The International Association for the Study of Obesity Newsletter

August 2011



Latest News from IASO


SCOPE Summer School 2011...




IASO's educational programme, SCOPE Summer School (Specialist Certification for Obesity Professional Education) was held last week at Downing College in Cambridge from 28th - 31st July. The event proved to be a huge success with almost 100 delegates attending. The programme included an array of outstanding speakers who delivered high quality lectures, discussions and debates with the delegates. 


IASO would like to thank all of the Scope Summer School  2011 speakers, delegates and partners who have made this an essential course for professionals who are looking to equip themselves with the best knowledge, skills and tools to deal with obesity - one of today's biggest medical problems.



Four factsheets to promote advocacy...

In consultation with IASO, the World Heart Federation has prepared four Factsheets - one each on diet, physical activity, obesity and chronic disease. They are designed to help advocacy groups to make the case for promoting healthy diet and physical activity as a priority for policy, school curricula, and community activity, both in developed and developing countries.

The Factsheets can be downloaded free of charge at the WHF website.  



Is there a decline in child obesity trends?

IASO is currently seeking funds to hold a meeting in Washington in May 2012 to consider whether child obesity prevalence is starting to decline and furthermore, if there is clear evidence for this decline, then what explanation can be found and what are the policy implications. It is intended to hold the meeting in the form of a one-day or two-day workshop, inviting experts and policy-makers from around the world.

Further details contact Tim Lobstein at IASO.



Conflicts of interest in global governance...  

IASO is among some 150 NGOs and advocacy bodies signing a letter to His Excellency Dr Joseph Deiss, the President of the UN Assembly, calling for greater clarity among UN agencies when dealing with the commercial sector. The letter calls on the UN to recognise and distinguish between industry bodies and public interest NGOs that are both currently described in the UN as 'Civil Society' without distinction. It urges the UN to develop a code of conduct for engaging or 'partnering' with industry and managing conflicts of interest, for example when deciding who should determine public health goals, who should develop the policies to achieve the goals, and who should be involved in implementing the polices.



IASO News Service proves a hit!

IASO has re-launched its weekly News Brief providing a free information service to subscribers. The new service is delivered by email and provides a headline and link for each story, presented in two categories - (a) a general category which includes current stories on obesity around the world, and (b) a specific category on child obesity and food marketing issues, building on the IASO Stanmark Project. To subscribe to the service, send an email to us here. To see the archive of News Brief stories, go to our website page here.



IASO are sad to announce that we will be losing a valuable member of the team at the end of the month. Marco Presutto who has been with the team for over 4 years is relocating to Singapore with his family. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Marco for his outstanding contribution to IASO over the years and we wish him and his family all the best on their exciting move.


News from IASO's President, Philip James


Latest draft of the UN summit draft statement...

The process of producing a draft statement for the Prime Ministers and Presidents to agree at the UN Summit on NCDs is going through its final phases of editing with a supposed deadline of the end of July. The first edition was produced after intense negotiating at the Moscow meeting of the world's Ministers of Health at the end of April. Already at that meeting (where IASO President set out an agenda for dietary change) there was disquiet because the four principal NGOs involved, i.e. the IDF,WHF, IUCC and the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, had been pressing for effective disease specific screening and early simple treatments. WHO and the Ministries, however, were promoting a strong prevention program. The states of Luxembourg and Jamaica were made responsible for producing the draft for the September UN Summit but the Moscow draft finally emphasised the importance of economic development for poorer countries on the insistence of the UN Secretary representative.


At that stage it was noteworthy that obesity was not mentioned in the draft text which simply referred to the need to address poor diets and physical inactivity yet almost every platform speaker highlighted the obesity epidemic as an illustration of the major problem of NCDs with 80% of these deaths occurring in poorer countries (see Moscow declaration.) At that stage WHO also released its Global Status Report. Surprisingly limiting only dietary trans fats and salt were considered cost effective prevention policies by WHO despite its 30 years of careful policy analysis and the same crude conclusion was also set out in the recent Lancet paper (see Beaglehole R, Bonita R, Horton R, et al, for The Lancet NCD Action Group and the NCD Alliance. Priority actions for the non-communicable disease crisis. Lancet 2011; 377: 1438-47, Lancet paper.) Now the draft is nearing completion and the emphasis is on finalising a text which is acceptable to Heads of State. The current edition with all its complex member state proposed amendments can be viewed here.



Commonwealth Secretariat Launch of film for UN Policy makers...


This Secretariat relates to the 53 countries which were part of the old British Empire with many Caribbean and Pacific Island states, numerous African countries, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and several other states. The Countries are very keen on the Summit because it all started with Caribbean Heads of State meeting in late 2007 followed by the meeting of all Commonwealth Heads which then led to the UN meeting. Tobacco, alcohol and obesity problems were highlighted in the film with Sir George Alleyne, Emeritus Director of PAHO emphasising that states had a role in preventing these problems by legislation, regulation and pricing policies. Few specific examples were given, however.


In this meeting Jane Ferguson of the WHO Adolescent Health and Development section of WHO in Geneva emphasised that 50% of the Commonwealth's population was under 25years (reflecting the demography in many regions of the world) and that we had failed to recognise that children as they went through adolescence were biologically very vulnerable to environmental stimuli as their brains developed. Environmental factors could then easily alter their behaviour and this was crucial because these behaviours tended to persist. She highlighted how well industries realised this as the tobacco and alcohol industries targeted teenagers. The fast food industry did the same so the idea that only children <12 yrs were vulnerable was totally false.



Caribbean preparations for the UN Summit...


Prof James went at short notice in late July to a Prime Minister's meeting in Barbados so that he could follow up on a series of reports he had produced on how the Caribbean countries could combat the NCDs. In the small population of about 270,000 Barbados was considered the capital of the world for amputating limbs because of diabetes. 36% of the women were obese and the whole island is dominated, as in most Caribbean islands, by fast food outlets where almost all food offered is fried and there are almost no opportunities for physical activity. Prof James had discovered that many food companies had for decades been producing special products with extra sugar and salt for the Caribbean islands because they had thought that these were needed by hard working people in a tropical climate. They were surprised to discover that this was not true. In speaking with the Prime Minister it became clear that all the Caribbean Heads of State were going to the UN because they were concerned to show how crucial it was that action is taken. Obesity was of intense concern but they did not know how to tackle it effectively.


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.


High blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and obesity in middle age may shrink brain, damage thinking (August 2nd, 2011)

A new study suggests smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and being overweight in middle age may cause brain shrinkage and lead to cognitive problems up to a decade later.


TV product placements termed junk food ad loophole (August 2nd, 2011)

Companies that have pledged not to market unhealthy food and beverages directly to children may be turning to product placement on televison shows instead of traditonal ads to target youngsters, a new study showed.


Sleep not linked to obesity in teens (August 2nd, 2011)

SLEEP might not play as beneficial a role in the battle against childhood obesity as doctors think. Several international studies have suggested that the less sleep children get, the greater their risk of obesity. As a result, some doctors have been recommending children get some extra shuteye in an attempt to help stop them becoming obese. However, a new study led by Australian researchers has downplayed the links between sleep length and obesity.  


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/ 




Obesity Reviews Volume 12 Issue 8...


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


We are all aware of the worldwide increasing prevalence of obesity. We are also aware that people are living longer in most countries. So read about the outcome of the EXERNET study of obesity in none-institutionalized people over 65 years of age in Spain which reports that over 50% of this population suffer from central obesity for which lifestyle appears to be a major determinant. The second paper in this month's edition (Torekov et al ) highlights the potential of GLP-1 as a treatment approach for obesity, reviewing the current knowledge on the physiology of the peptide and the outcome of studies of GLP- analogues in humans.

Next is an important review for anyone involved with Bariatric surgery and for patients contemplating this approach for their treatment.  Padwal and colleagues report the outcome of a meta-analysis of randomized trials which identifies the relative success of differing procedures in promoting weight loss but also compares the adverse effects of these procedures. Pollution, whether it be atmospheric, environmental or within the food/water supply is a threat to health.  Heitman and colleagues (Tang-P�ronard et al) review a particularly interesting aspect of this, namely the effects of endocrine disruptors such as diclorophenyldichlorothylene (DDE) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) on body size and composition highlighting the association of exposure to some of these products with increased BMI and waist circumference. The findings of an association between maternal exposure and subsequent obesity in the offspring provides another boost for the epigenetics story and a recognition of the importance of this developmental period to the subsequent health of  individuals.

Early development is also a focus of the next review from Seidell's group (Stocks et al) that provides more evidence that growth in early life (body size at 5-6 months and weight gain from 0-2 years) are excellent predictors of high subsequent body weights.  While the concern over a potential influenza pandemic has waned since its peak in 2009, the review by Fezeu et al  highlights the higher risk for ICU admissions and death from H1N1 infection for the severely obese population and recommends closer monitoring of such individuals. Governments world-wide are developing publicity or programs to combat the increasing prevalence of obesity and type II diabetes in their populations. Mitchell and colleagues review how local government in the UK is taking an increasingly prominent role in the public health strategies that are available to them through planning, licensing and transport legislation.

Finally, for those fans of Oprah Winfrey, read Stephan's Corner for his profile of her personal problems with obesity and contributions to weight loss programs. Another volume of Obesity Reviews which I hope has something of interest for all our readers.

Obesity Reviews August 2011 




International Journal of Pediatric Obesity...

IASO would like to announce that the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity will now be published under Wiley Blackwell along with Obesity Reviews and Clinical Obesity. We are very pleased to be undertaking such a move and look forward to seeing the first issue at the start of 2012 under Wiley Blackwell. Please have a look online at some 'early view' papers and look out for more exciting news to come with the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity!!




Clinical Obesity...


The second issue of Clinical Obesity is due to be published very soon...


Read some 'early view' clinical research papers and reviews focusing on obesity and it's co-morbidities.


Participate Today! Submit your paper via our online peer-review system.




SCOPE globe logo

IASO is re-launching SCOPE (Specialist Certification in Obesity Professional Education)

in the autumn of 2011 to better meet the needs of our users. With the same commitment to quality obesity education and international recognition of obesity experts, we have some new and exciting changes to unveil!   


TAKE PART in the re-launch - download your FREE sample e-learning module!


SCOPE Certification offers recognition for obesity expertise. Become SCOPE certified by earning 12 SCOPE points. A minimum of 4 SCOPE points must be attained from e-learning modules, with the balance from SCOPE Accredited Courses or additional e-learning modules.


An annual subscription gives you access to a new & improved e-learning environment, a global network of obesity experts, and PDF quick reference summaries on key subject areas. The SCOPE Certification Programme allows you to earn CME or CPD points in addition to SCOPE points, and notifies you of SCOPE accredited learning opportunities worldwide. In addition, your subscription entitles you to discounts on registration for SCOPE Summer School and the International Congress on Obesity (ICO).  


Save on fees! 

If you are a member of one of our National Associations then you qualify for a discount on the annual e-learning subscription fee and on the SCOPE Course Accreditation fee. If you are not a member you can find out how to join your National Association here.



Need for SCOPE highlighted by public media! 

See recent articles addressing the need for specialist obesity training:

- BBC explores why GP practices 'need obesity specialists'... 

- BBC highlights NHS 'ill-prepared to deal with obese patients'... 



** IASO are pleased to announce that Dr Daniel Kwon is the winner of IASO's SCOPE prize draw at this year's European Congress on Obesity. Dr Kwon has won a free one year subscription to the new SCOPE e-learning programme!!**


IASO Upcoming Events

stock small   


The 9th STOCK conference will be held in Budapest, Hungary from 11th - 13th November. The aim of the Stock conferences is to bring together world leading experts to discuss a focused topic related to obesity. This years meeting will focus on the topic of Obesity: Lessons from Evolution and the Environment.


Download a copy of the latest STOCK programme 


The 9th IASO Stock Conference has been made possible by educational grants from Alpro, Unilever and Slimming World. IASO would also like to thank the IASO Hungarian National Association (HSSO) for their proactive support to Stock 2011.


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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