September 2011

September 2011
The Obesity Society Newsletter
In This Issue
Register for Obesity 2011
Preconference Events at Obesity 2011
Obesity 2011 Transportation
Obesity Society's 2011 Grant Recipients
Obesity Society 2011-2012 Election Results!
Basic Science Newsbrief: Leptin Signaling and Breast Cancer in Obese, Post-Menopausal Women
TOS and Obesity in the News
This Month in Obesity
Medicare Proposes National Coverage Policy for Obesity Counseling
Advocacy Updates
OppNet, NIH's Basic Behavioral and Social Opportunity Network, Released a New RFA for Three-Year Research Projects
Walk it Out!

New Opportunity at Obesity 2011 


Get a Sneak Peek at New Translational Research Institute


Florida Hospital - Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute's Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes (TRI), will be offering Obesity 2011 attendees an exclusive open-house tour of this state-of-the-art facility before it opens in early 2012. 


The TRI, which focuses on the study of diabetes, obesity and the metabolic origins of cardiovascular disease, will house the latest technology to help scientists bridge the gap between the research lab and the patient's bedside.


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Dear Colleagues, 
 Jennifer LoveJoy Headshot
As I write my final newsletter as President of the Obesity Society, we are completing all the last-minute preparations for our 29th Annual Scientific Meeting in Orlando, FL. The scientific meeting is the foundation and showpiece of our Society and this year's program committee, led by Drs. Tim Church and Carey Lumeng, has done a truly outstanding job. If you have not already made plans to attend the meeting in Orlando, I encourage you to do so now. Check out the Advance Program online to see the exciting mix of basic, clinical, and population science that make our meeting the best place to see cutting-edge obesity research.


Looking back over the year, in addition to our stellar research program, we have also made some good progress on the other two arms of our strategic plan: Developing the Clinical Community and Advocacy. The current focus for developing the clinical community is our effort to establish a credentialing process for Obesity Medicine Physicians. Under the leadership of Dr. Bob Kushner, we have developed a strong multi-society steering committee dedicated to this effort. We are now in the third phase of the process - creation of an American Board of Obesity Medicine. Our goal is offering the first certification exam next fall. Of course, supporting this effort is our Education Committee and, particularly, our clinical education group, CORE. If you are a clinician and have not already attended one of the fantastic CORE training programs, I highly recommend you take advantage of the preconference CORE course in Orlando, where some of the most highly recognized clinicians in the obesity field will be teaching. 


It has certainly been a busy year for obesity advocacy. While the failure of a number of obesity drugs to move forward through the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been disappointing, just this past week there was some very positive news from Congress. In a report accompanying the fiscal year 2012 Agriculture/FDA appropriations bill, approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee Sept. 7, the panel "directs FDA to report by March 30, 2012 on the steps it will take to support the development of new treatments for obesity," noting that the lack of obesity drugs is "a significant unmet medical need," This victory is a result of months of hard work by members of our Advocacy Committee, led by Ted Kyle, our Treatment Options Task Force, and the Obesity Care Continuum, which consist of TOS, the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), and the American Dietetic Association (ADA). While there is still a long way to go in terms of making sure that obese patients  have access to the range of care they need, and that funding for obesity research remains a high priority, I am optimistic that we are on the right track.




Lastly, I want to offer my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to all the wonderful people who keep TOS running so well and who have made this past year such a good one for me: the Executive Committee and Council, all the Committee and Section chairs, our hard-working national office staff, and our Executive Director, Francesca Dea.  I hope you will join me at the Annual Meeting in welcoming our new President for 2011-2012, Dr. Pat O'Neil - I know the Society is in highly capable hands going forward.




 Jennifer Lovejoy Signature

Jennifer Lovejoy, PhD 


President, The Obesity Society

Still Time to Register for Obesity 2011!


There's still time to register for Obesity 2011, the largest and most-comprehensive program in the field of obesity research and treatment. Join your colleagues for five days of scientific and educational programming dedicated to the problem of obesity and its health consequences. You'll find details in the Advance Program and on our website


Register Online Today!


Preconference Courses at Obesity 2011


Sign Up for Comprehensive Obesity Society CME Courses on Saturday, October 1, 2011!



CORE Obesity Treatment and Prevention Course


CORE, an educational arm of The Obesity Society, will host a one-day pre-conference CME course on Saturday, October 1, 2011, to educate clinicians and allied health professionals in weight management.


Who Should Attend?CORE Logo

  • Clinicians-Allied Health Professionals
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Diabetes Educators
  • Physician Assistants
  • Dietitians
  • Nutritionists

Program Director

Daniel Bessesen, MD,

University of Colorado Health Science Center



David Allison, PhD

Professor, University Of Alabama At Birmingham

Caroline Apovian, MD

Director, Nutrition & Weight Management, Boston University School Of Medicine

Louis Aronne, MD

Clinical Professor of Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Timothy Church, MD, MPH, PhD

Professor, Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Christopher Gardner, PhD

Associate Professor, Stanford University

Suzanne Phelan, MD

Associate Professor, California Polytechnic State University

Melinda Sothern, PhD

Professor & Director, LSU Health Sciences Center

Christopher Still, DO

Director, Center for Nutrition and Weight Management, Geisinger Health System, Danville, PA




Steps for Maximizing Study Design in Obesity Prevention Research

This workshop will help attendees define systems that influence obesity levels and recognize approaches that use systems research to define obesity intervention targets. You'll learn how to list methods that result in improved study designs for obesity prevention interventions and how to propose preliminary studies that will promote the development of better interventions.


Who Should Attend? 

  • Researchers planning and conducting obesity intervention research
  • Health practitioners implementing obesity interventions
  • Representatives from agencies that fund obesity intervention research

Program Director:

June Stevens, PhD,
Chair of the Department of Nutrition, Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology, AICR/WCRF Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina, School of Public Health


Diane Finegood, PhD
Professor, Department of Biomedical Physiology & Kinesiology, Director, Chronic Disease Systems Modeling Lab
Leslie Lytle, PhD, RD
Professor, Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health
Daniel Almirall, PhD
Faculty Research Fellow at University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research



Body and Organ Fat Quantification-Advances in CT and MRI Techniques

This course provides participants with an overview of current and state-of-the-art imaging techniques for body and organ fat quantification. The course will emphasize technical and practical considerations associated with CT and MRI protocols, as well as the imaging analysis and post-processing procedures used to extract quantitative results. The goal is to provide investigators unfamiliar with imaging methods with introductory materials to survey and integrate CT and MRI into their obesity and body-composition studies. 


Program Directors:

Houchun Harry Hu, PhD

Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California.  

Mark Punyanitya, MS, MA 

Director, Image Reading Center, Columbia University, Biomedical Engineer at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, New York.  



Bret Goodpaster, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine, Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Physical Education, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism,University of Pittsburgh

Steven Heymsfield, MD

Super Chair in Nutrition, Executive Director

Pennington Biomedial Center

Wei Shen, MD

Associate Research Scientist Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University and a Research Associate The Obesity Research Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center  

 For more information, see Preconference Registration

Preconference Forums at Obesity 2011 


2011 Advocacy Forum - Translating Health Reform Into an Evidence-Based Approach to Obesity

Saturday, October 1, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM


Crystal Ballroom H

More than a year after the passage of health reform, the hard work of implementation is proving that the devil is truly in the details. Join us for a provocative forum with experts who are at the center of the complex work to bring an evidence-based approach to obesity in health policy.


Program Director:
Theodore Kyle, RPh, MBA

Chair, Advocacy Committee, The Obesity Society



Christine Ferguson, JD


Director, STOP Obesity Alliance

Jonathan Klein, MD, MPH

Associate Director, American Academy of Pediatrics

Maria Caprigno

Student and Patient Advocate

Donna Ryan, MD

Immediate Past-President, The Obesity Society

Geraldine Henchy, MPH, RD

Director of Nutrition Policy, Food Research and Action Center

Barbara Thompson, MLS

President, Obesity Action Coalition




Food Industry Outreach - Strategies the Food Industry Is Using to Address Obesity

Saturday, October 1, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Canary 3-4


The food industry is exploring and even utilizing a range of strategies to address today's critical obesity epidemic, including the reduction of energy density in foods and portion control. These strategies encompass both innovation and new product introductions as well as renovation of existing food products. Each necessitates a foundation of significant scientific research, as well as market research, to understand health and consumer realities. This workshop will offer case studies of what is required of industry to move towards a healthier food supply.



Barbara Rolls, PhD

Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Pennsylvania State University

Gary Foster, PhD

Director, Center for Obesity Research and Education; Professor, Medicine and Public Health, Temple University 





Mark Andon, PhD

Vice President of Nutrition, ConAgra Foods

Douglas Balentine, PhD

Director Nutrition Science, Unilever North America

Richard Black, PhD

VP Nutrition, Kraft Foods Global




2011 Pharmacotherapy Update
Saturday, October 1, 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM




Expert discussion on the latest obesity drug treatments and devices. Discover which are in a clinical trial or before the FDA and how obesity drug treatments have fared over the past year.



Program Director:

Kenneth Fujioka, MD

Director, Nutrition & Metabolic Research Center, Scripps Clinic

Hassan M. Heshmati, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Gelesis, Inc.
Keith Gersin, MD
Chief Medical Officer, GI Dynamics
John F. McElroy, PhD
President and Chief Scientific Officer, Jenrin Discovery, Inc.
Thomas E. Hughes, PhD
President & Chief Executive Officer, Zafgen, Inc.
Marie Lindegaard, MD, DMSc
Senior Global Medical Advisor, Novo Nordisk






Obesity 2011 Transportation

$4.00 Discount on Mears Motor Shuttle From Orlando Airport

to World Center Marriott


The Obesity Society has partnered with Mears Transportation to extend a $4.00 discount off of ROUND TRIP shuttle service to/from the Orlando World Center Marriott to get to Obesity 2011. Upon your arrival at the Orlando International Airport, please proceed to one of the Mears Motor Shuttle ticket counters and present your coupon or your reservation number to the Mears Counter Attendant. 

Click here to download your coupon (PDF) 
Click here to make your reservations online

Obesity Society's 2011 Grant Recipients  


Nutrisystem, Inc. Research Grant


Nutrisystem, Inc. is a leading provider of structured meal programs for weight loss and weight maintenance in the US and Canada.  The company is pleased to announce the recipient of its second annual grant opportunity through The Obesity Society, for investigators interested in performing a clinical study using one of its Nutrisystem® Weight Management Programs. An award of $25,000 is given to the recipient for a one-year pilot study.


Heather Vincent

Heather K. Vincent, PhD

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

Title: Hypocaloric Diet Prior to Total Knee Replacement in the Obese Patient

Collaborators: Richard Vlasak, MD; Peter Gearen, MD; MaryBeth Horodyski, EdD; Kevin R. Vincent, MD, PhD



Early-Career Research Grants


This program fund studies proposed by new investigators who have completed their doctorates (or residency training) within the past five years. Awards of $25,000 each is given to the recipients for a one-year pilot study.





Kathryn E. Demos, PhD

Brown University/The Miriam Hospital

Providence, RI

Title: The Effects of Cognitive Regulation Strategies on Neural Food Cue-Reactivity

Co-Investigator: Rena R. Wing, PhD



Daniel L. Smith, Jr., PhD

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham, AL

Title: Reduced Ambient Temperature as a Confounding Agent in Obesity Drug Discovery


Obesity Society 2011-2012 Election Results!

The following were elected by the members of The Obesity Society for Council and the Nominating Committee.  Congratulations to all! Thanks to all the candidates who participated in the election, your willingness to serve is greatly appreciated.  






Vice President

Steven R. Smith, MD

 Steve Smith 



Dale A. Schoeller, PhD


 Dale S.


Clinical Care Councilor

Denise E. Wilfley, PhD



At-Large Councilor

Melissa N. Laska, PhD, RD


 Melissa Laska

                                                      At-Large Mexico Councilor

                                            Margarita Teran-Garcia, MD, PhD



Nominating Committee 

Jacqueline Stephens, PhD


Basic Science Newsbrief 


How Does Obesity Amplify the Risks of Certain Cancers?

by: Gerald V. Denis


Cancer is among the serious diseases associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome. Initially, epidemiological work established that elevated BMI is associated with an increased risk of cancer mortality; although, the relative risk has been observed to vary by type of cancer, with strong associations for colorectal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), renal, endometrial and post-meno-pausal breast cancer. The relationship does not hold for all malignancies. Pre-menopausal breast cancer and prostate cancer appear to be among the exceptions and the jury is still out on ovarian and pancreatic cancer. It has been proposed that the molecular pathways involved include elevated insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 and leptin signaling through Stat3, which govern important growth-regulatory and cytokine signaling networks; increased levels of sex steroid hormones or pro-inflammatory cytokines; and reduced levels of adiponectin, interleukin-10 and other anti-inflammatory cytokines.


Read the Newsbrief

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


Outlook on Obesity is Pretty Grim; U.S. Rate Could Hit 50% by 2030


Americans are on Path to More Obesity


The Growing Problem of Growing Stomachs


Curbing Childhood Obesity 


Obesity Linked to Cognition


Obesity Costs Some States $15 Billion Per Year


Dieting Women May Lose Bone Mass That Doesn't Return


First in Print: Limit Your Intake of High-Fructose Corn Syrup


Bias Against Obese People Increasing, Study Says

This Month In Obesity


Featured articles in Obesity this month include:September Journal Cover



Read These Top-Cited Obesity Articles From 2010 


Microbiota and SCFA in Lean and Overweight Healthy Subjects


Interaction of Leptin and Amylin in the Long-term Maintenance of Weight Loss in Diet-induced Obese Rats


BMI and Mortality: Results From a National Longitudinal Study of Canadian Adults


Subcutaneous and Visceral Adipose Tissue Gene Expression of Serum Adipokines That Predict Type 2 Diabetes


Eleven-year Prevalence Trends of Obesity in Greek Children: First Evidence that Prevalence of Obesity Is Leveling Off



Medicare Proposes National Coverage Policy for Obesity Counseling


On August 31, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a National Coverage Decision (NCD) memorandum regarding intensive behavioral counseling for Medicare beneficiaries affected by obesity. At press time, TOS was still reviewing the full NCD memorandum. Following are the basic coverage guidelines outlined in the August 31 NCD:


Intensive behavioral therapy for obesity consists of the following:


  1. Screening for obesity in adults using measurement of BMI calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters (expressed in kg/m2);
  2. Dietary (nutritional) assessment; and
  3. Intensive behavioral counseling and behavioral therapy to promote sustained weight loss through high intensity interventions on diet and exercise.


The intensive behavioral intervention for obesity should be consistent with the 5-A framework that has been highlighted by the USPSTF:

  • Assess: Ask about/assess behavioral health risk(s) and factors affecting choice of behavior change goals/methods.
  • Advise: Give clear, specific, and personalized behavior change advice, including information about personal health harms and benefits.
  • Agree: Collaboratively select appropriate treatment goals and methods based on the patient's interest in and willingness to change the behavior.
  • Assist: Using behavior change techniques (self-help and/or counseling), aid the patient in achieving agreed-upon goals by acquiring the skills, confidence, and social/environmental supports for behavior change, supplemented with adjunctive
  • medical treatments when appropriate.
  • Arrange: Schedule follow-up contacts (in person or by telephone) to provide ongoing assistance/support and to adjust the treatment plan as needed, including referral to more intensive or specialized treatment.


For Medicare beneficiaries with obesity, who are competent and alert at the time that counseling is provided and whose counseling is furnished by a qualified primary care physician or other primary care practitioner and in a primary care setting, CMS proposes to cover:


  • One face to face visit every week for the first month;
  • One face to face visit every other week for months 2-6;
  • One face to face visit every month for months 7-12.


At the six-month visit, a reassessment of obesity and a determination of the amount of weight loss should be performed. To be eligible for additional face to face visits occurring once a month for an additional six months, beneficiaries must have achieved a reduction in weight of at least 3kg over the course of the first six months of intensive therapy. This determination must be documented in the physician office records for applicable beneficiaries consistent with usual practice.


Advocacy Updates 


Hawaii Senators Lead Charge for Health and Human Services  Covering Obesity as Essential Benefit


United States Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Daniel Akaka (D-HI) have taken the lead in asking their fellow Senate Colleagues to join them in sending a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urging her to "better standardize access to obesity treatment services through HHS establishing a comprehensive definition of "preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management" services within the essential health benefits (EHB) package under the new health care reform law to include the full continuum of medically necessary interventions, including behavioral, nutritional, pharmaceutical, psychosocial and surgical, to treat those affected by obesity."


TOS urges you to access the Obesity Action Coalition's (OAC) Legislative Action Center at to send a pre-drafted message to your United States Senators urging them to sign the Akaka/Inouye letter to HHS Secretary Sebelius.


55 House Members Sign Towns Letter Supporting Obesity Treatment


In July, Representative Edolphus Towns (D-NY) spearheaded the House version of the above letter, which was signed by 55 House members. The strong support for the Towns letter resulted from over 500 advocates sending more than 1,500 email messages to Capitol Hill -- urging their legislators to support the Towns letter.



TOS Spearheads Obesity Care Continuum Letter to FDA


On August 31, 2011, the Obesity Care Continuum (OCC) sent a strong letter to The US Food and Drug Association (FDA) regarding the OCC's continuing concern over the agency's reluctance to approve any new obesity drugs - no matter how strict the indicated patient criteria.


In an effort to assist the FDA, the OCC highlighted what it believes to be the appropriate patient profile for prescribing drugs for weight loss. Specifically, the Continuum discussed who is at greatest risk for side effects and what is the best way to assure that the appropriate patient is prescribed obesity medications in an appropriate way. In closing, the member groups of the OCC urged the FDA to take positive action -- stressing that "in the face of an epidemic of overweight and obesity and the health risks that are associated, it is imperative that physicians have access to medications to help their patients."


HHS Proposed Regulations Suggest Excluding Coverage for Bariatric Surgery and Weight Loss Programs


On August 17, 2011, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in conjunction with the Treasury and Labor Departments, issued proposed regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to implement the disclosure for group health plans and health insurance issuers of the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) and the uniform glossary. This document proposes a template for an SBC; instructions, sample language, and a guide for coverage examples calculations to be used in completing the template; and a uniform glossary that would satisfy the disclosure requirements under Section 2715 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act.


The Obesity Care Continuum (OCC) is deeply concerned regarding the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) document, which HHS included in the aforementioned proposed regulations because this document specifically enumerates "bariatric surgery" and "weight loss programs" under the "excluded services" section on page 4 of the sample SBC. 




 The OCC will be issuing a special Health Policy Alert during September regarding these proposed regulations and a strategic plan to oppose this specific aspect of the HHS proposed Summary of Benefits and Coverage document. 

OppNet, NIH's Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network, Releases New RFA For Three-Year Research Projects


Basic Research on Decision Making: Cognitive, Affective, and Developmental Perspectives (R01)


This OppNet Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages research grant applications that propose to increase understanding of the basic cognitive, affective, motivational, and social processes that underlie decision making across the lifespan.  This includes an appreciation of the interactions among the psychological, neurobiological, and behavioral processes in decision making.  It also includes consideration of the mediating and/or moderating influences of,

  • Culture
  • Genetics,
  • Physiology, and,
  • Social environment.


The decision sciences have produced a rich literature in some of these areas; nevertheless, certain topics are only beginning to be addressed.  Understudied areas include and are not limited to,

  • Changes over the lifespan in physiological and psychological processes integral to decision making.
  • Interactions of cognition and emotion.
  • Behavioral economics and neuroeconomics.


Complete funding opportunity (RFA-MH-12-130)

Learn more about OppNet

Walk it Out!

Walk for Childhood Obesity on Day 1 of Obesity 2011 in Orlando


RYSE Magazine & The City of Orlando invite Obesity 2011 attendees to attend their 1st Annual 'Walk it Out' 5k Walk/Run & Zumbathon Fundraiser on October 1, 2011. This event in an effort to bring awareness to childhood obesity & juvenile diabetes.


Event Location

Harbor Park in Baldwin Park located at:

4990 New Broad St. Orlando, FL 32814

Registration Starts at: 7:00 am

Walk/Run Begins at: 8:00 am


Walk it Out Kit  

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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Suite 1320
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
301-563-6526 phone
301-563-6595 fax


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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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