The International Association for the Study of Obesity Newsletter

October 2012




Welcome to IASO's October Newsletter. We have had lot's of developments and exciting news to share with you, please see our highlights below:   


  • IASO meets with members at The Obesity Society's Congress and at the Congress of the Federation of Latin America Societies of Obesity;    
  • New advocacy and policy officer at IASO; 
  • Registration is open for SCOPE School Delhi 2012;   
  • STOCK Conferences 2013 are announced;        
  • Updates on data in Bulgaria, Burundi, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Scotland and Wales
    available from our Obesity Data Portal;    
  • IASO report finds excessive junk food marketing to children in Europe; 
  • IASO supports Norway's proposals to regulate advertising of foods to children;  
  • SPOTLIGHT - a new European obesity research project; 
  • IASO responds to WHO consultation on NCDs;     
  • The Energy project is presented at the EU Platform on Diet and Health;
  • Download the latest papers from our leading journals; 
  • Latest articles of Obesity in the News. 


News from IASO's Executive Director

Chris September was a busy month for IASO, with the successful SCOPE School in Cambridge (click here for a delegate's eye-view of the course), attending and exhibiting at The Obesity Society's Congress in San Antonio and attending the Congress of the Federation of Latin American Societies of Obesity in the Dominican Republic. All of these events offered fantastic opportunities to meet individuals who are members of IASO via their National Association and talk about the new modules that have been launched in the SCOPE e-learning course and about the events that IASO will be running next year. Keep your eye on our events page for up-to-date information as it becomes available.



We would like to welcome Hannah Brinsden to the IASO team. Hannah's main tasks will be to support IASO's advocacy and policy work, while also studying for a PhD in food policy advocacy.


Hannah has previously worked at CASH - Consensus Action on Salt and Health - a UK-based group campaigning to improve public health through dietary sodium reduction.


Watch out for messages from Hannah asking you what services and support you would like to help you promote local advocacy and educational activities. Contact Hannah Brinsden on hbrinsden@iaso.org.


Next month you can expect a bumper issue of the Newsletter where we will update you on all the projects we have been working on this year and how they are increasing the benefits available to members of IASO.  


Thank you for your support. 

Chris Signature  

Chris Trimmer

Executive Director 

IASO Events


Missed out on SCOPE School Cambridge? IASO is running its first ever SCOPE School in India! This three day workshop will take place at the Hilton Janak Puri, Delhi from Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th November 2012. Members of the All India Association for Advancing Research in Obesity (AIAARO) are eligible for an IASO member discount. For more information please view the provisional programme.  



SCOPE is IASO's official obesity education programme, designed for all health professionals.By attending this conference you will earn points towards attaining SCOPE accreditation. SCOPE (the Specialist Certification of Obesity Professional Education) is the internationally recognised standard of professional expertise in obesity and its related comorbidities.  





We are also very pleased to announce that two Stock Conferences have been scheduled for the autumn of 2013. The first, entitled "Functional body composition and related aspects in research on obesity and cachexia" will be co-chaired by Manfred M�ller (Germany) and Steve Heymsfield (USA). The second on "Metabolically healthy and unhealthy obese" will be co-chaired by Eric Ravussin and Sam Klein (USA). Each will have 8-10 additional experts from around the world. Precise dates and locations are yet to be arranged. These are unique conferences with the majority of time spent on discussion rather than formal presentation and a limit on the number of attendees to around 40 people to promote these intense discussions. We expect to be able to publish a draft programme with dates and locations before the end of the year in this Newsletter and on the IASO website so keep an eye out for this if the topics are of interest to you.



For more information on any of our events please contact the events team - events@iaso.org 


Obesity Data Portal 

This month we have updates on data in Bulgaria, Burundi, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Scotland and Wales. To view these new updates and explore other resources that are now available please visit our obesity data portal page.

Member request for data analysis...

This month our request relates to obesity trends in Mexico. The two charts present combined overweight and obesity (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m�) and obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m�) prevalence in Mexican adults over time. Please note the surveys are not directly comparable as the 1992 survey is a subnational urban survey. The surveys in 2000 and 2006 are national surveys. View the page here.


IASO report finds excessive junk food marketing to children in Europe 

A new IASO report into the marketing of food and beverages to children in Europe finds little progress has been made by companies under their voluntary self-regulation, with only a 29% reduction in children's exposure to fatty and sugary products.


"The food and beverage companies were told in 2004 by the then European Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou that they must cut their advertising significantly or face regulation" said IASO Policy Director, Tim Lobstein. "The companies' response has been inadequate. The companies were allowed to set their own nutrition criteria on what they considered suitable for marketing to children, but they could not agree. As a result we have a rag-bag of schemes which each company uses to its own advantage. No-one understands them all and no-one can monitor them effectively."


The report highlights over 30 examples of fatty and sugary foods which are considered unhealthy according to government-led criteria in several countries, but which are deemed healthy by the manufacturers and can continue to be advertised.


"We believe self-regulation simply doesn't work in a highly competitive marketplace," added Dr Lobstein. "Norway is taking a lead in Europe by proposing tight regulation. We want this high level of protection applied across Europe."


The report is available to read here and an accompanying press release is available on the IASO website here.  


Further details from Dr Tim Lobstein tlobstein@iaso.org.


IASO supports Norway's proposals to regulate advertising of foods to children



H�ring - forslag til ny regulering av markedsf�ring rettet mot barn og unge av usunn mat og drikke



The Norwegian government has proposed regulations designed to reduce the exposure of children to advertising and other inducements to consume unhealthy food and beverage products. The proposals suggest that children should be defined as up to age 18 years, and that the marketing media should include online and digital media as well as more traditional broadcast and print media.


The proposals outline a range of foods to be restricted, including snacks, soft drinks, desserts, cakes and cookies. Fast food advertising would be restricted if any discrete item contains over 5g saturated fats or 15g total fats per 100g. However, for breakfast cereals the proposals would permit the advertising of breakfast cereals which contain up to 20g sugar per 100g, and the proposals do not deal explicitly with generic brand promotions that avoid showing a specific food product.


IASO has generally welcomed these proposals which serve as a major benchmark for the rest of Europe and help move forward the WHO's 2010 Recommendations on marketing to children. The proposal to set the age at 18 is consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and helps to avoid arguments about the age at which a child is cognisant of the purpose of the marketing messages by assuming that all children should be protected from the effects of advertising whether they understand them or not.


The Norwegian proposals are available here and an unofficial translation is available here.


Further details from Dr Tim Lobstein tlobstein@iaso.org.


SPOTLIGHT - a new European obesity research project

The SPOTLIGHT project is a cross-European research project on "sustainable prevention of obesity through integrated strategies". It is focussing on community and societal initiatives to prevent obesity, looking at the determinants of obesity in a systematic way, and identifying multi-level intervention approaches that meet robust criteria for reach, efficacy and sustainability. IASO is responsible for a work-package to help disseminate the findings, and will be assisted by our colleagues in the European Association for the Study of Obesity.


The project's conceptual framework and design was published in September online in an open-access journal, see here.


SPOTLIGHT is funded by the European Commission through its seventh Framework programme, and is coordinated by the Amsterdam Free University Medical Centre.


More details from the SPOTLIGHT website or from Dr Tim Lobstein tlobstein@iaso.org.


IASO responds to WHO consultation on NCDs

IASO has joined with a number of other public health organisations to support WHO's moves to develop their policies on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). A consultation on the WHO's proposed Global Action Plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013-2020 was held during September and a second consultation on targets is being held in October 2012.


While welcoming the draft Global Action Plan, IASO is disappointed that the references to obesity are limited to two sentences on page 21, with no clear policy options specifically aimed at reducing and preventing excess bodyweight. This is a serious omission, given the importance of excess body weight in a non-communicable diseases and preventable deaths. We are concerned that obesity may have been pushed down the list of priorities because obesity prevention is too 'difficult' in policy development, requiring a wide range of policy measures, compared with the 'easier' targets of, for example, salt and alcohol reduction.


IASO also expressed the view that there is an increasing need for surveillance of the drivers of health behaviour and the shapers of environments that affect health, including the role of commercial operators and the development of food and beverage markets.


A copy of IASO's submission to the consultation on the Global Action Plan is available here  


Further details from Dr Tim Lobstein tlobstein@iaso.org.


The ENERGY project is presented at the EU Platform on Diet and Health 

The ENERGY Project - a European Commission-funded project on energy balance-related behaviour among children aged 10-12 years was presented at the September 20th meeting of the EU Platform on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. IASO is responsible for delivering one of the ENERGY Project work-packages, and the ENERGY Project is one of IASO/IOTF's EU Platform commitments.


The presentation on the ENERGY Project included summary results of surveys of children's behaviour in five EU countries and the evaluation of a set of intervention pilots designed to reduce sedentary behaviour in six countries across the European region.


For the full set of Platform commitments, see the database here


The presentation is available from Dr Tim Lobstein tlobstein@iaso.org. Survey results have recently been reported in two open access papers, at PLoS ONE and Pediatric Obesity.



Clinical Obesity...


A message from Professor Nick Finer, Editor-in-Chief...


Clinical Obesity Journal


Clinical Obesity is the journal of choice for clinical researchers and practitioners. It is an international peer-reviewed journal publishing high quality translational and clinical research papers and reviews focusing on obesity and its co-morbidities.


Read our latest issue for FREE!


Don't forget our complimentary online access to Clinical Obesity will end in 2012, click here to register or send recommendation to your library today!  


Submit your paper to Clinical Obesity today...





Obesity Reviews... 


A message from Professor David York, Editor-in-Chief...


OBRThe October issue of Obesity Reviews contains 6 reviews, a Stock conference report and an in edition Supplement, so there is plenty to read for all interests. The first review (Thomas et al) considers why weight loss from exercise interventions tends to be lower than predicted and reviews both the energy imbalances achieved and the predicted changes in fat free mass from the Forbes Curve. The second review (Gonzalez et al) comes back to the relationship of calcium to energy balance and specifically reviews the effects of calcium on fat oxidation in RCTs. The third manuscript (Mesas et al) is also related to energy balance, this one reviewing eating related behaviors in the Spanish population. The growing focus on the interrelationships between obesity and cancer is addressed by a Systematic Review (Birks et al) of the impact of weight loss on cancer incidence and mortality identifying the improvement in risk with intentional weight loss and particularly for obesity-related cancers. The fifth review (Steinig et al) is of relevance to the practice of Bariatric Medicine and identifies the impact of prior sexual abuse on weight loss after surgery. The final regular review by Marik also has a major clinical focus, describing the Malignant Hypoventilation Syndrome particularly prevalent in the morbidly obese (BMI>40kg/m�); essential reading for those involved in treatment of the obese. The conference report summarizes the presentations and discussions at the 9th Stock Conference on "Obesity: lessons learned from evolution and the environment". I would encourage anyone who has not been to a Stock conference to read this and gain insight into the intense invaluable discussions of the specific topic that makes these conferences so unique. Finally, this edition includes a large supplement written on behalf of ILSI by Blaak and colleagues that comprehensively covers the impact of postprandial glycemia on health and the prevention of disease. Also remember to go to the Wiley website (www.obesityreviews.net) where you can see all the manuscripts for forthcoming issues as well as the virtual supplements.   




Pediatric Obesity...


A message from Professor Michael Goran, Editor-in-Chief... 


View the October issue

Remember there is FREE access to papers selected by the Editor from this issue! 


Submit your best work to the leading journal in the field, via our online peer-review system



Submit your paper to Pediatric Obesity today... 





International Journal of Obesity...


IJO Cover

Now publishing Bariatric Surgery Highlights... 


IJO has made it its mission to cover the field of obesity research as broadly as possible. Following a recent upsurge in the number of papers focusing on bariatric surgery, the importance of surgery to the field of obesity, and the desirability of bringing surgeons and other obesity practitioners closer together, the decision was made to publish a special section twice a year in which the best bariatric surgery articles will be featured.  



See a pick of recent articles below:


  Look out for the next highlights issue publishing in November. 

Obesity in the News


Latest articles of obesity in the news...


Please note that all external links are provided for information only, their inclusion is not indicative of IASO endorsement.


Kuwait: Fast-track lifestyle tied to obesity related disease (October 1st, 2012)

Dr Amir Ahmed suggests that obesity and heart disease are the leading cause of death among NCD's in Kuwait.    


Australia: Obesity in preschool children reaches 1:5 (October 1st, 2012)

Public health experts suggest that parents unable to recognise that their children are obese and are unaware that their home environment may be exacerbating the problem.   


India: Obesity and cardiovascular disease now kills more than cancers (October 1st, 2012)   

A senior consultant on cardiology suggests "According to WHO, cardiovascular disease tops the chart of non-communicable diseases which lead to mortality. And India is right on top. This is a huge burden, and is a major cause of concern," Nair said. "Since Indians are so prone to heart diseases, more care should be taken to cut the risk factors," he added.


Canada: The Cafeteria diet increases stroke risk (October 1st, 2012) An animal study carried out in rats found the 'cafeteria diet' which is high in calories, sugar & sodium dramatically increase risk of stroke or death at a younger age.  


Click headlines to read the full story.


To see more of the latest articles of obesity in the news please visit: http://www.iaso.org/resources/obesity-news/ 


If you have any comments or information you would like us to include in the next IASO newsletter please contact:


Emma Graham

Publishing and Communications Manager

email: egraham@iaso.org

phone: +44 (0)20 7685 2580

web: http://www.iaso.org



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