1. Introduction

In order to ensure the highest standards and professionalism in achieving our mission, The Obesity Society (TOS) has established a Code of Ethics for our members. The intent of this Code is to ensure a culture of transparency, integrity, fairness, trust, and respect. As a professional organization, we expect that all TOS members embrace this Code and the shared responsibility for adhering to established standards of behavior, thereby protecting the reputation and status of both the Society and our members. Each TOS member must indicate his or her agreement to adhere to this Code on an annual basis at the time of membership renewal.

  1. Mission Statement

The Code of Ethics is grounded in TOS Mission Statement: To advance the science-based understanding of the causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment of obesity in order to improve the lives of those affected. This mission is best achieved when members adhere to our Guiding Ethical Principles.

  1. Guiding Ethical Principles

The following points summarize the Guiding Ethical Principles for TOS members:

  • Proactively promote ethical behavior in all professional activities.
  • Deal equitably and transparently with all colleagues, including all TOS members and staff, our collaborating and other peer organizations and their members, and our vendors and suppliers and other collaborators.
  • Provide all colleagues, patients, and the public with information that is accurate, objective, relevant, timely, and understandable.
  • Treat people with obesity with respect and dignity in all professional interactions and practices.
  • Conduct all TOS programs and activities without regard to race, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, body weight, or other non-merit criteria.
  • Comply with all applicable government laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of information (including intellectual property) entrusted to them by TOS or its partners, except when authorized or otherwise legally obligated to disclose.
  • Be honest and ethical in all professional conduct (including handling of actual or apparent conflicts of interest between personal and professional relationships).
  • Protect and ensure the proper use of TOS assets (including cash, equipment, resources and records).
  • Avert, correct and prevent inappropriate financial influence or control over the Society’s business practices, interference with audits, or other external related financial or professional activities.
  • Be responsible for preventing, detecting and reporting all manners of fraud (see below).

Fraud is defined as any intentional act or omission designed to deceive others, resulting in the victim suffering a loss and/or the perpetrator achieving a gain.  TOS will not condone fraud at any level, making it the responsibility of all members to prevent, detect, and report suspected fraud.

Revised 4.30.19