|Deadline Reminder: Journal Editor
Applications for the position of Editor, Obesity are
being accepted until March 1, 2007. By that date,
applicants should submit a letter indicating interest in the
editor's position; a vision statement relative to the
Journal's future, and a current curriculum vitae. Nominations
are also welcomed.
The successful applicant will succeed the current editor,
Barbara Corkey, PhD. Dr. Corkey will be completing her term in
December 31, 2007. The position will begin July 1, 2007 to
allow for a transition to full editorial responsibility on
January 1, 2008.
Over the past five years, the number of new submissions to
the journal has steadily increased each year, as has its
impact factor. The Society seeks a person who clearly
demonstrates outstanding scholarly leadership and
administrative effectiveness to further position
Obesity as the preeminent publication in the field.
Applicants must have a strong record in the field of obesity
research. Preference will be given to applicants who possess:
a clear vision of the journal's future; an admirable record of
research and scholarly publications in obesity and associated
areas; a working knowledge of both journal publication
strategies and emerging information technologies; proven
leadership strengths and ample personal commitment and time to
fulfill the range of editorial responsibilities.
for a detailed description of the responsibilities of the
Address all correspondence and inquiries to Gary Foster, PhD, Chair
of the Editor Search Committee. All materials must be
|Society Releases Statement on Coca-Cola Product
The February issue of Obesity contains a report of a
study being used to support a new beverage, Enviga. The
beverage was developed by Coca-Cola Company and Nestle SA.
The article is authored by Servane Rudelle of Lausanne
University in Switzerland and colleagues at Purdue University
and the Nestle Research Center in Switzerland. It reports an
experiment with 31 subjects who for three days consumed a
beverage containing green tea catechins, caffeine, and
calcium. The beverage increased 24-hour energy expenditure in
these subjects by 4.6%, or approximately 106 calories. The
contributions of the different beverage components were not
distinguished. The experiment failed to demonstrate the
mixture of ingredients increased fat oxidation. See Rudelle,
S; Ferruzzi, MG; Cristiani, I et al: "Effect of a Thermogenic
Beverage on 24-Hour Energy Metabolism in Humans,"
Obesity, 2007; 15:349-55.
The study made no weight loss claims for Enviga, the
Coca-Cola Company product, and was not reviewed to determine
the veracity of such a claim or claims. According to Eric
Ravussin, PhD, president of The Obesity Society and an expert
in human metabolism, "It should be kept in mind that this was
a small sample demonstrating a very small effect.
Understanding human metabolism is a complex scientific
question involving genetic, environmental, and behavioral
factors in addition to age, race and gender. Far more
extensive studies are needed before any claim for efficacy in
human weight management can or should be made on the basis of
|FDA Approves OTC Version of Orlistat,
On February 7th, the Food and Drug Administration approved
Alli, an over-the-counter version of orlistat (trade name
Xenical). Alli, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, will be
available in June. It is a 60mg version of Xenical, which has
been available as a prescription product for several years.
Xenical, at 120mg, will continue to be available to patients
needing a higher dose and who are under a physician's care.
Prescription Xenical is made by Roche. Obesity Society
President Eric Ravussin was quoted on the front page of USA
Today indicating that the product was safe and effective.
GlaxoSmithKline's educational efforts include a paperback book
on weight loss; part of the proceeds of the book's sale will
go to The Obesity Society. The society has received other
support from GlaxoSmithKline.
|New Guidance from FDA|
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced
availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled
"Developing Products for Weight Management." The intent of
this new guideline is to provide clear advice to industry
interested in developing weight-management products. It
revises the 1996 "Guidance for the Clinical Evaluation of
Weight-Control Drugs" and includes recommendations for
developing products for weight management in pediatric
patients and patients with medication-induced weight gain, and
for developing combinations of weight- management products.
FDA guidances describe the agency's current thinking on
various topics and are recommendations, not regulation.
Written or electronic comments on the draft guidance must
be submitted not later than 60 days after it is published in
the Federal Register. Single copies of the document are
available from the Division of Drug Information (HFD-240),
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA, 5600 Fishers
Lane, Rockville, MD. 20857. Copies of the guidance document
can also be found on the FDA Web
|West Virginia turns to Weight
It is well known that West Virginia has one of the highest
obesity rates in the United States. Now, its Medicaid program
has decided to do something about it. Up to 75,000 West
Virginians will soon be eligible for free weight loss courses
through Weight Watchers, Inc. via the state Medicaid program
and UniCare, the state's largest Medicaid provider. UniCare's
Medicaid clients who obtain a physician's referral and meet a
specific BMI threshold will be eligible for up to 16 weeks of
Weight Watchers courses. West Virginia First Lady Gayle
Manchin has been an advocate for the program.
Tennessee conducts Weight Watchers pilot
year TennCare, the Tennessee Medicaid provider, completed a
pilot program for 1,400 Medicaid recipients who paid nominal
fees to participate in Weight Watchers. According to TennCare,
the participants lost a total of more than 8,000 pounds.
Other Tennessee news
Also in Tennessee, the
state's Blue Cross Blue Shield program has dropped a
requirement that enrollees wanting bariatric surgery have to
take an IQ test. The policy had provoked an outcry from the
Obesity Action Coalition in Tampa, FL. It was unclear how many
people were required to take the IQ test.
|Bush Administration Action on
Days before the Administration's FY2008 budget was
released, President George Bush met with corporate leaders to
encourage child fitness and obesity prevention. The
corporations represented included General Mills, the
Advertising Council, Coca-Cola, DreamWorks, Univision, Kraft
Foods, Kellogg, PepsiCo, Subway, McDonalds, and Nickelodeon.
According to the White House, the Administration spends
more than $600 million annually to fight obesity, including
grants to schools to implement school health index improvement
plans, the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports,
the HealthierUS initiative, and US Department of Agriculture
activities. This year the Administration proposes to:
develop messaging partnerships with the entertainment, arts,
and food and beverage industries;
• help schools implement
local wellness policies;
• facilitate greater access to
• issue comprehensive physical activity
• promote the MyPyramid Food Guidance
The fine print of the President's budget told a more
sobering story. Obesity research at the National Institutes of
Health would actually go down from a high of $594 billion in
FY06 to a projected $590 in FY08. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention's overall budget would be cut by $162.6
billion dollars including a cut of $17.2 million from Steps to
a HealthierUS. The Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
budget would see no change in its allocated $413.9 million.
The Department of Agriculture is projecting an additional $7
million in its Agricultural Research Service program for
childhood obesity prevention.
|Annual Scientific Meeting News|
October 20-24, 2007
The Annual Meeting Program Committee thanks all those who
submitted education session proposals. All proposals have been
reviewed, a preliminary program is being developed, and
notifications regarding the committee's decisions will be sent
Two important meeting changes
A new track
has been added to the meeting: Clinical/Professional
Practice. This track will feature programs for practicing
physicians and other healthcare professionals. Sessions will
focus on knowledge and competencies for improving the quality
of care delivered to obese patients in their practices and
improving patient outcomes.
The first session on Sunday, October 21, will be a plenary
oral abstract session. The seven best abstracts from all those
submitted will be featured in this first session on the first
full day of the meeting.
Abstract submission dates announced
abstract submission period for the 2007 scientific meeting
will open on Wednesday, March 14 and close on Tuesday, May 22,
2007. Primary corresponding authors will be notified by the
end of July as to whether or not their abstracts have been
Important notes concerning abstract
• There will be no late submission
period this year! If you plan to submit abstract(s) for
consideration, you must do so within the announced submission
• Abstract submissions in which one or more
authors fail to disclose conflict of interest information will
not be reviewed. There will be no exceptions to this
Be sure to visit the Meeting
Home Page for all Annual Scientific Meeting details as
they become available!
News from the West
By Judith Stern
Melina B. Jampolis (Board
Certified Internist and Physician Nutrition Specialist)
published a new book called The No Time to Lose Diet.
It is available in bookstores and on Amazon. She appeared on
Live with Regis and Kelly on Friday, Jan. 12,
discussing popular diets such as South Beach, Weight Watchers,
Ornish, French Women, and Sonoma.
Marjorie R. Freedman (Assistant Professor, San Jose
State University) reports: "thanks to a community benefit
grant from Kaiser Permanente, San Jose, I have started
'Healthy San Jose State 2010' which aims to create a healthy
campus environment for over 30,000 students, faculty and
staff. The Healthy Campus Summit in March will present
baseline data regarding eating and physical activity patterns
collected from over 1400 upperclassman. Long term goals of the
Healthy Campus Initiative include healthy vending, nutrition
information for all foods sold or available on campus, an
on-site farmer's market, a 'SJSU survivor' program aimed at
students who live on campus but no longer eat in the dining
commons, and a smoke-free campus."
Michael Swarbrick (Postdoc, University of
California, Davis), from Peter Havel's lab, received a
New Investigator Research Award from The Obesity Society for
his research entitled "Metabolic Regulation of Leptin and
Adiponectin by PDH Kinase Inhibition." The research focuses on
silencing genes in fat cells to look at the mechanism of a
synthesis of leptin and adiponectin. His ultimate goal is to
find a new therapeutic target for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Judith S. Stern is chairing the Farm Bill Working
Group for The American Society for Nutrition. Their top
legislative priority is to ensure the Farm Bill
reauthorization includes language that supports funding for
nutrition research and nutrition monitoring.
Barbara J. Moore (President,
Shape of America) is chairing the American Society for
Nutrition (ASN) Public Policy Committee. The committee has
identified funding for nutrition research and nutrition
monitoring as ASN's top legislative priorities for 2007. Also,
Barbara has been appointed to a committee convened by the
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) that is considering the
issue of food marketing to children and how it may relate to
Melinda M. Manore (Professor,
Oregon State University) received a four-year USDA National
Need Graduate Fellowship Program Training Grant titled,
"Multidisciplinary Training in Nutrition and Physical
Activity." She will use it to train three doctoral students in
obesity prevention and related health problems.
Ted D. Adams (Cardiovascular
Genetics Research, University of Utah) is presenting a talk on
survival benefits of gastric bypass surgery during the
Minimally Invasive Surgery Symposium's (MISS) 7th Annual
Meeting in Snowbird, Utah February 19-24.
An Overweight Prevention
Initiative Forum was held in Seattle-King County with
Adam Drewnowski (Director of Center for Public Health
Nutrition and Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine,
University of Washington) as the co-organizer and Wendy
Johnson-Taylor from NIDDK as a speaker. The theme of the
forum focused on issues of healthy eating and active living in
vulnerable communities. The event's goal was to bring together
researchers and community groups to better adjust health
problems in public communities. On March 2nd in Seattle,
Poverty and Obesity Forum: Disparities in Diet and
Health will be held, with Adam Drewnowski,
Roland Sturm (Rand Corporation) and Laura
Streichert (University of Washington Exploratory Center
for Obesity Research) as the co-organizers. Leading
researchers will join health practitioners, clinicians,
community members, funders, and policy makers to address the
challenges of obesity and its disparities.
News from the Midwest
By Melissa Nelson
Thomas Inge, MD, PhD, associate professor of surgery
and pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical
Center and the University of Cincinnati, is leading a
pioneering multi-year, multi-center study on teens undergoing
weight loss surgery. Other steering committee members of this
Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (Teen-LABS)
study include Drs. Mac Harmon (Birmingham, AL),
Anita Courcoulas, (Pittsburgh, PA), Michael Helmrath
(Houston, TX), Judy Bean (Director, Data
Coordinating Center) and Mary Horlick, (Project
Scientist, NIDDK). Based at Cincinnati Children's, Teen-LABS
is the first and largest prospective study of adolescents who
choose bariatric surgery. It is the teenage version of LABS,
the nation's largest, most organized outcomes research study
on adults who undergo bariatric surgery. For more information,
News of New Orleans
Abstract submission period: March 14 - May 22,
Plan now to submit your research!
The Obesity Society's
2007 Annual Scientific
Ernest N. Morial
New Orleans, LA
Visit the Meeting
Home Page for details as they become available.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!
good times roll!)
Questions and comments about The Obesity Society's Web
site or newsletter? Please contact Nancy Olins or Karen Teff, PhD