The International Association for the Study of Obesity Newsletter

May 2011



Latest News from IASO's President, Philip James


During April I attended as IASO's representative the Latin American and Caribbean Ministerial meeting Conference in Mexico City relating to preparations for the UN Summit on non - communicable diseases (NCDs) while Boyd Swinburn and Tim Lobstein represented us in the discussions and meetings with the Taiwanese government. In Mexico the primary concern was the escalating problem of obesity, the need to reduce salt intakes and the urgency of action to be taken by the Prime Ministerial Summit at the UN. I then travelled to Copenhagen to discuss with the WHO EURO Regional Director and office staff the impact of obesity on NCDs and appropriate preventive and management strategies.


Along with Prof Stephan Rossner we represented IASO at the 4th International Indian Diabetes Conference in Delhi where weight gain was again considered a critical issue. I then spent 4 days discussing in detail with senior Minister of Health officials in Singapore how best to combat in practical terms the rapidly rising adult obesity and diabetes rates. I then went on immediately to the Moscow Forum of private industry, WHO and representatives of civil society where obesity again was highlighted as a major problem on the 27th April. The importance of interactions with private industry was emphasised by Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO but she was highly critical of how the big food companies had behaved and targeted them for coping with the obesity epidemic. The representative of the public private partnership dealing with HIV/Aids also took up the challenge, welcoming the approach to private industry but then highlighted the need for the big food companies present to change because they still seemed to be playing games in producing very modest changes in their portfolio and not realising that to earn the trust of civil society they would have to change drastically. 


Following the Forum the Russian government and WHO welcomed on 27th and 28th April over 60 Ministers of Health and 160 Health Ministries to a two day preparative meeting for the UN Summit. Leading the Round Table on dietary changes needed, I was restricted by the WHO's desire to stick to what they perceived as the only cost effective changes known i.e. salt reduction and trans fat removal from the diet. The obesity/diabetes dilemma and the importance of saturated fat intake were not mentioned despite the overwhelming evidence of their importance. The OECD cost effective analyses, the ACE childhood obesity analyses and the explanation for the dramatic fall in coronary heart disease in affluent countries were ignored. Yet the escalating obesity rates globally were constantly mentioned in most if not all the major speeches from the platform.


So concerned are some governments that Latin American Ministers of Health are being invited back to Aruba by the Aruba government during mid June to take part in an IASO co-sponsored conference on childhood obesity. Shiriki Kumanyika, co-chair of IOTF and also chair of  the US Institute of Medicine's Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention will represent IASO. By that date, however, it is unlikely that we can insert much evidence relating to obesity into the draft paper for the UN which will in any case take on the huge development and economic issues of the world. An important point to note is that the Summit is a Prime Ministerial Summit and not a Ministers of Health meeting. So the time for a focus on obesity is yet to come with the four principal societies relating to diabetes, cancer, heart disease and chronic respiratory diseases tending to focus on early diagnosis and cheap treatment strategies in a hopefully expanding health service for the poorer countries. IASO is nevertheless currently drafting a position statement to submit to the UN Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases to be held at the United Nations, New York, 21st - 22nd September, 2011.

Furthermore Dr Tim Lobstein, IASO's Policy Director, assisted a discussion in Montreal on 27th April to find a 'Consensus for Change' on children's nutritional health, linking NGO's and researchers to develop a position statement for Canada.


Dr Lobstein will also be representing IASO at the International Conference on Childhood Obesity held from 6th - 9th July as a keynote speaker. Dr Lobstein will lead a debate on Recent trends in child obesity prevalence - are we really seeing the end of this epidemic? This conference will be held in Oeiras, Portugal and offers an extraordinary programme with international represenatves from EASO, ECOG and WHO as well. For full programme details plesae click here.


For more information on this conference please contact: cioi2011@gmail.com


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.


CDC report highlights lack of healthy food environments for children (April 28, 2011)

States can do more to improve food access, regulations and policies to promote healthy eating and fight childhood obesity, according to a report from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.



Vitamin D deficiency is associated with different types of obesity in black and white children (April 28, 2011)


A recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) found that while black and white children with vitamin D deficiency both had higher fat levels, black children were more likely to have higher levels of fat just under their skin and white children were more liekly to have higher levels of fat between their internal organs.  



British men among fattest in Europe (April 28, 2011)

British men are among the fattest in Europe, while as a nation we do less exercise than almost every other nation on the planet, according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO).


Click headlines to see the full story


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




Obesity Reviews...


IASO received a number of high quality applications for the position of Editor in Chief of Obesity Reviews. After peer review we are delighted to announce that Professor David York has officially been appointed as the new Editor in Chief. We would like to welcome Professor York to his new position.


A message from Professor York...

The May volume of Obesity Reviews has interest for everyone. It is a mammoth publication containing 53 reviews, 7 in the print version of the journal and an additional 46 in the electronic version. The decision to print so many reviews on line only was taken to address the huge backlog of manuscripts that had been accepted but were waiting for publication in print. The delay of over a year from acceptance of a manuscript to its appearance in print was not acceptable, particular in our field where so much new information and insight appears on a weekly basis in the research literature. It is difficult to highlight any specific reviews from so many excellent reviews that cover the full spectrum of obesity including prevalence, treatment and management, etiology and pathophysiology and diagnostics as well as a number of reviews on obesity comorbidities.

However, to give a flavor of the range of interesting articles, I would identify reviews on the role of nutritively sweetened bevarages to the obesity epidemic (Mattes et al) and the role of parents in obesity prevention in preschoolers (Skouteris et al) in the print journal. In the electronic publications, one in particular addresses a very provocative and controversial area, the role of sleep duration in the development of obesity. The revue, from Jim Horne is accompanied by an editorial comment from J-P Chaput.  I encourage everyone to go to the Obesity Reviews web site at the Wiley on line Library (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com) and see the full range of topics that are reviewed in this May edition of Obesity Reviews. Be warned, that when you get there, you may find so many interesting articles that you will be there for the rest of the day!


International Journal of Pediatric Obesity...

The International Journal of Pediatric Obesity is receiving a healthy number of high quality submissions. Professor Michael Goran, Editor in Chief of IJPO has selected a couple of articles below from Issue 2, which will be published this month.

Regulating the commercial promotion of food to children: A survey of actions worldwide 

This paper provides a thorough review of global trends and actions related to regulation of food marketing to children. The analysis revealed that although there is still some resistance to changes in food marketing policies, there has been significant movement towards greater restriction on promotional marketing to children, achieved through a variety of means, especially through government-approved forms of self-regulation. The nature and degree of the restrictions differ considerably, with significant implications for policy impact. Overall, this paper concludes that if government health departments are serious about addressing food marketing to children, they need to maintain pressure for action on industry and more resistant parts of government.

Early weight loss and outcome at one year in obese adolescents treated with orlistat or placebo

This paper demonstrates that early weight loss is an important determinant of the long- term success of a weight loss intervention in adolescents and that orlistat more than doubles the percentage of subjects experiencing a weight loss >5% after 12 weeks of intervention. The findings suggest that the use of orlistat in adolescents should be questioned in those subjects who do not experience a weight loss >5% after 12 weeks of therapy.


To see more early online papers please click here

IASO Upcoming Events...

REGISTER TODAY for Scope Summer School 2011 - few places remaining!!


We have now registered over 60 delegates for this year's course to be held at Downing College, Cambridge, UK from 28th to 31st July 2011.


Scope Summer School has also been accredited by the Royal College of Nursing Accreditation Unit (RCN). RCN accreditation ensures that the educational content has been rigorously assessed, meets the RCN's quality standards, promotes best practice and provides effective education outcomes.  

For further information and how to register for Scope Summer School 2011 please visit our website
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Stock Conference 2011

Budapest, Hungary, 11th - 13th November, 2011




                         Application Deadline: Friday 3rd June 2011


 The aim of the Stock conferences is to bring together world leading experts to discuss a focus related topic. This year the topic will be: Obesity: Lessons from Evolution and the Environment. For further details on the scientific programme and how to submit your application please visit: STOCK2011 


Other Events






 The European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) and the Turkish Association for the Study of Obesity (TASO) are pleased to invite you to the 18th European Congress on Obesity (ECO) - which will take place in Istanbul, Turkey from May 25 until May 28 2011.




For full details on the scientific programme and how to register please visit: ECO2011   









Shanghai, China, June 2 - 5, 2011 


The 1st Asia Pacific Congress on Controversies to Consensus in Diabetes, Obesity and Hypertension (CODHy) follows the success of 3 world CODHy Congresses and the first regional Congress of Latin America, which was held in Argentina. Academically, the 1st Asia Pacific CODHy Congress will raise the most dynamic and controversial topics facing clinicians in the fields of Diabetes, Obesity and Hypertension in an exciting debate forum. The Congress will promote excellence in these fields by seeking to shed light on ongoing and challenging debates and to bridge gaps between the expansion of information and its consolidation in clinical practice. For more information on the congress and how to register please visit: http://www.codhy.com/AP/2011/ 









Marketing to Children: Implications for Obesity  

London, UK, June 7th, 2011


The Association for the Study of Obesity will be holding the above conference on Tuesday 7th June. The programme will cover sessions on the Influence of and Exposure to the marketing message, chaired by Dr Jason Halford and Science in Policy: Implications for marketing. For further details on the programme and how to register please visit: http://www.aso.org.uk/conferences/








Royal Society for Public Health

Tackling Obesity: Commissioning for Outcomes    

London, UK, June 29th, 2011


With the uncertainties of the NHS and public health reforms, this conference will explore issues around commissioning services and interventions to tackle obesity. There is now no doubt that outcomes will be an essential aspect of the commissioning process - but what are good outcomes from an obesity intervention?

Speakers will look at evidence of effectiveness within the context of the organisational changes which are currently underway. Experience from those on the ground who have been commissioning and providing services to help the fight against obesity will be shared.


To see the latest programme and book your place please visit: RSPH








21st Workshop of European Childhood Obesity Group and 

1st European Congress on Childhood Obesity 


The above congress will be held in Pecs, Hungary from 8th - 10th September, 2011. The programme will include the following topics:


� Prevention of childhood obesity

� The role of schools and community in obesity control

� Intervention programmes

� The role of media in childhood obesity

� Management of obesity in the very young and adolescents

� Psychologic aspects of childhood obesity

� Role of insulin, adipokins and other hormones in the development of obesity and its complications 

  in children

� Metabolic syndrome in children

� Sleep disorders and childhood obesity

� Morbid obesity

� The role of intrauterine and early

  childhood feeding (protein intake, polyunsaturated fatty acids, probiotics)

� European Projects on childhood obesity" (ENERGY-HabEat, HELENA, IDEFICS, TOOLTIPS)


For more information on this congress please visit: ECOG 21st Workshop









 American Society of Bariatric Physicians' 61st Annual Obesity & 

Associated Conditions Symposium

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada: October 26th - 30th, 2011 


Founded over 60 years ago, ASBP is the oldest medical association focused on the education of medical professionals treating and managing obesity and its associated conditions.   The symposium includes a Bariatric Essentials Course, Bariatric Practitioner Course, and Obesity and Associated Conditions Course.


Learn best practices in bariatric medicine and network with some of the world's most well-known experts in the field of the non-surgical treatment of obesity.  


To register for this event please click here 




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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