December 2010

December 2010
The Obesity Society Newsletter
In This Issue
Anti-Obesity Drugs: To Be or Not?
Obesity Surgery May Become Option for Many More
Now Available! Obesity 2010 Photos and Videos
Ethan Sims 1916-2010
TOS Advocacy Task Force Member Stephen Cook Meets With New York Federal and State Policy Leaders
This Just In
Obesity Community Meets With the Insitute of Medicine
This Month in Obesity
TOS and Obesity in The News
Reshaping the Conversation on Health and Weight
The Obesity Society National Office Has Moved!
Quick Links

Jennifer Love Joy Headshot

Dear Tos Members and Supporters,


As 2010 comes to a close, I am reminded of some of the most significant accomplishments and developments in obesity over the past year.


In the whirlwind of heathcare reform, there is now a heightened awareness of obesity, of the work you all do, and the role of the Society. 

  • During the past year, our representatives met with congressional leaders and the First Lady's advisory team on childhood obesity. Below, you'll see news of another Rolling Advocacy visit to Washington, DC.
  • Despite earlier rejections of two other weight-loss drugs, Qnexa® and lorcaserin, and the removal from the market of Meridia® from the market, there was positive news when the FDA panel that met December 7, 2010 voted to recommend the weight-loss drug Contrave for approval. You'll find more details of these events below in the newsletter.
  • Another article follows on the possibility that laparoscopic gastric band procedures may become available for patients who are less heavy.
  • We had another successful conference with Obesity 2010. As we begin work on Obesity 2011, I urge you all to get the word out to colleagues who may not be aware of the benefits of our annual meeting and of TOS membership.
  • Other encouraging news includes the passing of the Child Nutrition Bill and the announcement of the Healthy People 2020 objectives.

Sadly, we also inform you of the passing of Ethan Sims at the age of 93. Dr. Sims meant so much to the field of obesity research and his distinguished career is honored through our Ethan Sims Young Investigator Award annually.


Finally, I encourage you to take a look at the photos taken at Obesity 2010. You'll find the links below and on our website at:


Happy Holidays!

Jennifer Lovejoy Signature


Jennifer Lovejoy, PhD

President, The Obesity Society

Anti-Obesity Drugs: To Be or Not?   


Over the past four months, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Endocrine and Metabolic Advisory Committee (EMDEC) met three times to evaluate antiobesity drugs. Two of those meetings were held to decide whether two new agents - phentermine/topiramate (Qnexa®), and lorcaserin (Lorqess®) should be approved and the third was to evaluate whether sibutramine (Meridia®) should remain on the US market. 


Click here to continue reading this editorial from the December issue of Obesity.

Obesity Surgery May Become Option for Many More  

Weight-loss surgery, once a last resort for extremely overweight people, may soon become an option for those who are less heavy.


An advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration will consider on Friday a request by Allergan, the pharmaceutical company, to significantly lower how obese someone must be to qualify for surgery using the company's Lap-Band® device, which restricts intake to the stomach.


Click here to continue reading this article from the New York Times.

Now Available!

Obesity 2010 Photos and Testimonial


Visit our website to view photos from Obesity 2010-speakers, social events, testimonials, and more.


Obesity 2010 Photos

Obesity 2010 Testimonial

                               Ethan Sims 1916-2010Ethan Sims

Ethan A. H. Sims, internationally renowned for his work in diabetes  

and obesity, and a direct descendant of Green Mountain Boys leader, Ethan Allen, died Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at his home in Wake Robin, Shelburne, VT. Dr. Sims received a BA from Harvard College and his MD from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He joined the University of Vermont's College of Medicine in 1950 and spent the remainder of his academic career there, becoming Professor of Medicine Emeritus. In 1991, the University of Vermont named its metabolic research center the Sims Obesity/Nutrition Research Center in his honor.


Dr. Sims is known for coining the term "diabesity," describing the result of genes interacting with other genes and environmental factors to produce obesity-induced type 2 diabetes.


Among the many honors he has received for his extensive contributions to clinical research was the creation of the Ethan Sims Clinical Research Feasibility Fund Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Obesity Society has honored Sims with The Ethan Sims Young Investigator Award, which recognizes excellence in research by young investigators based on their submitted abstracts and presentation during The Obesity Society's Annual Meeting.


Burlington Free Press Article

TOS Advocacy Task Force Member Stephen Cook Visits Washington, DC to Meet With New York Federal and State Policy Leaders

On Friday, November 5, Dr. Stephen Cook participated in the second rolling advocacy day on Capitol Hill for members of TOS' s leadership and Advocacy Task Force. During the day, Dr. Cook met with key health staff in the offices of both New York Senators, Charles (Chuck) Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. In addition to reaching out to the New York Congressional Delegation, Dr. Cook also dropped by New York Governor John Patterson's Washington, DC office.


These rolling advocacy days will introduce legislators and their staff to the leading advocates for TOS from around the country - working to establish TOS as the primary resource for Congress on research issues related to prevention and treatment of obesity. Through these efforts, TOS is also putting Congress on notice about the society's coordinated activities with the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) to increase public awareness about weight bias and the negative consequences it can have for those affected.


In addition to highlighting the above pillars of the society's advocacy platform, Dr. Cook also educated Hill staff about one of TOS's major goals during the implementation phase of healthcare reform surrounding the new state-based health exchange plans. TOS is working with its partners in the obesity community and other groups who are affected by obesity to ensure that the Department of Health and Human Services includes comprehensive obesity treatment services under the  "preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management" section of the Essential Health Benefits Package within all certified health exchange plans.


For more information as to how you can help persuade stakeholder groups to support this effort, please contact TOS Washington policy consultant Chris Gallagher at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 This Just In....December Highlights
-The Senate passed the Child Nutrition Bill: Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act on Thursday December 2, 2010. Click here to learn more about the bill.

-The HHS just announced Healthy People 2020. Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For more infomation on the goals of Healthy People 2020 click here.

Obesity Community Meets With the Institute of Medicine

On December 2, 2010, TOS Advocacy Task Force Chair Ted Kyle joined with leaders from the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) in meeting with key Institute of Medicine (IOM) staff regarding structural issues involved with establishing the essential benefit package for the new state-based health plan exchanges being developed under healthcare reform.


The IOM issued a request for public comment during November about a study that the Institute is undertaking, which will make recommendations on the criteria and methods for determining and updating the essential health benefits package. While the IOM will not be defining specific service elements of the benefit package, the IOM will be reviewing how insurers determine covered benefits and medical necessity. Additionally, the IOM will offer advice on criteria and a process for periodically reviewing and updating the benefits package.


During the meeting, TOS, OAC and ASMBS educated IOM staff on how treatment for those affected by obesity is often held to a different standard than treatments for other disease states - especially when evaluating medical necessity. At press time, TOS was still finalizing its formal comments for IOM's consensus study on essential benefits.


December 2010

  Journal Cover-December 2010

Featured Articles in Obesity This Month Include:


Integrative Physiology

CB1 antagonist acts on macrophages in fat 


Integrative Physiology

RQ predicts fat mass gain 


Intervention and Prevention

Adiponectin tracks metabolic improvement with weight loss in children 




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

Research Supports Potatoes' Roles in Weight Loss


Editorial: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care


A Sweet Story Gone Sour


The Benefits of Weight Loss in Diabetes


Relationship Observed Between Cord Blood Vitamin D and Child's Adiponectin Levels


Study of Internet-Based Weight Maintenance Yields Mixed Results

Reshaping the Conversation on Health and Weight:

Recommendations Based on the Expert Panel Convened by the National Eating Disorders Association and Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance


The media is working to embrace more realistic images in the pages of magazines and become more knowledgeable about what is - and what is not - healthy weight and healthy weight loss. 


However, according to a panel of experts assembled earlier this year, there is more to do to ensure that the media delivers an accurate, realistic and consistent message about weight and weight loss.  Change will not be easy they said, but steps can be taken to reshape the conversation about weight, weight loss and body image. 


This brief paper provides background on the panel and its effort to identify objectives aimed at improved communications on health and weight; and it outlines the resulting consensus-based recommendations.


To continue reading click here

The Obesity Society National Office Has Moved!


The national office and staff moved to new facility on December 1, 2010. However, we are still in Silver Spring, Maryland and our phone number and emails remain the same.


Our New Address:

8757 Georgia Avenue

Suite 1320

Silver Spring, MD 20910


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

8757 Georgia Avenue

Suite 1320

Silver Spring, Maryland 20910

301-563-6526 phone

301-563-6595 fax

If you have questions or information for potential inclusion in the newsletter, please let us know:


Jane Pratt, Director of Communications

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Abby Finestine, Communications Manager
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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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