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Dr. C. Ronald Kahn presents a new role for fat at ObesityWeek Keynote
ASMBS and TOS
In the opening keynote yesterday, Dr. C. Ronald Kahn presented a new role for fat: as an accumulator of the body’s responses to environmental stress and a major player in our ability to ward off stress- and age-related disease and increase life span. Fat is regulated not only by food intake and energy expenditure, but also by developmental genes and microRNAs differentially expressed in the various adipose tissue depots. Dr. Kahn described how several genes program fundamental aspects of adipocytes. For example, differences in gene expression are what make intra-abdominal visceral fat associated with insulin resistance while subcutaneous fat is associated with insulin sensitivity. In addition, the levels of different microRNAs determine the function of brown vs. white fat.

The levels of microRNAs in fat progressively decline as we age, and Dr. Kahn explained that this decline is related to a drop in dicer, a key enzyme related to the production of mature microRNAs. Research in Dr. Kahn's lab has shown that stressors such as toxins, UV light, or oxidative stress reduce levels of dicer while caloric restriction increases them. Eliminating dicer in mice leads to the "whitening" of brown fat. Taken together, this evidence suggests that microRNAs can program the nature of our fat and the body's ability to handle environmental stress. Dr. Kahn concluded that we may one day be able to manipulate our genes in order to optimize the functions of our adipose tissue, including lipid storage, fat cell size, and lipolytic rate.

Don't miss today's keynote presentation from Jim Marks, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at 10:30am in the BCEC Ballroom.

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Don't miss the Mason Lecture, presented by Dr. Mason himself!
ASMBS
For the first time, this year's Edward Mason lecture will be presented by the father of obesity surgery himself, Edward E. Mason, MD, PhD. Dr. Mason will give his presentation via telecast, as he looks back at the changes and growth in metabolic and bariatric surgery. Dr. Mason's contributions to the field of metabolic and bariatric surgery are immeasurable, and ASMBS would like to thank him for his lifetime of work and service to our organization.

You can take a look back through the founding years of ASMBS in our Dr. Edward E. Mason Historical Library. Read through transcripts of early Gastric Bypass Workshops and Bariatric Surgery Colloquia. More content is coming soon — check back after ObesityWeek for photo galleries, special video content, and more! The Mason lecture is today at 1:00pm in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Ballroom.

Following the Mason Lecture, join ASMBS president Ninh Nguyen, MD for the ASMBS Presidential Address. The presidential address will feature the announcement of new initiatives that will help shape the future of ASMBS.

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TOS honors named award recipients at ObesityWeek
TOS
TOS honors the esteemed recipients of its 2014 Named Awards this week in the Opening Session and TOS Awards Ceremony. 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 and attend the Awards Ceremony today at from 8:45 - 10:15am in the BCEC Ballroom.
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Treat Obesity Seriously™ & Sign the Obesity Pledge at TOS Member Services Booth
TOS
Do you treat obesity seriously? By signing the Obesity Pledge you can demonstrate your commitment to the cause and encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same. Add your voice to the many others who have signed on by saying:

"I believe obesity isn't just a problem. It's a disease that warrants serious evidence-based treatments. Nutritional and physical activity guidance. Intensive behavioral counseling. Drug therapy. And surgery. Agree to learn more and help more. I treat obesity seriously."

It's simple. Stop by TOS Member Services Booth, sign the pledge on the iPad and pick up your free lapel pin.

Not able to make it to the booth? Sign the pledge online with your mouse. Print your certificate and hang it on your office or practice wall. Share the pledge with your family, friends and colleagues. And, send a letter to your member of Congress expressing your support for legislation that improves access to treatment for obesity.

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Learn to leverage communications and media to support your work
TOS
The Obesity Society invites you to join us today from 11:30am – 1:00pm in BCEC – 252AB for the Media & Communications Workshop. Get a refresher on obesity communications and secure new tools to take it a step further. Learn about:
  • Integrating social media
  • Communicating with reporters
  • Tips for public speaking
  • Effective one-on-one meetings, and more!
You won't want to miss this opportunity to learn from the experts.

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Don't miss today's Second Annual Obesity Journal Symposium
TOS
The editors of the journal Obesity have selected six leading research papers to be featured in the 2nd annual Obesity Journal Symposium at ObesityWeek, held this afternoon from 1:00pm – 2:30pm in BCEC –257AB. Don't miss presentations on these exciting new research papers:
  • Preventing Weight Gain with Calorie-Labelling, Charoula Konstantia Nikolaou, et al. Embargoed press release available by request
  • Objective Physical Activity and Weight Loss in Adults: The Step-Up Randomized Clinical Trial, John M. Jakicic, et al.
  • Comparative Effectiveness of Three Doses of Behavioral Weight-Loss Counseling: Two-Year Findings from the Rural LITE Trial, Michael G. Perri, et al.
  • The Role of Small Heterodimer Partner (SHP) in NAFLD Improvement After Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy in Mice, Andriy Myronovych, et al.
  • Cognitive Performance and BMI: Shared Genetics Between BMI and Reaction Time, but Not Response Inhibition, Across Childhood, Alexis Wood, et al.
  • Kidney Function in Severely Obese Adolescents Undergoing Bariatric Surgery, Nianzhou Xiao, et al.
The winning papers will be published in a special section of the November 2014 issue of Obesity. At the end of the Symposium you will also have the opportunity to get your hardcopy of the Guidelines (2013) for Managing Overweight and Obesity in Adults: Full Report, signed by Dr. Donna Ryan! Purchase your hard copy of the Guidelines at TOS Member Services Booth before the session.

Can't attend the Symposium? The print version of the guidelines is also available for purchase online.

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Spotlight on TOS 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.

Don't miss the oral presentation this afternoon at 3:00pm in BCEC – 254AB.

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TOS Hot Topic Forum Recap: Calorie Labeling — Who's Paying Attention and Why
TOS
Monday's food industry Hot-Topic Forum 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. Don’t miss Christina and Jason Block's poster presentation (T-2447-P), "Fast-Food Customers Who Buy High-Calorie Drinks Are More Likely to Underestimate the Calories They Buy" tonight from 5:30 to 7 pm.

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Mobile App Refresher
ASMBS & TOS
Remember to download the ObesityWeek℠ mobile app! The app is available in the iOS App Store and on Google Play when you search "ObesityWeek." The app includes a full session schedule, interactive maps, speaker information, and more. You can also use the app to submit questions during some sessions and receive updates from ObesityWeek. The app will provide the latest, up-to-date information on any changes to the ObesityWeek Schedule, making it a great tool for planning your schedule for the week.

Have any trouble using the app? Need help putting in your schedule? Stop by the ASMBS resource center for any questions or technical support. Our knowledgeable IT Team is happy to help answer any of your questions!

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We hope to see you tonight at the ObesityWeek AfterDark reception!


OBESITY IN THE NEWS


Americans' view on obesity is changing: Fewer adults see it as a personal problem of bad choices
TOS
New research evaluating the opinions of both the American public and healthcare professionals during the past year finds a shift in perception toward obesity as a community problem of risks related to food and inactivity. For adults in the United States, perception has moved away from seeing obesity as a personal problem resulting from bad choices. Healthcare professionals were already less likely than the public to view obesity as a personal problem of bad choices. These findings will be presented during a poster session on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at The Obesity Society Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek 2014 in Boston.
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1st long-term study on calorie labeling shows strategy effective in reducing weight gain by 50 percent
TOS
The first long-term study on the impact of calorie labeling on body weight shows that when used in universities, calorie labeling can reduce weight gain in students by nearly eight pounds (3.5 kg). Recent guidance from the United States' Affordable Care Act and the United Kingdom's Responsibility Deal encourage calorie labeling in chain restaurants, yet there have been mixed results as to the effects of calorie labeling on consumers' meal choices and weight status. This new research shows that consistent exposure to prominent calorie labeling of main meals reduced the likelihood of young adults gaining any weight over a one-year period by 50 percent. The findings from this U.K.-based study will be presented during the Obesity Journal Symposium on Monday, Nov. 4 at The Obesity Society Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek 2014 in Boston.
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Research suggests high-fat diets during pregnancy could influence brain functioning and behavior of children
TOS
New research suggests that a high-fat maternal diet during pregnancy and while breastfeeding could have significant and lasting detrimental effects on the brain function and behavior of children. The study is one of few basic science studies conducted to measure the direct effect of a high-fat maternal diet on the cognitive functioning on offspring. Results from this study, and others related to obesity and pregnancy, will be presented today during an oral presentation by author Kellie Tamashiro, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University at 3:30pm ET at The Obesity Society Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek 2014 in Boston.
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Evidence for action in obesity
ConscienHealth
Questions about the evidence for action to reduce the impact of obesity were at the center of a thoughtful and lively advocacy forum yesterday at ObesityWeek 2014. Moderated by ConscienHealth's Ted Kyle, presenters examined the problem of taking action when the evidence for the potential effects of action is incomplete.
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Lorcaserin data to be presented at The Obesity Society's Annual Scientific Meeting
PR Newswire
Eisai Inc. and Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that data for BELVIQ CIV will be presented during ObesityWeek hosted by The Obesity Society and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. The meeting is taking place November 2-7, 2014, in Boston. There will be one oral presentation and seven poster presentations.
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New phase 3a data demonstrate that 9 out of 10 adults with obesity lost weight with liraglutide 3 mg and clinical trial completers lost an average of 9.2 percent
FierceBiotech
Today, new data from the phase 3a SCALE Obesity and Prediabetes trial were presented at ObesityWeek 2014, the 2nd Annual Congress of The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and The Obesity Society. 92 percent of trial participants lost weight with liraglutide 3 mg treatment, in combination with diet and exercise, compared with 65 percent on placebo treatment.
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Guiding Stars: How can consumers cut down on added sugar if it's not listed on food labels?
FoodNavigator-USA.com
Given that the Dietary Guidelines urge Americans to reduce calorie intakes from added sugar, helping them identify foods that actually contain it by listing it on the Nutrition Facts panel seems like a no-brainer, says nutritional ranking system Guiding Stars.
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