April 2011

In this issue...
Obesity Community Opens Dialog With FDA
Member Honors
FDA Expands Use of Banding System for Weight Loss
2010 Gallup-Healthways Obesity Rates for States
TOS and Obesity In The News
Early-Bird Rate Extended for CORE May Meeting
NCCOR Launches Surveillance Resource
This Month in Obesity
Basic Science Newsbrief
Government Role in Reducing Childhood Obesity

The Obesity Society Newsletter

April 2011
Dear (Contact First Name),Jennifer Lovejoy-Headshot
In late March, senior members of TOS and representatives from the obesity community, including OAC, ASMBS and ADA held an important meeting with the Director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Janet Woodcock, MD to discuss the way in which obesity drugs are reviewed and approved by the FDA. The team's report follows, but I'm pleased that we were able to secure a meeting and address the issue at such a high level and look forward to a continuing fruitful dialogue with the FDA and the obesity community.
In conference news, online registration is scheduled to begin April 11, 2011 and the Advance Program should be available online the same day. You'll be able to find both on the TOS website at: www.obesity.org/obesity2011. The Abstract Submission Site has now closed. Almost 900 abstracts were submitted for review and the program committee has begun its review process.This is a great begining for the content of the scientific and educational program.
This month, we bring you another article in the Basic Science Newsbrief series. Authored by Dr. Gerald Denis, the article discusses The Molecular Origins of Brown Fat. 
For those of you looking for obesity training or to brush up on what's new in obesity treatment and prevention, there is still time to sign up for the CORE May meeting in San Francisco. The early-bird rate was recently extended through April 22nd. See details below.
Finally, but definitely not least, some Member News. I'd like to congratulate Dr. David Allison on his appointment as Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biostatics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. You'll find details below. I encourage you to share your member news with the newsletter. I'm sure everyone at TOS would like to hear news about their colleagues and their achievements.



 Jennifer Lovejoy Signature

Jennifer Lovejoy, PhD
President, The Obesity Society


Candadian Obesity Summit
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Upcoming Events

International Congress of Enhancement of Physical Activity of Children And Youth (ICEPA 2011)

April 7-9, 2011

Vuokatti, Finland

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35th National Nutrient Databank Conference

April 8, 2011

Washington, DC

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Experimental Biology 2011

April 9-13

Washington, DC

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American Association of Diabetes Educators: Core Concepts: The Art & Science of Diabetes Education

April 12-14, 2011

Chicago, IL

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32nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM)

April 27-30, 2011

Washington, DC

View Event

Obesity Community Opens Dialogue With FDA Over Agency Process for Approving New Obesity Drugs

March 22, 2011, The Obesity Society (TOS) joined with other members of the obesity community, including the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), and the American Dietetic Association (ADA), in meeting with Food & Drug Administration (FDA) officials to discuss recent FDA activity concerning review and approval of current and pending drugs to treat obesity.


The results of the meeting were generally positive with FDA officials acknowledging the scope of the obesity epidemic and the need for safe and effective treatment tools to bridge the gap between lifestyle interventions and surgery. TOS believes the meeting marks the opening of a constructive dialogue between the agency and the obesity community toward filling this treatment void.


TOS was represented by Past Presidents, Donna Ryan, MD and Lou Aronne, MD, and President-Elect, Pat O'Neil, PhD. The TOS contingent was rounded out by Advocacy Chair, Ted Kyle, and Executive Director, Francesca Dea. The FDA was represented by Janet Woodcock, MD, Director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), and members of her staff, including Robert Temple, MD, Deputy Center Director for Clinical Sciences, John Jenkins, MD, Director of New Drugs, Curt Rosenbraugh, MD, Director, Office of Drug Evaluation Obesity and Mary Parks, MD, Director, Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology.


During the meeting, the four groups walked FDA staff through an extensive agenda regarding areas where the obesity community believes the FDA can do better such as: composition of expert review panels; more consistent drug approval standards and guidance; and a better recognition that obesity is a chronic disease that needs a chronic treatment approach. Moving forward, the obesity community is looking forward to additional future meetings with FDA to ensure that the aforementioned areas are addressed.

Read the Press Release

David Allison Member Honors

TOS has great pleasure in announcing that David B. Allison, PhD has has been appointed a Distinguished Professor, one of the university's highest honors, by the Board of Trustees at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Allison has received many awards over the years; he was awarded the TOPS Research Achievement Award in 2009, and  the 2002 Lilly Scientific Achievement Award from TOS.
To read more about Dr. Allison's Appointment.
FDA Expands Use of Banding System for Weight Loss 

The US Food and Drug Administration has expanded the use of Allergan's LAP-BAND Adjustable Gastric Banding System, a device implanted around the upper part of the stomach to limit the amount of food that can be eaten at one time.


The February 16, 2011, approval expands the use of the LAP-BAND to include obese individuals with a BMI of 30 to 34 who also have an existing condition related to their obesity.


The FDA approved the LAP-BAND in 2001 for use in severely obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40, those with a BMI of at least 35 and who also have an existing severe condition related to their obesity, such as heart disease or diabetes, or those who are at least 100 pounds overweight. BMI is a general measure of body fat based on an individual's weight and height.


Read the full News Release

2010 Gallup-Healthways Obesity Rates for States

Colorado, Hawaii, and Utah had the lowest obesity levels in the United States in 2010, although at least 2 in 10 adults were obese in each of these states. West Virginia, Mississippi, and Kentucky had the highest obesity rates, with more than 3 in 10 obese residents living in these states. The prevalence of obesity is nearly eight percentage points higher, on average, in the 11 states with the highest obesity levels compared with the 10 states with the lowest obesity levels -- 30.5% vs. 22.6%, respectively.
Gallup also has rates for diabetes, frequency of exercise and frequency of eating fruits and vegetables by state in their interactive map.


View the map

TOS and Obesity in the News

Here is a round-up of press articles that refer to The Obesity Society and its members or to topics relating to obesity in general. Please note that all external links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement by The Obesity Society.  

Obesity in the News

Better than a BMI? New obesity scale proposed

Body Adiposity Index to Replace Body Mass Index

Potential Mechanisms for Future Anti-Obesity Drugs Identified, University of Pennsylvania Study

Weight-loss surgery safe for less obese patients

Binge Eaters' Dopomaine Levels Spike at Sight, Smell of Food

Excess weight doesn't always equal health risks: experts 

Can You Lose Weight on Stairs 

Early-Bird Rate Extended for Contemporary Forums ButtonCORE 7th Annual Conference: May 4-6, 2011


There is still time to sign up for the CORE 7th Annual Obesity Treatment & Prevention conference May 4-6, 2011, presented in affiliation with The Obesity Society and The Centers for Obesity Research and Education (CORE). the early-bird rate will be extended until April 22nd, 2011.

This conference will focus on the skills and practical strategies you need to help your overweight and obese patients lose weight and improve their lifestyles to maintain successful weight loss.


Who Should Attend:  

Clinicians and dietitians working in primary care settings and anyone else who wants to make a difference in the health of their overweight and obese patients.


Featured Speakers Include:

- James O. Hill, PhD
- Holly Wyatt, MD
- George Blackburn, MD, PhD
- George Bray, MD
- Daniel Bessesen, MD
- F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD
- Thomas Robinson, MD, MPH


Key Topics Include:

- Pediatric Obesity

- Strategies for Increasing Physical Activity

- Progress and Challenges in Obesity Care

- Pharmacotherapy for Obesity Treatment

- Bariatric Surgery Update

- Starting an Obesity Practice

- Engaging Families in More Activity and Healthier Eating

- Controversies in Metabolism and Weight Loss Success

- Behavior Change Strategies



For conference details and to register, visit the meeting website at:


 National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research launches Surveillance Resource
The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR; a partnership between CDC, NIH, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and USDA) recently released the Catalogue of Surveillance Systems (www.nccor.org/css). This is a free online tool providing access to data resources relevant to obesity research. 
Read the Press Release  


Obesity April 2011


Featured Articles in Obesity This Month Include:




Markers of atrial fibrillation development increased in obese subjects



Brain activity changes with obesity  



Stress effects on adipocyte morphology



-JP Flatt


Basic Science Newsbrief


Molecular Origins of Brown Fat 

Gerald V. Denis

Dietary energy can be converted to lipid stores or to heat. However, this simple view of white adipose tissue (storage) or brown adipose tissue (heat) belies the complexity of the transcriptional and metabolic networks that govern this process. In obesity, brown adipose tissue (BAT) is an intensely studied organ because its high metabolic activity offers solutions to the many problems of excess storage: the plethora of metabolic dysfunctions that arise in obese, insulin resistant states. 


Read more about the Molecular Origins of Brown Fat


Should the Government Play a Significant Role in Reducing Childhood Obesity?


The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press conducted a national survey February 22 to March 1, 2011. The subject of the survey which went out to 1,504 adults nationwide was whether the government should have a role in the fight against childhood obesity.


Interestingly, almost 60% of those surveyed  said that it should.


In a recent Op.Ed. piece published in the New York Times, columnist Charles Blow points out that this is a change from a Harvard School of Public Health survey conducted in 2005, which reached quite the opposite conclusion.


Read the New York Times article

Go to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Survey

About Us


The Obesity Society extends special thanks and appreciation to all our sponsors who continue to support us in our mission.



The Obesity Society
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(Please note: External Links are provided as a courtesy. The Obesity Society is not responsible for the content on sites accessed through external links.)

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