NAASO's Newsletter
Volume 2:Number10

Time is running out to pre-register for NAASO's 2004 Annual Scientific Meeting. Join us in Las Vegas! The last day to submit advance registration is October 22, 2004. Last day to request housing is October 15, 2004. Registernow. If you miss the October 22 registration deadline, plan to register on-site. Registration begins on Sunday, November 14, Caesars Palace, beginning at 7:00 am.

NAASO has an exciting and stimulating program planned and the Annual Meeting Planning Committee has been working dilegently to gather top notch obesity experts from around the world to present the latest research.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!

In addition to Annual Meeting preparations, NAASO has been involved in numerous activities. You'll see to the right that NAASO provided testimony for the US Committee on Government Reform. NAASO also met with officials from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Sincere thanks to both Dr. Thomas Wadden and Dr. Gary Foster for their time and effort in representing NAASO at these important meetings.

In this issue
  • NAASO Testifiesbefore US House Subcommittee
  • Annual MeetingReminders
  • Ethan Sims YoungInvestigator Award Finalists Announced
  • NAASO Meets withMedicaid and Medicare
  • Around NAASO
  • RegionalNotes

  • AnnualMeeting Reminders

    Registration Material will be Mailed
    For your convenience, US attendees already registered for the Annual Meeting will receive their Annual Meeting Badge and other registration materials by mail. Please look for this important information from NAASO in the upcoming weeks!

    Final Program and Day-at-a-Glance Online
    Visit NAASO's Annual Meeting Webpage often for up-to-date information on Annual Meeting Programs. Use the handy Day-at-a-Glance program to schedule your time at Annual Meeting.

    Special Programs for Students
    Diversify your portfolio: Let the Post-doc Training Expand Your Expertise, will be the topic of the Graduate Student and Postdoc Fellows Luncheon on Tuesday, November 16 at 12:30 pm. Tuomo Rankinen, PhD is the guest speaker. Dr. Tuomo Rankinen is an assistant professor with the Human Genomics Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.
    Make plans to join a special Meet-the-Professor session designed exclusively for students on Wednesday, November 17 from 4:30 - 5:30 pm. Here is an opportunity to informally meet key lecture presenters and NAASO leadership.
    The Student/Postdoc Committee is seeking new members. If you are interested in participating, please contact committee chair Paul Franks.

    NAASO Business Meeting
    The NAASO Business Meeting is open to anyone wishing to attend. Please join us on Wednesday, November 17, 12:30 - 1:45 pm, Florentine I. We welcome suggestions and feedback from all NAASO members.

    NAASO at Night!
    We know you'll be busy during they day....attending workshops and sessions, networking with colleagues, visiting poster presentations and exhibits. When it's time to relax, NAASO has a few entertainment options available, just for you.
    Opening Session
    Join NAASO President, Barbara Cokey, PhD, as she officially kicks off NAASO's 2004 Annual Meeting! Mark your calendar for Sunday, November 14, 6:00 pm. The Grand Opening Reception will immediately follow in the Exhibit hall.
    Mini Film Festival
    Plan to join your colleagues for NAASO's special entertainment. A mini Film Festival will be held Monday, November 15 and Wednesday, November 17 starting at 8:00 pm.
    The film Lbs, will be featured Monday evening. Lbs premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and details one man's physical and emotional struggle with food addiction. Special guest, Carmine Famiglietti, producer, screenwriter and actor, will be on hand to informally discuss the making of this unique film. Famiglietti is an accredited comedy writer from Queen, NY and appears regularly at New York's premiere comedy club, Caroline's on Broadway.
    Wednesday evening offers a screening of Super Size Me, the hit documentary.

    NAASO Gala
    Come dressed to represent your favorite musical era. Join the fun Tuesday, November 16, 7:30 pm. Dine and dance the night away with music spanning multiple decades. Do you love the 40's swing music? 70's disco? 50's jitterbug? Show us your favorite music by dressing the part. A guaranteed great time! Tickets are $65 and can be purchased on-line or at the registration area.
    Plan to join NAASO at Night!

    Ethan SimsYoung Investigator Award Finalists Announced

    Congratulations to the five Ethan Sims Young Investigator Awards finalists. Each finalist will present at a special Annual Meeting Session, Wednesday, November 17, 2004 at 8:00 am. The five finalists and their lecture titles are:

    Keith Fusinski, MT (ASCP)
    Adenovirus-36 Transcription Factor E4orf1 Accelerates Preadipocyte Differentiation
    Mentor: Nikhil V. Dhurandhar, PhD

    James Gangwisch, PhD
    Sleep Deprivation as a Risk Factor for Obesity: Results Based on the NHANES I
    Mentor: Steve Heymsfield, MD

    James Trevaskis, PhD
    SH3-Domain GRB2-Like (endophilin) Interacting Protein 1 (SGIP1), a Novel Neuronal Protein that Regulates Energy Balance
    Mentor: Eric Ravussin, PhD

    Susumu Suzuki, MD, PhD
    Vagal Celiac Efferent Activity to Upper Gastrointestinal Organs after Gastric Bypass
    Mentor: Michael Meguid, MD, PhD

    Marie-France Hivert, MD
    Prevention of Weight Gain in University Students by a Group Seminar-Based Program
    Mentor: Marie-France Langlois, MD

    Each finalist will receive up to $1,000 for annual meeting expenses. The recipient will receive an additional $1,000 cash prize. Congratulations!

    NAASO Meetswith Medicaid and Medicare

    NAASO met with officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on September 15. Dr. Gary Foster and Ed Bernstein encouraged CMS, in collaboration with private insurers, to develop guidelines for covering weight management services, including diet and exercise counseling, medications, and surgical interventions. NAASO offered assistance to CMS in reviewing the scientific evidence to identify: 1) which obese individuals are most in need of treatment; 2) which weight loss interventions are most effective; and 3) which health professionals are best prepared to provide treatment.

    We will keep you up-to-date on any new developments involving CMS.


    NAASO provides Distinguished Scholar Grand Rounds Lecture Program
    Thank you to all the medical schools and medical centers participating in NAASO's 2004 Grand Rounds Lecture Series. NAASO provided expert obesity speakers and scheduling support to each participating institution. Grand Rounds Lecture Programs are scheduled at the following institutions within the next few months:

    University of Wisconsin* Baylor College of Medicine * University of California - Davis * University of California - San Diego *Veterans Administration Medical Center - San Diego * De Vos Childrens Hosp., Grand Rapid, MI * University of Vermont * University of Arkansas * Georgia Southern University * Veterans Administration Medical Center - Ashville, NC * Mayo Clinic * Boston University * Mt. Nittany Medical Center, PA * University of Tennessee/University of Memphis * State University of New York - Stony Brook * Wayne State University, MI * University of Cincinnati * University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas * University of Miami * Citadel/Lowcountry Medical Associates, SC * Mt. Sinai School of Medicine * University of Illinois, Chicago * Overlake Hospital Medical Center, Bellvue, WA * University of Michigan * University of Califorinia - San Francisco * Washington University, St. Louis * University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio * Columbia University * Michigan State University

    Special thanks to all of the NAASO members participating in this program as our distinguished lecturers:
    Samuel Klein, MD * Steven Haffner, MD * Melinda Sothern, PhD * Steven Heymsfield, MD * Patrick O'Neil, PhD * Gary Foster, PhD * Tom Wadden, PhD * Louis Aronne, MD * David Lau, MD, PhD * Michael Schwartz, MD * Michael Lowe, PhD * Jon Purnell, MD * William Dietz, MD, PhD * Holly Wyatt, MD * Naji Abumrad, MD * Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD, MPH
    Support for this activity has been provided by Sanofi-Synthelabo, Inc.


    The East
    Kathleen Keller reports that the next regional meeting of The Triangle Adipocyte Group (TAG) will be held October 20, 2004 at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. Dr. Rosalind Coleman from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will be presenting.Call Dawn Stricker 919.547.0692, or email dawn@zen- bio.com for more information.
    Morgan Downey, Executive Director/CEO for the American Obesity Association, reminds NAASO members that the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee is meeting November 4 in Baltimore, MD to review bariatric surgery under Medicare's new policy. Sam Klein, MD will be representing NAASO at this meeting.
    Also, the American Medical Association is conducting a summit on obesity in Chicago, IL on October 19- 20. For more information on these events, contact MorgDowney@aol.com.

    The South
    Steven Smith reports that the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care is offering a new CME program for physicians and nurses regarding pediatric overweight.

    Statewide results of the BMI Health Initiative for Arkansas schoolchildren available on-line at the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement website.
    Regional conferences will be held in Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 7 and Mountain Home, Arkansas on October 8, entitled "Public Health Crisis: Weight Management Strategies for Clinical Settings". For more information: call Liz Schaefer or Sharon Risley at (479) 521-8269 or 1-800-825-7961.

    The West
    Judith Stern writes, "this month we are batting .800. We still need news from Hawaii and Utah. Thank you all for your contributions."
    The University of Washington is pleased to announce the award of a P20 Exploratory Center Grant for Obesity Research. Headed by Adam Drewnowski, the new Center will address public health and policy aspects of the obesity epidemic.
    William N. Evans and Gary A. Mayman, of the Children's Heart Center-Nevada are running an investigation of the effects of fish oil (Omega-3) on several serum inflammatory markers in obese children.
    Janet T. Peterson of Health, Human Performance and Athletics at Linfield College in Oregon, will be giving two presentation at the Oregon Alliance of Health Physical Education, Recreation and Dance annual meeting in Sherwood, OR on October 8th.
    Shaping America's Youth was launched September 29, 2004 at New York City's Public School 142 under the direction of David McCarron (Academic Network, Portland and Univ Calif Davis). SAY released survey results of nearly 1,100 childhood physical activity, nutrition and weight management programs in the United States.
    Michael Lee will be joining The Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic (in the department of Endocrinology).
    Robert Lustig (University of California, San Francisco) is part of an investigation at UCSF in obese children. The study focuses on children, 4 - 18 years of age, who have developed obesity due to a brain tumor or CNS insult (hypothalamic obesity). The study is a double-blind, placebo- controlled trial of an insulin suppressive medication. Any physicians with appropriate patients can contact Dr. Robert Lustig at 415-502-8672.

    NAASOTestifies before US House Subcommittee

    On September 15, 2004, NAASO testified before the US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on Human Right and Wellness hearing, "Conquering Obesity: The U.S. Approach to Combating this National Health Crisis." Dr. Thomas Wadden, NAASO Vice President, outlined NAASO's three point recommendations:

    • Increase the availability of treatment for people who already are obese.
    • Substantially strengthen efforts to prevent the development of obesity, particularly in children.
    • Double NIH funding for obesity research, designed to understand the multiple causes of this condition and to identify the most effective methods of preventing and treating it.

    Dr. Wadden's testimony was arresting and impressive. NAASO's three point plan elicited many comments and questions by Congressional Representatives present at the hearing.

    Two panels of experts participated in this hearing. One panel consisted of Ed Thompson, MD, MPH Chief, Public Health Practice, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Eric Bost, Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, USDA. The second panel of participants included representatives from the Grocery Manufacturers of America, National Food Processors Association, American Obesity Association, Endocrine Society of America and NAASO.

    Read NAASO's testimony
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