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Letter from the Executive Director
TOS
Dear Colleagues,

Just a reminder: ObesityWeek℠ will be here before you know it! If you haven't yet registered, you won't want to miss this opportunity to attend the inaugural event focused on the research, treatment and prevention of obesity. The weeklong conference has been five years in the making and is already breaking records! TOS and ASMBS have received the highest number of research abstract submissions to the respective meetings in history. Our sponsorships and exhibits are expected to reach new heights, as well. And, our housing block is filling up fast; don't forget to make your reservations before regular registration and housing ends on Oct. 18. Read more here.
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ASSOCIATION NEWS


TOS Updates Position on Employee Wellness Programs, Incentives & Penalties
TOS
Increasing health insurance premiums as a result of employee health risk have led many companies to implement incentives and penalties to employees for keeping body weight in a healthy range. In fact, 27% of employers are using financial incentives and 12% are using penalties to induce employees to participate in weight management programs. Due to this increasing trend, and other changes in employer programs, members of The Obesity Society (TOS) Public Affairs Committee, led by its Chair Adam Tsai, MD, and TOS Advocacy Committee Chair, Ted Kyle, have updated TOS’s position statement on employee wellness programs, entitled "Penalties Related to BMI and Weight Loss." The statement provides a review of employer incentives and penalties and recommends "against requiring employees to meet a certain body mass index (BMI) or weight as an outcome of participation in an employer-sponsored wellness program." In addition, the statement provides an outline of what employer incentive programs should include, such as rewards for healthy behaviors, efforts to improve awareness of health indices, and a supportive workplace for employee health. Read more in the full updated position statement here.
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SPONSORED CONTENT


Obesity Offers Free Access to Four Perspectives on Obesity and Mortality
TOS
In the September issue of Obesity, four perspectives by leading obesity researchers debate the association between obesity and mortality, indicating just how complicated the relationship is. All agree that the epidemiologic phenomenon of the "obesity paradox" (increased survival for patients with severe chronic illness, as well as in acute illness situations) exists in the literature, but disagree about the explanation for this finding. Specifically, Katherine Flegal, PhD, and her colleagues at the CDC state that, while overweight and mild obesity increase the risk for developing co-morbid conditions (e.g., diabetes), they may be somewhat protective against mortality in an acute event (e.g., myocardial infarction, occurring as a result of diabetes). Frank Hu, MD, PhD, and colleagues at Harvard state that the obesity paradox is a result of methodological limitations in studies, including reverse causation (medical illnesses causing weight loss), and they further suggest that while optimal BMI for health is less than 25 kg/m2, it may not include the lowest end of "normal weight" (BMI 18.5 — approximately 22.5). The editorial by Ruth Loos, PhD, makes the case for why the contribution of the metabolically healthy patient affected by obesity is not likely to be sufficient to explain the findings of the meta-analysis by Flegal, et al. One conclusion from these perspectives seems inevitable: despite the limitation of Body Mass Index (BMI) as a proxy for adiposity (as discussed in the editorial by Paul Franks, PhD), the use of BMI as a measure is not going away, given the lack of a plausible substitute for measurement at the population level. Thus, this debate will continue for the foreseeable future.
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Stay Up-to-Date on the Clinical Evaluation and Treatment of Obesity
TOS
TOS Members Adam Tsai, MD, and Thomas Wadden, PhD, co-authored the clinical review, "Obesity," for the September 2013 "In the Clinic" section of Annals of Internal Medicine (published 9/3). According to Dr. Tsai, the primary goal of paper is "to ensure practicing internists are up to date on the latest in clinical evaluation and treatment of obesity."

The journal, published by the American College of Physicians (ACP), is the premier scientific and research publication for internal medicine physicians and is distributed to more than 130,000 members of ACP, including physicians and medical students. Read the full paper here.

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New Research Reviews 'Phoning it In' For Weight Loss
TOS
New research slated for publishing in the October issue of Obesity, shows that inexpensive and popular technologies, like the telephone, to deliver traditional weight-loss programs can be a cost-savings approach with greatly enhanced accessibility and reach. Joseph Donnelly, EdD, and colleagues from the University of Kansas, designed a program that included a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity. Each subject was involved in sessions, including a review of physical activity and dietary logs, a behavioral-based lesson on nutrition or physical activity, and a group discussion to address barriers to weight loss. Participants either joined the session in person or via a conference call. Weight loss was comparable across conditions (12.3% for phone and 13.4% for face-to-face), as was the small weight gain during the weight maintenance phase (6.4% for both groups). However, the face-to-face program cost $789.58 more per person. Log in to the Member Center to read more.
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Early Onset Obesity Measurement Prior to 1960s & Other Childhood Obesity Research in Obesity
TOS
The childhood obesity epidemic is commonly thought to be a phenomenon of the past 40 years. Few data are available on the decades prior to the 1960s, so it is difficult to determine if the rise in childhood obesity prevalence began even earlier. Using the Fels Longitudinal Study, authors Paul von Hippel, PhD, and Ramzi Nahhas, PhD, compared obesity in the birth cohorts between 1930 and 1993. Whereas obesity was nearly non-existent among boys in 1930, it reached 28% in 1993. Obesity prevalence rose over two-fold in girls, from 9% in 1930 to 21% by 1993. Sharp rises in obesity were first noted in the 1970s in boys and in the 1980s in girls, but prevalence was steadily climbing in girls as early as the 1930s and 1940s.

Given the enormous number of children who are already suffering the effects of obesity, the cost to prevent or treat childhood obesity could skyrocket. Yet there are success stories for cost-effective interventions, such as the Be Active Eat Well program, to be featured in the October issue of Obesity. This program was a multi-faceted, community-based, capacity-building demonstration to promote healthy eating and physical activity for Australian four- to 12-year-old children. The authors calculated the total cost of the program based on the time spent by each school official and healthcare provider, and concluded that Be Active Eat Well was a cost-effective, BMI-reducing, and quality of life-saving program that holds promise for mass replication. Log in to the Member Center to read this article.

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Chronic inflammation could signal higher risk of diabetes, heart disease
TOS
Reduced levels of inflammation may explain how some obese people are able to remain metabolically healthy, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM). Obesity generally is linked to a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease. Some people who are obese, however, do not develop high blood pressure and unfavorable cholesterol profiles — factors that increase the risk of metabolic diseases. Visit the Journal's website to read the full article.
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Cleveland Clinic Hosts 2013 Medical Innovation Summit & Obesity Summit, Oct. 14-17
TOS
Cleveland Clinic hosts its 11th Annual Medical Innovation Summit, "Finding Balance through Innovation" (Oct. 14-16), which marks the grand opening of Cleveland's Global Center for Health Innovation. The event will feature an in-depth exchange on how investable innovations will lead to more effective treatments for diabetes and obesity, and breakout sessions to showcase the most unique and innovative solutions on the market. See the full agenda here.

Following the event, Cleveland Clinic hosts its 8th Annual Obesity Summit (Oct. 14-16), bringing together a diverse mix of healthcare practitioners at the InterContinental Hotel and Bank of America Conference Center in Cleveland to examine the key issues surrounding the escalating obesity epidemic in the United States. The summit, designed for healthcare practitioners with a focus on obesity, includes interactive workshops, a meet-the-professor luncheon, a focus on obesity in young women, and a presentation of the Look AHEAD study that shows the impact of diet and exercise on obesity. Find out more and register here.

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Communications Workshop for Early-Career Scientists, Oct. 9, Washington, DC
TOS
Research!America and its partners are hosting a communications workshop for early-career scientists at George Washington University on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Media and policy experts are among the panelists and the program includes Hill meetings in the afternoon, with a focus on ensuring NIH funding for medical research. There's still time to register, and registration is available on site! Find out more here.
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Are You an Obesity Society Fellow? Apply Online
TOS
Fellowship is one of the highest honors bestowed by TOS and sets you apart by acknowledging your high-level contributions to the field of obesity research, treatment and/or prevention. Once you become a Fellow, you will have earned the right to include FTOS among your credentials to convey to colleagues your achievement within a scientific society dedicated to the study of obesity. You can now apply for TOS Fellowship online! Find out more here.
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Network and Connect at TOS Section Events at ObesityWeek℠
TOS
One of the greatest networking opportunities will take place at ObesityWeek℠, Nov. 11-16, in Atlanta. Each year during the event, the TOS Sections host events and activities where members with similar interests, expertise and/or educational background come together to recognize groundbreaking research, network and develop a plan to help advance TOS's goals.

Throughout the year, TOS Sections plan activities that commence at our Annual Meeting, this year at ObesityWeek℠. Whether you're interested in eHealth/mHealth, obesity & cancer or any of the eight other obesity specialties covered by our sections (or all of the above) you can find your niche at one (or all) of the upcoming ObesityWeek℠ Section events. You won't want to miss these opportunities to meet prestigious Section award recipients, dine and network with others in your specific research area, and hear from some of the leading scientists in the field. Find out more about these events here, and don't forget to add them to your agenda when you register for ObesityWeek℠.

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Preconference Sessions at ObesityWeek℠ 2013: Mobile Health and Mechanisms in Weight Loss Therapies
TOS
Don't miss these exciting pre-conference sessions on Nov. 12 at ObesityWeek℠ in Atlanta (Nov. 11-16).
    Mobile Health Boot Camp for Pediatric Obesity
    This full-day workshop offers access to tools, techniques, measurements, and collaborations to further your work in mobile health. Look forward to sessions including: developing a trans-disciplinary team, collecting and storing "big data," and using real- and near-time data to customize interventions on the fly. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the information exchange leading to the next generation of tools and research, as well as learn about relevant funding announcements and agency interests in mHealth. We hope you'll join us for this workshop sponsored by TOS eHEALTH, mHEALTH Section (EMS), TOS Pediatric Section (POS), & the National Collaborative for Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) Strategic Partnership.

    Mechanisms in Weight Loss Therapies
    This half-day workshop is intended to help participants better understand the metabolic health benefits of various weight loss therapies. Sessions will cover how weight loss therapies can impact metabolic disease, reduce and prevent diabetes and high blood pressure, improve adipocyte and adipose tissue function, and much more! You won't want to miss this event presented by leaders in obesity medicine, including Dr. Harold Bays of the L-MARC Research Center, and Dr. Louis Aronne of Cornell Medical Center. We hope you’ll join us for this workshop is sponsored by Eisai, Orexigen and Takeda.

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OBESITY IN THE NEWS


With tastes growing healthier, McDonald's aims to adapt its menu
The New York Times
Under pressure to provide healthier meals, McDonald's announced that it would no longer market some of its less nutritional options to children and said it also planned to include offerings of fruits and vegetables in many of its adult menu combinations.
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NYC's obesity rate up 25 percent since Michael Bloomberg became mayor
The Washington Times
New York City's obesity rate among adults has skyrocketed 25 percent since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took office in 2002, city Health Department figures show. The increase is contrary to recent positive statistics the Health Department's Take Care New York 2012 report said.
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The power of sugar
The Atlantic
As the global cost of obesity approaches $700 billion, international bank Credit Suisse puts an economist's eye to the science of soda, table sugar versus high-fructose corn syrup, the increasing size of humans and what's to be done.
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The obesity paradox
U.S. News & World Report
Not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer. That doesn't exonerate cigarettes nor does it create a "tobacco paradox." There is no obesity paradox either. But given the attention the notion is getting of late, we clearly seem to think there is, so let's sort it out.
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Scientists find area of brain linked to overeating
MSN
What if it turned out that overeating (or binge eating, or even anorexia and bulimia) really was all in your head? Or, more precisely, in a precise neurological path in your brain? Scientists have discovered the brain circuitry that is tied to overeating when one is actually full.
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Obesity is No. 1 risk for breast, other cancers
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Interested in knowing what you should eat to minimize your risk of breast cancer and other types of cancer? It's simple — and it's something you've heard many times before.
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Do obesity conversations cause eating disorders?
Psychology Today
Both obesity and eating disorders are major problems for our youth. Making matters more complicated is the worry that talking about obesity with a child or adolescent might actually trigger eating disorder symptoms. This concern can feel somewhat paralyzing both for parents and medical professionals alike to the point that both topics get ignored.
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Weight stigma in schools: Q-and-A with Dr. Rebecca M. Puhl
Psychology Today
Rebecca Puhl, Ph.D. has been studying weight bias for over a decade and has published extensively on this topic. She is an editor of the book "Weight Bias: Nature, Extent, and Remedies," and served as guest editor for a supplement issue in the journal Obesity, "Weight Bias: New Science on a Significant Social Problem." Dr. Puhl is deputy director as well as a senior research scientist at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University.
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Major surgical groups disappointed in Medicare decision to drop facility accreditation requirement for bariatric surgery
CMS Journal
Despite strong opposition from leading surgical and medical groups, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has ruled it will no longer require Medicare patients to undergo bariatric surgical procedures at accredited facilities. CMS ruled today that eligible Medicare patients may have bariatric operations performed at any center they choose, even those facilities with little experience in handling high-risk patients.
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The Obesity Society eNews
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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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