The International Association for the Study of Obesity Newsletter

November 2011



News from IASO


AOCO 2011...


The 6th Asia-Oceania Conference on Obesity (AOCO) was held in Manila, Philippines from the 31st of August to the 2nd of September 2011. The campaign title of this conference was "The growing problem of obesity and metabolic syndrome - Asia-Oceania perspectives" (photo below). Nearly 800 experts, clinicians and researchers of obesity gathered together to share their experiences and opinions. At 'fellowship night', members built personal networks, and enjoyed hospitality from the Philippine Association for the Study of Overweight and Obesity. In this congress, "A call to action against overweight and obesity: Asia-Perspective" was pronounced, and the member societies of AOASO agreed to it. AOCO is a biennial event and the next conference will be held in 2013.




Obesity 2011, 29th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society (TOS)...

Obesity 2011, the 29th Annual Scientific Meeting was held recently in Orlando, Florida. From Saturday 1st October through to Wednesday 5th October an audience of almost 2,000 obesity professionals participated in the event, including basic scientists, clinical researchers, healthcare providers, allied health professionals, government representatives and educators. Participants came from several different countries and from as far away as Australia, Japan and Hong Kong.


More than 90 obesity speakers, all experts in their respective fields and disciplines, gave interesting talks that kept the audience eager to hear more. Two special programmes on the schedule really stood out  - a presentation given by George Bray, MD, on the History of Obesity and a talk by Leann Birch, PhD, on the Institute of Medicine Report on Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies. View the Final Programme.   


Fruit vs ObesityFruit vs Obesity...

A conference on 'Five-a-Day' held in Madrid discussed the barriers to increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables, and how low levels of consumption affect health. IASO's Policy Director, Tim Lobstein spoke of the evidence from clinical and survey research showing raised fruit and vegetable intake was linked to weight loss and lower obesity prevalence. Dr Lobstein identified 12 chronic diseases for which obesity raised the risk while fruit and vegetable consumption lowered the risk. He suggested that barriers to consumption included the cheapness of food high in fats, sugars and starches, and the widespread use of cosmetic additives to make processed foods and drinks appear more attractive than real fruit, and preservatives and processing techniques to make old food stay palatable and so undermine the market for fresh perishable foods.


Digital marketing of food to children...

The Scottish government is holding a one-day workshop on how digital marketing might be affecting children's food consumption, just as the latest obesity figures for the country show the worst ever levels for adults since records began (in 2010, 65% of adults were overweight including 28% obese). IASO's Tim Lobstein will discuss international moves to address marketing of junk food to children, the problems raised by industry self-regulation, and the problems of cross-border marketing, such as through internet and product placement in digital media.


IrelandCosts of Obesity in Ireland...

A meeting of the all-island Obesity Action Forum in Dublin in November will discuss the costs - both financial and social - of the rising obesity epidemic in the region. IASO's Tim Lobstein will open the meeting with a discussion of how the costs are viewed by different stakeholders, including insurance companies, investment banks, employers and families.



News from IASO's President, Philip James
icle Subheading

Philip James


Global Health Challenge...

Professor Philip James took part in the first Global Health Lab debate organised by the Lancet and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The debate covered the societal demands for effective policies for the preventative and management of chronic diseases following the UN High Level Meeting in September. Professor James spoke together with Alison Beattie, Head of Health in the UK Department for International Development and David Stuckler of Cambridge University (see Richard Horton's Commentary, 15th October).



EU Platform...

Professor James also engaged in the EU Platform meeting in Brussels where there is a very extensive food industrial representation which is supposed to promote a reduction in European obesity rates through public-private partnerships. In practice very little progress has been made and the EU Commission recognised that new initiatives were required following the EU and Heads of State agreement in New York to do something effectively about the global obesity and chronic disease epidemic. A special meeting of the platform is now to be held to reconsider what might be done.



WHO developments...

Philip James travelled to Geneva on the 11th October to consult with WHO on the next phase of their implementation plan. It is clear that a major effort will be needed because there is also the agreement by the Director Generals of FAO and WHO to hold a conjoint International Congress of Nutrition 20 years after the original one held in WHO Geneva. This time, however, the meeting would not only have to consider the classic problems of hunger and malnutrition but also the new issues of food supplies, food prices, climate change and how this integrates with the new demands for the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases. Given, however, the intensity of diplomatic activity and the UN High Level Meeting demands in their political declaration for a time table and plan by WHO for a cross sectorial scheme for action on chronic disease the Secretary General's office has persuaded FAO and WHO to postpone the Nutrition Congress meeting until 2013.


Ala Alwan, current Assistant Director General of WHO, has now been proposed for the post of WHO Regional Director of the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office in Cairo. Once this has been confirmed by the WHO main Executive Board in January it is likely he will take up his post in Cairo in February 2012 and has already asked IASO for help in shifting the whole programme for tackling the extraordinary levels of obesity and chronic disease in the Middle Eastern region.



UK Childhood obesity prevention policies...

Philip James was invited to speak and discuss the UK childhood obesity issues at a meeting convened for UK professionals involved in different parts of the UK. The challenge set to participants was how they could make a difference in their roles relating to local government at a time when the whole funding of local councils is being drastically cut by the UK government, whilst far more responsibility is being given to local rather than national initiatives in public health. At the same time the UK government had brought out its new obesity prevention initiative with a heavy emphasis on having the food companies in the UK agreeing to make their own voluntary initiaties to curb the obesity epidemic. Philip James also took part in a TV debate on 13th October on the validity of this approach with Susan Jebb who co-chairs with the Secretary of Health, the main committee relating to these issues.


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.


UK: MP's warn that coalition deal with food and drink industry will not benefit public health  (November 2nd, 2011)

MP's suggest the government must be prepared to use legislation if 'nudging approach' does not work. They suggest that working with industry has its place but that financial interests should not set the agenda.


India: Obesity challenging the long held notion that paunch is an indicator of health (November 1st, 2011)

In India where malnutrition was not uncommon there was a long held cultural belief that a paunch was an indicator of good health or prosperity. However, times are now changing in India and overweight and obesity are becoming an increasing problem.   


US: Teens attempts at weight loss misguided (November 1st, 2011)

Recent studies are showing promising results highlighting that teens are actively trying to lose access body weight though results show the lifestyle behaviours are hindering progress.


Click headlines to see the full story


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


Clinical Obesity...

   COB COVER                             

Clinical Obesity is an international peer-reviewed journal publishing high quality translational and clinical research papers and reviews focussing on obesity and  it's co-morbidities. View Volume 1 Issue 2-3 here.


Please submit your clinical research papers via our online peer-review system. We are interested to attract submissions that may include pharmacological obesity-related disease, treatment, trials and research; bariatric surgery; psychological aspects of obesity, provision of care relating to all health care professionals. 




Obesity Reviews Volume 12 Issue 11...


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



The November edition of Obesity Reviews contains 7 reviews with foci on prevalence, obesity management and the Etiology and Pathophysiology of obesity and its comorbidities. It should be of interest to clinical and basic scientists and to all health care professionals involved in the treatment of obesity. There are systematic reviews of pharmacy-based weight management intervention programs in the community (Gorden et al) and of the predictors of drop out in weight loss interventions (Moroshko et al).  The latter review suggests that psychological and behavioral factors and processes associated with the treatment were better predictors of drop out than background characteristics. Three of the Etiology/Pathophysiology papers focus on weight loss. The first (Horner et al) discusses the effects of surgical, pharmacological and behavioral weight loss interventions on gastrointestinal factors influencing food intake with special focus on the role that changes in gastric emptying may play in restoration of appetite control. The second (Servio et al) presents another review on the relationship of obesity to cognitive function, this time reviewing the beneficial effects of weight loss in improvement of executive/attention functioning. The third paper (Tam et al) is a report from a recent small conference that aimed to identify the mechanisms that mediate the beneficial effects of Bariatric surgery and to identify potential novel therapeutic approaches from this insight. The final paper in this month's edition (Povel et al) is a systematic review of the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms with the Metabolic Syndrome presenting evidence for an association of the metabolic syndrome for 8 SNPs. Finally, if you have ever had a yearning to learn more on Sancho the fat king of Leόn, turn to Stephan's Corner for insight into this historical figure.



Obesity Reviews November 2011 Issue  

Pediatric Obesity...    

POB COVERThe most recent issue of IJPO has been published and includes several papers of note including a new review on childhood obesity assessment and definitions - please view here.


Beginning in 2012 we will be publishing with a new look, new publisher and new name. We will be abbreviating our name to simply 'Pediatric Obesity' and will continue to publish the very best of global research on all aspects of childhood obesity. Along with our sister journals we will also be published under Wiley Blackwell. Have a look now at the new and improved website: www.pediatricobesity.net. On the new website you can access the author instructions and recent editions, we will shortly be introducing virtual volumes where we will make available the very best of previous publications in thematic groups. Please submit your most recent and best research to Pediatric Obesity - http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ijpo. Our average time to first decision is just 30 days and 38 days to final decison.





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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