The Obesity Society eNews
Aug. 5, 2015

In Memoriam of Jules Hirsch, MD
1927 – 2015

For his contributions to the field of obesity as a pioneer in human adipose tissue biology research and his leadership toward a better understanding of obesity from a lifestyle condition to a complex disease.

Read more in the tribute to Dr. Hirsch in The New York Times and in an upcoming article in Obesity.More

Announcing ObesityWeek℠ 2015 keynote speakers
Don't miss exciting presentations from this year's ObesityWeek keynote speakers — Dr. Loel S. Solomon and Professor Jan Nedergaard.

What: Opening Keynote Speaker
When: Wednesday, Nov. 4, 8:00 am
Who: Loel Solomon, PhD, MPP, joined Kaiser Permanente's Community Benefit Program in 2003 and serves as Vice President for Community Health. In this position, Dr. Solomon works with health plan and medical group leaders to establish the strategic direction for Kaiser Permanente's multi-faceted approach to prevention and community health and develops national partnerships to advance those ends.

What: Basic Science Keynote Speaker
When: Friday, Nov. 6, 11:00 am
Who: Jan Nedergaard, PhD, is a professor of physiology at the Wenner-Gren Institute of Stockholm University. His research focuses on how brown adipose tissue affects regulation of energy expenditure and thermogenesis. He has been working in the field of brown adipose tissue for 40 years.

Keep an eye out for more about this year's keynote speakers Don't forget, early registration for ObesityWeek ends Aug. 21! Register today.More

Submit late breaking research to TOS's Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek
Do you have new, high-impact data that was not available or fully analyzed during the regular TOS abstract submission period for ObesityWeek? If so, submit your late breaking abstracts to TOS's Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek now through Aug. 17. Researchers who have data that was not available or fully analyzed in May 2015 are eligible for TOS's late breaking abstract submission.

Late breaking abstracts can be submitted to one of following tracks:

Our abstracts undergo careful peer review for oral or poster presentation at ObesityWeek. Submit your abstract here through Aug. 17, and find more about late breaking abstract requirements here.More

Call for comments: NIH 5-year Strategic Plan
In response to a request from Congress, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is developing a 5-year NIH-wide Strategic Plan to advance its mission. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) has invited TOS to comment as part of the NIH request for information seeking suggestions on a framework for this strategic plan. According to the letter from NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, MD, MACP, "the goal of this 5-year plan is to outline a vision for biomedical research that ultimately extends healthy life and reduces illness and disability. The aim is to pursue crosscutting areas of research that span NIH's 27 Institutes, Centers, and Offices."

NIH will host a series of public webinars to further discuss the framework of their strategic plan, including a Q&A portion. The webinars will take place on the following dates:

Sign up for the webinars here.

TOS leadership would like to submit comments on this framework, and we would appreciate your comments and suggestions to help guide our response. Today, Wednesday, Aug. 5, is the deadline to submit your comments to TOS. Please send all feedback to Trimmer Green at Feel free to submit your own comments directly as well.More

100+ members of Congress request passage of Treat and Reduce Obesity Act on 50th anniversary of Medicare
Contributed by The Obesity Action Coalition
The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA) of 2015 (HR 2404 and S 1509) continues to gain momentum with 101 members of the House of Representatives and 10 members of the Senate co-sponsoring this important legislation. The Act, originally introduced by Representatives Paulsen (R-MN); and Kind (D-WI); and Senators Carper (D-DE) and Cassidy (R-LA), aims to provide Medicare beneficiaries with additional treatment tools to help individuals address their overweight and obesity.

"We are very excited to have more than 100 legislators supporting The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2015," said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO, representative of the TRO Coalition. "Each day we're learning more and more that obesity is a complex, multifactorial disease requiring a comprehensive all of the above treatment plan. Having this level of support truly demonstrates the importance of this legislation on a national level."

TROA would provide CMS with the authority to expand the existing Medicare benefit for intensive behavioral counseling by allowing additional types of healthcare providers to offer these services. It would also lift the decades-old Medicare Part D coverage exclusion of FDA-approved prescription drugs for chronic weight management, which would give individuals a full range of treatment options for the disease. More

Next steps: NHLBI's Strategic Visioning process
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
According to a recent announcement by the NHLBI, a division of NIH, more than 1,000 ideas were submitted to the Strategic Visioning Forum with more than 42,000 votes. TOS and our members joined individuals from all 50 states and from countries across the globe to submit our ideas and feedback.

"This remarkable response exceeded our expectations and provided a wealth of ideas to draw upon," said Dr. Gary Gibbons, NHLBI Director, in the email announcement.

NHLBI staff and advisory groups have evaluated the ideas submitted and developed a preliminary set of high-priority Compelling Questions and Critical Challenges. These are posted online here. The next step is to submit your feedback.

TOS encourages our members and partners to continue to be involved in this process. Submit your comments here.More

Maternal obesity exposes newborns to higher levels of oxidative stress
Contributed by Susan F. Franks, PhD, ABPP
A recent study published in Obesity provides evidence linking maternal obesity with higher levels of oxidative imbalance in the newborn.

Juan Manuel Gallardo and colleagues examined markers of oxidative stress in postpartum umbilical cord blood to see if there was a relationship with the mother's pre-pregnancy weight status. Using pre-pregnancy medical records, 72 healthy mother-child dyads were classified into normal, overweight, and with obesity maternal weight status. Immediately after delivery, blood was obtained from the umbilical cord and later analyzed for levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO).

A cross-sectional analysis found increasingly higher levels of MDA and NO in cord blood as maternal pre-pregnancy weight status increased. Furthermore, heavier maternal weight status weakened the direct relationship between these two markers of oxidative stress. These findings add to a growing body of literature regarding oxidative stress in newborns of mothers with obesity, and suggests that biomarkers of oxidative stress should be further investigated to predict infant risk for future adverse health outcomes. Read the full article in the Obesity journal here.More

Congratulations to the new TOS Fellows!
TOS is pleased to welcome the following members to TOS Fellowship:

Mary Forhan, PhD, FTOS
University of Alberta

Ayman Sayegh, PhD, FTOS
Tuskegee University

Stephanie Sogg, PhD, FTOS
Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center

Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, FTOS
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Jeffrey Zigman, MD, FTOS
UT Southwestern Medical Center

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

Call for nominations: CMS Technical Expert Panel
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
CMS is working to develop outcome measures for two high priority health behaviors — tobacco use and obesity — as well as a disparities measure with potential for high impact. The overarching purpose of this project is to develop a set of measures that can be used in ongoing and future CMS models and programs designed to drive improvement toward better health among beneficiaries. As part of the measure development process, CMS contractors will convene groups of stakeholders and experts who contribute direction and thoughtful input to the measure contractor during measure development and maintenance.

CMS is seeking a TEP of approximately 6-8 individuals with the following perspectives and areas of expertise:

The deadline to submit nominations is Aug. 14, 2015. Find more details and submit your nominations here. More

Get to know a TOS Fellow! Q&A with Simone V. Gill, PhD, FTOS
Contributed by TOS Early Career Committee

Simone V. Gill, PhD, FTOS
It's time for another edition of the Q&A interviews with TOS Fellows! This is the perfect opportunity to get to know leaders in the obesity field a little better and learn more about their personal lives outside of work. Here are some questions and answers from our interview with TOS Fellow Simone V. Gill, PhD, FTOS, Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at BU School of Medicine.

Q: Please tell us about your current work and your professional developmental trajectory.
A: The focus of my current work is to examine how obesity affects motor function in children and adults. I am particularly interested in how massive weight loss following bariatric surgery influences motor performance linked to increased fall risks.

Q: What advice do you have for today's junior obesity researchers?

A: I think that being open to collaborating with others is very important.

Q: What aspects of obesity research are the most exciting to you right now?
A: The connection between motor and cognitive function after massive weight loss is exciting to me right now.

Q: What are your favorite things to do when you're not at work?

A: I enjoy spending time with my family and exercising.

Read the rest of the interview with Dr. Gill here. These interviews are featured bi-monthly in the TOS eNews. Don't miss the next one on Aug. 19! More

The perils of obesity prejudices
The Huffington Post
One of the most damaging aspects of obesity is the weight bias and stigma that is so pervasive in our thin-obsessed society. Although modern societies approach prejudices as inherently evil threats to our fundamental human rights, weight stigma largely escapes this view. Indeed, obesity has been called the last socially acceptable form of prejudice, and persons with obesity are considered acceptable targets of stigma.More

ASMBS views new balloon device for obesity as bridge between medications and bariatric surgery
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new balloon device called the ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System, that may help fill a treatment gap between medications and surgery for people with obesity and one or more obesity-related conditions, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the nation’s largest organization for bariatric surgeons.More

American Society for Nutrition retracts golden rice article
A ruling by the Massachusetts Superior Court, Judge Salinger, on July 17, 2015 has cleared the way for the American Society for Nutrition to retract the article "β-Carotene in Golden Rice is as good as β-carotene in oil at providing vitamin A to children" which was published in the September 2012 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The article was retracted by the American Society for Nutrition on July 29, 2015.More

Higher health costs for diabetes mainly meds, inpatient care
HealthDay News
From 2002 to 2012, individuals with diabetes had consistently higher health expenditure compared to those without diabetes, according to a study published online in Diabetes Care. Mukoso N. Ozieh, M.D., from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues analyzed 10 years of data representing a weighted population of 189,013,514 U.S. adults from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. A novel two-part model was used to estimate adjusted mean and incremental medical expenditures, controlling for demographics, comorbidities and time.More

Low parental health literacy limits child's weight-loss options
Parents who struggle to understand basic health nutrition information are less likely to turn to recommended weight-loss strategies for their children, including increasing physical activity and eating more fruits and vegetables, according to research in Appetite. In an analysis of survey data from U.S. parents of preschool-age children participating in a prospective, longitudinal panel study, researchers found that parents with low health literacy endorsed a narrower range of strategies overall and also were more likely to consider unsafe weight-loss choices, including diet pills.More

Telephone counseling improves diabetes management among urban adults
Urban-area adults with diabetes improved both their HbA1c and diabetes self-management routines following telephone counseling with community-based health educators, according to research in American Journal of Preventive Medicine. In a study of predominantly Latino residents of the South Bronx in New York City, researchers found that participants randomly assigned to telephone calls from Spanish-speaking individuals trained in diabetes management saw a greater HbA1c improvement compared with participants who received only printed diabetes self-management materials.More