional information on ABOM and Dr. Temmerman's new curriculum here, and look out for more information on TOS's ABOM Exam Review Course at ObesityWeek 2014.

Are you taking the ABOM exam this fall? CME credit hours from TOS Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek (Nov. 2 – 7) will be valid for the 2014 ABOM examination application with meeting registration documentation submitted with all other application requirements. Applications must be submitted via the online application portal here. The early application deadline is approaching: July 21.

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Reminder: Join the ASPC Annual Meeting for a discussion of the obesity guidelines
TOS
The American Society for Preventive Cardiology is holding its 3rd Annual Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Conference from July 11-13 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton, Florida. This CME/CE accredited conference will provide attendees with case-based, practical approaches on how to appropriately manage, treat and prevent cardiovascular disease.

This year's meeting will focus on obesity, including a presentation from Dr. Michael Jensen of the Mayo Clinic on the AHA/ACC/TOS Obesity Guidelines. A full agenda and additional conference information can be found 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:
    Hingle M, Yoon D, Fowler J, Kobourov S, Schneider ML, Falk D, Burd R. Collection and visualization of dietary behavior and reasons for eating using Twitter. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2013 Jun; 15(6):e125. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23796439

    Pal K, Eastwood SV, Michie S, Farmer A, Barnard ML, Peacock R, Wood B, Edwards P, Murray E. Computer-Based Interventions to Improve Self-management in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Diabetes Care. 2014 June;37(6):1759-1766. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24855158

    Evans WD, Wallace BJ, Szekely D, Nielsen P, Murray E, Abroms, Snider J. Initial Outcomes From a 4-Week Follow-Up Study of the Text4baby Program in the Military Women's Population: Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2014 May;16(5)e131. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24846909
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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OBESITY IN THE NEWS


FDA delays decision on weight loss pill
USA Today
Consumers awaiting the latest weight loss pill will have to wait at least three more months. The Food and Drug Administration has delayed a decision that was expected this week on the prescription medication Contrave, drugmaker Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. announced.
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Diabetes, obesity and the Affordable Care Act
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Before President Barack Obama's landmark health law took effect, obtaining affordable health insurance could be difficult for Americans with diabetes or obesity, if not impossible. Insurers that didn't turn diabetic patients away could charge higher rates because these individuals had a pre-existing health problem, or they could exclude coverage for certain treatments for diabetes or other chronic disorders. Companies could limit reimbursable medical expenses or even cancel coverage as medical needs increased.
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The Obesity Society shows support for National Employee Wellness Month
Healio
In a show of support for National Employee Wellness Month, The Obesity Society has launched an effort to not only implement its own workplace wellness program but also offer guidance to other companies. As a National Employee Wellness Month partner organization, TOS is working throughout June to promote healthy workplaces and educate employees on the benefits of maintaining diet and lifestyle changes over the long term — from better productivity to preventing obesity.
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Weight gain differed among antidepressant type
Healio
Weight gain among patients on antidepressants varies by type of antidepressant, according to recent study findings published in JAMA Psychiatry. Researchers evaluated 22,610 adult patients (19,244 treated with an antidepressant at least 3 months; 3,366 who received a nonpsychiatric intervention) to determine weight gain associated with specific antidepressants during a 12-month period.
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Soda warning label bill passes California Senate
The Washington Times
California lawmakers recently passed a bill requiring soft drinks to carry warning labels for obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. The bill passed in the state Senate and moves on to the state Assembly before Gov. Jerry Brown can sign it into law. If the measure is adopted, California will join a growing national effort to curb soda consumption, which doctors say is the leading cause of diabetes and childhood obesity.
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Much of the conventional wisdom of the obesity epidemic may be wrong
Forbes
An economic perspective suggests that obesity has increased in response to the "excess availability and affordability of all types of food." It has become received wisdom that the increase in overweight and obesity in the U.S. over the past three decades is linked to an increase in sedentary lifestyle and a decrease in overall physical activity; increased consumption of "junk food" and particularly sweetened beverages and refined carbohydrates; lack of availability of healthier foods including fruits and vegetables; and reduced leisure time.
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