The Obesity Society eNews
Feb. 11, 2015

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Letter from the Executive Director
Dear Colleagues,
Thanks for taking the time today to check out the latest news from The Obesity Society (TOS). In addition to reading our eNewsletter, we hope you're also regularly sharing news and information about obesity in your Facebook status updates, your Twitter posts and on your LinkedIn pages and groups.

You may have noticed that throughout the past few years TOS has been hard at work to reach and engage with an even larger audience, and connecting on social media is key to our efforts. In fact, in 2014 we increased our social media connections by 55% — that's another large jump compared to the more than 56% increase in 2013!More

Treat Obesity Seriously — TOS members provide guidance for obesity prevention & treatment in the clinical setting
"Eat less, move more" is not a solution to obesity, say the authors of a paper out today. In an effort to improve the way clinicians understand and treat obesity, TOS members Chris Ochner, PhD, Adam Tsai, MD, Robert Kushner, MD, and Thomas Wadden, PhD, put their heads together to help all clinicians better understand the biology of obesity and its impact on weight loss and maintenance. In their commentary published today in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, the authors provide recommendations for lifestyle changes and evidence-based treatment to prevent and confront these biological adaptations.

"Once obesity is established, bodyweight seems to become biologically stamped in and defended," say the authors. "The mere recommendation to avoid calorically dense foods might be no more effective for the typical patient seeking weight reduction than a recommendation to avoid sharp objects for someone bleeding profusely."

The authors suggest that obesity cannot be cured via lifestyle modification and that the few individuals who are able to re-attain a healthy body weight via diet and exercise still suffer from "obesity in remission." They suggest that more biologically-based interventions may be required for long-term weight loss in most individuals with obesity. Read the full paper online here.

Do you treat obesity seriously? Show your support by signing the obesity pledge online here and help us spread the word via social media using the #treatobesityseriously hashtag.More

FDA to issue guidance on wearable health technology
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working to advance public health by promoting innovation and development in wearable health technology, including tracking apps, wearable sensors and more. To do so, the FDA is continually adapting its regulatory approach to keep up with technological advances in health to meet the needs of patients and consumers.

The FDA recently finalized guidance on medical device data systems (MDDS), and issued two draft guidance documents naming low-risk devices intended to promote general wellness, and outlining a risk classification approach to medical device accessories.

Find out more about the new draft guidance documents from FDA in this FDA Voice article.More

Capitol update: Join the OCC for an advocacy day on the Hill
In early February, leaders from the Obesity Care Continuum (OCC) converged on Washington for the first of planned monthly advocacy days for 2015. All TOS members are welcome to join the OCC for advocacy days. Scheduled advocacy days for 2015 are as follows:

If you will be in Washington, D.C. on any of those dates and would like to attend an advocacy day, please email Find out more about TOS's efforts in Washington here.More

Don't miss tomorrow's Diabetes SGLT2 Virtual Symposium from DiabetesSeriesLive
Watch top diabetes specialists discuss using SGLT2 inhibitors to improve glycemic control live via streaming video on Thursday, February 12, from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET. The complementary webinar titled, Diabetes: Kidney (SGLT2 Pathway) Virtual Symposium, will allow participants to join a real-time Q&A and earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

Topics will include:

Register for free at

TOS Hosts Guest Symposium at IMMUNOLOGY™ 2015

Again this year, TOS will hold a special guest society symposium at IMMUNOLOGY™ 2015, the annual meeting of the American Association of Immunologists. IMMUNOLOGY 2015™ will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, from May 8 - 12, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. This year’s TOS Symposium, titled Immunometabolism of Aging, will be held on Sunday, May 10, from 10:15 – 12:15 pm.

Symposium chairs include:

Speakers include: AAI hosts the world's leading annual all-immunology meeting, bringing together more than 3,000 scientists at every career stage from approximately 40 countries to discuss their cutting edge research. International leaders in immunology and talented trainees alike will be coming to learn what innovations and biomedical advances can benefit them in their research. Find out more here. More

New SPARC funding opportunity
The NIH Common Fund Program on Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) has released its first request for applications, RFA-RM-15-002: Exploratory Technologies to Understand the Control of Organ Function by the Peripheral Nervous System for SPARC (U18). This RFA solicits applications to develop new and/or enhance existing tools and technologies tailored to elucidate the neurobiology and neurophysiology underlying autonomic control of internal organs in health or disease, to inform next generation neuromodulation therapies.

Detailed in the FOA, the cooperative agreement mechanism will involve active participation in SPARC program events and NIH partnership in supporting and stimulating the recipients' activities.

Due Dates: Letter of Intent – March 14, 2015, Application – April 14, 2015

Please contact if you have any questions regarding this funding opportunity. More

Spotlight on new TOS Fellows!
Congratulations to the new Fellows of The Obesity Society (FTOS):

Are you a TOS Fellow? 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. Find out more here.More

eHealth/mHealth Reading Corner
To keep the community up to date on the developments in this important area, TOS eHealth/mHealth section offers the eHealth/mHealth Reading Corner. This week's articles include:

Poncela-Casasnovas J, Spring B, McClary D, et al. Social embeddedness in an online weight management programme is linked to greater weight loss. J. R. Soc. Interface. 28 Jan 2015 (online first)

BinDhim NF, Hawkey A, Trevena L. A Systematic Review of Quality Assessment Methods for Smartphone Health Apps. Telemed J E Health. 2015 Feb;21(2):97-104.

Patel MS, Asch DA, Volpp KG. Wearable Devices as Facilitators, Not Drivers, of Health Behavior Change. JAMA. 2015 Feb 3;313(5):459-60.
If you have an article you would like to share, we would love to hear from you! Please send article information to Danielle Schoffman (, and we’ll add it to the EMS Reading Corner Library.More

US FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to step down
Dr. Margaret Hamburg, who as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for almost six years has overseen public health initiatives ranging from tobacco control and food safety to personalized medicine and drug approvals, is stepping down, the agency said. Hamburg, one of the longest-serving FDA commissioners in the modern era, told Reuters in an interview that her decision was prompted by the heavy demands of the job and the sheer length of time she has held the position.More

This chart shows how hard it is to end childhood obesity
Michelle Obama announced her "Let's Move" campaign, an effort to fight childhood obesity by promoting healthier eating and physical activity among kids, five years ago Monday. But the most recent data show that driving down childhood obesity rates is proving to be an elusive goal. Obama's challenge was steep: Overall childhood obesity rates tripled in the past three decades, climbing from about 5 percent in 1974 to nearly 17 percent by 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All told, 12.7 million children were considered obese when "Let's Move" got underway in 2010.More

Expert interview with Christopher Ochner on obesity in America
In the U.S., obesity has reached epidemic proportions. It kills over 111,000 people annually, shortens the lifespan by five to 20 years, and results in $150 billion in annual health-related expenditures, says Christopher N. Ochner, Ph.D., co-chair of the Public Affairs Committee for The Obesity Society. Individuals affected by obesity are at risk for a wide range of health issues, including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and certain types of cancer. But the adverse affects of extra pounds stretches beyond physical health.More

Childhood obesity: Good intentions
People with good intentions murmuring platitudes about childhood obesity are supremely frustrating. They are frustrating because they sincerely want to help and they are sincerely misguided at times. Recently, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation hosted a big media event in New York City to unveil a report that crows about "Declining Childhood Obesity Rates." Better, they announced their commitment of another half billion dollars toward the cause of reducing childhood obesity. This brings their funding for the cause to a total of a billion dollars. That is truly an impressive commitment. More

Motivational interviewing of parents to combat childhood obesity
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health the ongoing epidemic of childhood obesity is jeopardizing the health and well-being of our children. The problem is both a local and national crisis. Since the 1970s, nationally, the obesity rates among children. At present, more than one in five students in the fifth, seventh, and ninth grades are obese. A new study evaluated the effectiveness of counseling parents to combat the soaring childhood obesity rates. More

15 things nobody tells you about losing weight
Losing weight does more than give you an excuse to buy new clothes. Dropping just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can improve your overall health and reduce your risk for chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. But shedding unwanted pounds can also have less-obvious effects, and not always for the better, says Adam Tsai, M.D., a physician at Kaiser Permanente Colorado and a spokesperson for the Obesity Society. Here are the good things — and the bad — that you don't normally hear about losing weight.More

Changing modifiable risk factors early in life may prevent obesity
Having a greater number of early-life risk factors was linked with large differences in adiposity and risk of overweight and obesity in later childhood. The rapid rise in prevalence of childhood obesity over recent years has prompted widespread research efforts to identify the factors that explain these secular changes.More

Are you actually a binge eater?
Women's Health
The United States Food and Drug Administration just approved the first drug that's designed to target moderate to severe binge eating disorder, called Vyvanse. While this treatment could help the more than five million women across the country whose lives are affected by bingeing (more people have BED than any other eating disorder), it's important to remember that, just because you overeat from time to time, it doesn't mean you have the disorder.More