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Thomas Farley, NYC Health Commissioner, Presents to ObesityWeek
TOS
Thomas Murphy Ballroom, Nov. 14, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
This morning, Thomas Farley, MD, MPH, New York City Health Commissioner in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will offer his keynote, "Saving Gotham: New York City's Attempts to Reverse the Obesity Epidemic." Under Dr. Farley's leadership the agency is working to address the social and environmental factors underlying the leading causes of death and disability. His efforts are seen in the innovative strategies New York City has developed to fight obesity and create a healthier food environment. Farley plans to unveil new research at today's event, and he's not the only person at ObesityWeek talking about the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages on health.

Jason Block, MD, of Harvard Medical School presents research today that shows price increases on sugar-sweetened beverages improve zero calorie selections by 26 percent (A410, 3:00 p.m.). Further, Yann Le Bodo, of Quebec Heart and Lung Institute, unveils new research that reviews the taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages in France, which shows a decrease in sales in the country (A410, 3:00 p.m.).

Of today's events, Patrick O'Neil, TOS Past-President, says, "We need more research like this to provide an evidence base for health advocates and policy makers, among many others, who are working to encourage healthier lifestyles."
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Integrated Health Presidential Address and Town Hall Tonight
ASMBS
Integrated Health members: do you have questions or concerns about ASMBS or Integrated Health that you would like to share with the IH leadership? The IH Presidential address, Awards and town hall take place today at 1:45 p.m. in the Sidney Marcus auditorium. IH President Karen Schultz will give her annual presidential address, and IH awards will be given out.

Questions that were submitted online in advance will be asked to the IH leadership. Attendees can ask additional questions either in the room or through the ObesityWeek mobile app. We want to hear what you think!

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Is Medically Supervised Weight Loss Cost Effective?
TOS
Obesity is a serious disease that is tied to more than 30 other health conditions, which often require multiple medications for treatment — adding to the already high cost of healthcare. According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Health Economics, the average adult affected by obesity incurs on average $2,714 more in healthcare costs when compared with non-obese adults. Today, Clay Wiske, MD Candidate at Brown University, presents a new study that shows dramatic costs decreases following obesity treatment — reducing medication costs by up to $215.00 per month for patients with diabetes.

"There's no doubt: medically supervised weight loss reduces the need for medication and the associated costs," said Mr. Wiske. "The decrease in medication expense is tied closely to the degree of weight loss: meaning the more weight patients lose, the less they will spend on medication."

Don't miss his presentation today in Room A404/A405 at 3:00 p.m.

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Spiegelman Keynote Spotlights Fat Cell Browning
TOS/ASMBS
Fat, exercise and a polypeptide called "meteorin-like" took center-stage yesterday morning in the Obesity Week 2013 keynote address by Bruce Spiegelman, PhD, of Harvard University. Dr. Speigelman presented studies showing that meteorin-like causes undesirable white fat cells to more closely resemble brown, energy burning fat cells.

Meteorin-like is released by muscles during exercise and was first identified in Spiegelman's lab. Injecting meteorin-like into the tail veins of mice increases glucose tolerance and energy expenditure. The polypeptide drives the production of two cytokines — interleukin 4 (IL4) and interleukin 13 (IL13) that give rise to M2 macrophages. These cells release anti-inflammatory hormones that makes white fat cells more closely resemble the energy-burning brown fat cells.

"The global increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes underlines the need for multiple therapeutic approaches to these issues," Spiegelman said. It is highly unlikely, however, that meteorin-like will be useful as a medicine for humans. The molecule is unstable, and its effects are short lived. But someday, Spiegelman hopes, some variation of the polypeptide will help treat obesity in humans.

Click here for more information.

Contributed by Hyacinth Empinado

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The Future of Obesity Research: Action Expected on Three Frontiers
TOS
Three experts speculated on the future of obesity research Wednesday morning. Geneticist Karen Mohlke, PhD, associate professor at the University of North Carolina, described a shift from focusing on individual genes toward a broader, genome-wide view. She expects new insights into gene regulation, especially by environmental factors, and obesity. The latter will prove most important. "There has been an explosion of growth in identifying genetic variances and these loci across the genome," said Dr. Mohlke.

The second frontier involves using PET scanning to discover how neural circuitry is involved in food reward and motivation. Rajita Sinha, PhD, a psychiatrist at Yale School of Medicine, discussed how glucose levels affect brain activity, which can influence our response to appealing foods. "The pre-frontal cortex is very sensitive to changes in glucose," said Dr. Sinha. "When glucose levels drop, activity in the pre-frontal cortex is lower, indicating reduced executive control."

Finally, Michael Tosenbaum, MD, professor of pediatrics and medicine at Columbia University School of Medicine, described why weight loss is so difficult to maintain. Whether people lose weight due to bariatric surgery or devoted dieting, weight loss begins to level off after about six months and pounds return. And because not everyone is affected for the same reason, a "one-size-fits-all" approach to solving this problem is unlikely to succeed.

A link to yesterday's session can be found here.

Contributed by Cesar Toledo

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Explore 30 Years of ASMBS History
ASMBS
ASMBS is celebrating our 30th anniversary, and we want to share our history with all ObesityWeek Attendees. We are displaying a series of posters on the people, articles, and events that helped shape ASMBS into the organization we are today. Come take a tour — our 30th Anniversary feature is on the third floor of the Georgia World Congress Center, near the ASMBS Foundation Booth.
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TOS Media and Communications Workshop at ObesityWeek℠
TOS
TOS members are invited to a media and communications workshop at ObesityWeek℠ today at 11:30 a.m. The session will include a refresher on obesity communications. Presenters Sylvia Rowe and Nick Alexander will cover everything from tips for public speaking and communicating with reporters to effective one-on-one meetings and networking at small group events. You won't want to miss this opportunity to learn from the experts (A303, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
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ASMBS Sessions not to Miss Today
ASMBS
Brian Wansink — Slim by Design: From Mindless Eating to Mindlessly Eating Better
    IH Keynote Speaker Brian Wansink, PhD, will be presenting in the Sydney Marcus Auditorium at 1:00 p.m. today. Dr. Wansink is best known for his work on consumer behavior and food and for popularizing terms such as "mindless eating" and "health halos." His research focuses on how microenvironments influence what and how much people eat and how much they enjoy it. He is the author of over 100 academic articles and books, including Marketing Nutrition (2005) and the best-selling book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (Bantam Dell 2006).

    If you're interested in Integrated Health, this is a presentation you don’t want to miss!
BSAC — Technology you have to see to believe
    The Bariatric Skills Acquisition Center (BSAC) features suturing simulators, video loops, games and laparoscopic trainers. BSAC lets you practice surgical techniques on state-of-the-art technology. Participants emulate procedures like laparoscopic suturing with support and guidance from industry trainers at Booth 201 in the exhibit hall. All attendees are welcome — no surgical experience necessary!

    Stop by the Bariatric Skills Acquisition Center in Booth 201 to practice your suturing skills. Challenge your colleagues in a speed-suturing contest to win an iPad!

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TOS Sessions not to Miss Today
TOS

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TOS Section Poster Awards
TOS
Don't forget to take a look at the poster award recipients during today's sessions. Find more information about the recipients here.
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OBESITYWEEK℠ IN THE NEWS


Doctors are told to get tougher with patients about their weight, recommend counseling
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
Next time you go for a checkup, don't be surprised if your doctor gets on your case about your weight. The medical profession has issued new guidelines for fighting the nation's obesity epidemic, and they urge physicians to be a lot more aggressive about helping patients drop those extra pounds. Doctors should calculate your body mass index, a weight-to-height ratio. And if you need to lose weight, they should come up with a plan and send you for counseling.
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How your company is watching your waistline
Reuters via Global Post
Employers tried the carrot, then a small stick. Now they are turning to bigger cudgels. For years they encouraged workers to improve their health and productivity with free screenings, discounted gym memberships and gift cards to lose weight. More recently, a small number charged smokers slightly higher premiums to get them to quit.
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Obesity increases cost of care by $8,000 per patient in VA study
Healio
US veterans with a BMI of at least 40 were estimated to cost Veterans Affairs $8,138 more than their normal-weight counterparts during 10 years of medical treatment, according to study findings presented at Obesity Week 2013. "This is the first study to examine health care costs attributable to obesity over a period longer than 4 years," Matthew Maciejewski, PhD, of the Durham VA Medical Center and Duke University Department of Medicine, said in a press release. "Because we had such a large sample size, we were able to examine VA costs separately for veterans in clinically meaningful subclasses of obesity."
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Severe obesity increases healthcare expenses by more than $8,000
TOS
n the first analysis of health expenditures attributable to obesity over 10 years, Duke University medical researchers found that Class III obesity (having a BMI greater than 40 kg/m2) is associated with significantly higher healthcare costs – $8,138 over ten years — compared with normal weight (having a BMI below 25 kg/m2). Authors also found that the difference in healthcare costs for veterans with Class III obesity compared to normal weight veterans rose substantially from $635 in 2002 to $3,307 in 2011.
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Corporate wellness programs are keeping the bottom line fit; What about employees?
Digital Journal
Employer-sponsored wellness programs are sprouting up throughout corporate America with the goal to get employees healthier and drive down the cost of health benefits. But how helpful are these programs? A new study presented at ObesityWeek finds that 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.
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New survey reveals that communication breakdown between physicians and patients hinders weight loss efforts
Digital Journal
A new survey conducted by Eisai Inc., in partnership with the Obesity Action Coalition and The Obesity Society, reveals a disconnect between patients and physicians when discussing weight loss. The survey found that only 56 percent of overweight or obese adults report ever having discussed weight with their doctor, yet all physicians surveyed say they counsel their overweight and obese patients about diet and exercise. Less than four in 10 of those adults said they have been told to lose weight.
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