The International Association for the Study of Obesity Newsletter

March 2012



News from IASO


Welcome to IASO's March Newsletter. There are a number of news items in this issue including:


  • A call for proposals for future Stock Conferences;

  • Information on the launch of a new cross-European project on sustainable prevention of obesity through integrated strategies;
  • New articles published in Clinical Obesity, Obesity Reviews and Pediatric Obesity;
  • The last chance to register for the 'Let's Talk about Weight' Hot Topic conference which is organised around an interactive workshop lead by Prof Alain Golay from Geneva;
  • Registration is opening for our next Hot Topic meeting on 'Obesity and Mental Health' which will be held in Toronto in June;
  • Grant and training opportunities at the new Johns Hopkins Global Center for Childhood Obesity.
Call for Proposals...


Do you have the perfect topic? The perfect programme? Why not get involved and become a scientific organiser of an IASO Stock Conference? We are requesting suggestions for future Stock Conference programs.


The Stock Conferences are a series of meetings which bring together small groups of experts from around the world to discuss a focused basic-science topic that is related to obesity and has clinical applications. Alternatively, we will also now consider focused clinical scientific topics.


The conferences are usually between two and two and a half days in length and with 10 speakers and up to 30 delegates they are small and intimate affairs. Participants are encouraged to present their latest unpublished data and the overall aim will be to seek insight on the central theme as well as identify major developments and strategic research issues.


Each speaker presentation is allotted 30 minutes and is followed by a 30 to 45 minute discussion period. This lengthy discussion time is important as it fully involves all the participants in the meeting and makes the Stock Conferences a unique scientific opportunity for all participants.


IASO will undertake all the organisational tasks associated with the meeting, such as advertising to potential delegates, inviting speakers (once the programme is agreed), organising travel and accommodation as well as the venue and taking full responsibility for all the financial aspects of the meeting.


The scientific organisers of the meeting are required to write a summary of the meeting proceedings that will include any agreed recommendations but will not include unpublished material presented by any participant. This is published in Obesity Reviews, one of IASO's portfolio of journals that lead the field of obesity.


In addition, we look to the scientific organisers to provide ideas for sponsorship and help with contacting appropriate companies but IASO will support the scientific organisers in this endeavour and will take full financial responsibility for the event.


 Stock Conference topics are listed below for information:


2002 Bangkok, Thailand - Physical Activity: how much physical activity is enough to prevent unhealthy weight gain?

2003 Lisbon, Portugal - Adipose Tissue: new therapeutic targets from molecular and genetic studies

2004 Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - Cellular Fuel Sensing in the CNS: relation to the control of energy balance and the development of obesity

2005 Istanbul, Turkey - Obesity and Inflammation

2006 Bangkok, Thailand - Epigenetics, Obesity and its Related Disorders

2007 Bangkok, Thailand - Insulin Resistance: central and peripheral mechanisms

2008 Bangkok, Thailand - Sex and Obesity: gender differences in energy homeostasis and fat metabolism

2009 Cairns, Australia - Inflammation and Obesity

2011 Budapest, Hungary - Obesity: lessons from evolution and the environment

2012 Montreal, Canada - Brown Adipose Tissue: an anti-obesity tissue?

2012 Prague, Czech Republic - Harnessing the Beneficial Properties of Adipogenic Microbes for Improving Human Health


For more details and suggestions please contact Claire Mercer at cmercer@iaso.org



Article Subheading 




SPOTLIGHT is a cross-European research project and stands for sustainable prevention of obesity through integrated strategies. The official launch meeting took place in Amsterdam on 1st and 2nd March 2012.




EU researchers devise optimum strategy to tackle obesity.


With over 50% of adults overweight, the potential cost to health is beginning to alarm public health experts and treasury ministers alike. A new project - entitled SPOTLIGHT - is being launched to help prevent the problem getting worse.


'We believe that for the last decade the focus has been on identifying local and individual solutions, but they are not working' said the project's coordinator, Professor Hans Brug, of the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research in Amsterdam.


This cross-European project aims to systematically increase and combine knowledge on the wide range of factors that cause obesity. This will provide clear perspectives for preventive measures.


'Exclusively targeting individual-level determinants appears to have had little impact, and widely used health education interventions are largely ineffective.' The SPOTLIGHT researchers are convinced that obesity is a societal problem, and express the urgent need to look at social determinants of obesity, next to individual motivation, in order to build a clear case for action and a set of optimum strategies for improving health. The results of this project will provide clear solutions to sustainably tackle Europe's continuing problem with obesity.


The SPOTLIGHT project is supported by a €3m grant from the European Commission and involves 13 organisations in eight countries - Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United Kingdom.


Institutions involved in the Spotlight study are: (represented in the photo below at the Spotlight launch).


1. The EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2. Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade Tcnica de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

3. European Centre on Health of Societies in Transition, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom

4. European Association for the Study of Obesity, United Kingdom

5. Department of Health Promotion and Development, Universitetet i Bergen, Norway

6. Department of Public Health, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

7. Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Universiteit Gent, Belgium

8. Universiteit Maastricht, The Netherlands

9. Professionshojskolen Metropol, Copenhagen, Denmark

10. International Obesity TaskForce/ International Association for the Study of Obesity, United Kingdom

11. Unit� de Recherche en Epid�miologie Nutritionnelle, University Paris, France

12. Blox Group, The Netherlands

13. Faculty of Public Health, Debreceni Egyetem, Hungary



Spotlight photo

The Spotlight study is funded with a grant from the European Commission DG Research, Seventh Framework Programme. The products of the research are the responsibility of the authors: the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of them.


For more details on the Spotlight study please visit http://www.spotlightproject.eu/ 




Clinical Obesity...



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 the latest issue here.


All 2011 content is freely accessible via any library that choose to 'opt-in' to the free access - Library Opt-in Form.


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 13 Issue 3...


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




The March edition of Obesity Reviews contains 6 reviews that cover a range of topics that provide new insight into a series of topics that range from the treatment and prevention of obesity, through the identification of a better diagnostic tool for cardiovascular risk to a review of the role of the hypothalamus during energy deficits. The first manuscript (Fitzgibbon et al) is a systematic review of behavioral weight loss interventions in African-American women that identifies the relatively poor outcome compared to other ethnic groups while showing the better success with more intensive approaches in women that are medically at risk. School-basedbehavioral interventions have been a popular approach to reducing the incidence of obesity in children and the subject of a number of reviews that report varying outcomes. Khambalia et al present a systematic review of the approaches, methodology and conclusions of other reviews that might underlie the differences in outcomes of these intervention trials. Popkin and colleagues (Kleiman et al) consider the question of whether beverage companies can cut the calories within their drinks while maintaining company profits and show promising trends within the USA but opposing trends within Brazil and China. Of significance to clinicians is the systematic review and meta-analysis for cardiometabolic risk presented by Ashwell et al that suggests that waist to height ratio is a better screening tool than either waist circumference or BMI. Energy deficit is a requisite for weight loss, but the adaptations of the hypothalamic regulation of the pituitary-thyroid, -gonadotrophic, -somatotrophic and -adrenal axes during periods of energy deficit can have adverse effects on body composition and long term health risks. The animal and human data providing insight into these systems is reviewed by Sainsbury and Zhang. The final paper this month (Xi et al) reports the results of a large study of the prevalence and secular trends of obesity and abdominal obesity among Chinese adults over the last two decades. Then for those who always turn to Stephan's Corner for a little history, this month they can read about Otto van Bismark and the success he achieved in weight loss from following his physicians recommendations on diet and exercise! I would also remind everyone to go to the Wiley Online library (www.obesityreviews.net) on the Obesity Reviews website to see upcoming articles and to gain access to free supplements that combine some previously published papers on Obesity management and on Diet and Physical activity.



Obesity Reviews March 2012 Issue 




Pediatric Obesity...


We are pleased to announce that Pediatric Obesity released its first virtual issue which highlights 12 papers recently published in the area of maternal-fetal programming and early-life factors relevant to childhood obesity. This collection of papers is available under free access - view here.


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








Hot TopicLast chance to register for the RCN and IASO joint event, 'Let's Talk About Weight' to be held on 14th March in London. The conference includes a morning of lectures focussing on what techniques and options are available to manage and treat obesity. The afternoon session is an interactive workshop on learning how to start a dialogue with your patients about weight, and how to motivate them to change their behaviour. This conference is essential for all health professionals! 

Find out more by visiting the IASO website: http://www.iaso.org/events/rcn/


IASO is joining forces with the Canadian Obesity Network (CON) to hold a Hot Topic Conference on 'Mental Health & Obesity'. This event will be held in Toronto, Canada from 26th-28th June. Registration opens next week,  you will be able to book your place from our events page -http://www.iaso.org/events/ 





The venue and date for the 2012 SCOPE Summer School has been confirmed. This year's Summer School will be taking place at The Moller Centre, Cambridge from 31st-2nd September. Keep your eye on the website over the next few weeks for information on how to register.





stock small


IASO will be holding two Stock Conferences in 2012. The first is entitled, 'Harnessing the Beneficial Properties of Adipogenic Microbes for Improving Human Health' and will be held in Prague, Czech Republic on 12th - 14th October. The second, entitled, 'Brown Adipose Tissue - A Human Anti-Obesity Tissue?' will be held in Montreal, Canada on 2nd - 4th November. Details on how to register will be available on the IASO website within the next few weeks.   


Further information on all of our events and how to register can be found at http://www.iaso.org/events


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.


USA: 14 public health groups call for added sugar declaration on labels (March 1st, 2012)

American Heart Association, CSPI and others urge better food labelling. (alternative article, original article removed).


Australia: Melbourne to trial online support for healthy weights using traffic lights (March 1st, 2012)

Project led by Prof Joanne Williams will target adolescents aged 12-17 years.


Researchers provide insight to how fructose causes obesity and metabolic syndrome (February 29th, 2012)

The study was performed on mice and identified that fructose is metabolised by an enzyme that occurs in two different forms. One form was found to be responsible for how fructose causes obesity and other metabolic diseases and contrastingly the other found to protect from these.


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/ 


Childhood Obesity & Systems Science

The Johns Hopkins Global Center for Childhood Obesity (JHGCCO) has been awarded a $16 million U54 cooperative agreement from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish a global center of excellence to address the childhood obesity epidemic. The new Johns Hopkins Global Center for Childhood Obesity will use a systems approach to integrate basic science, epidemiology, nutrition, medicine, engineering and environmental and social policy research, among other fields, in an unprecedented, innovative way to tackle this human problem of global proportions. Read the full **Press Release**


The centre is recruiting qualified pre-doctoral and post-doctoral trainees from diverse fields (e.g. Public Health, Medicine, Engineering, Nursing, or Arts and Sciences) with a career interest in addressing childhood obesity, non-communicable chronic diseases, and related topics in public health using systems science theories and methods. Read more about training opportunities...  


Furthermore the center is seeking applications to jumpstart systems-oriented childhood obesity research in a rapidly changing physical or policy environment by supporting opportune pilot and feasibility projects with timelines that would not allow funding through the regular NIH review cycles.


The center invites applications from investigators in the United States and globally for innovative pilot and feasibility projects using systems science concepts and framework to examine time sensitive environmental mechanisms or policy changes related to the childhood obesity epidemic. Projects should have the potential to inform the development or confirmation of community- or population-based interventions. 


The center expects to fund up to 3 projects in the range of $20,000 to $30,000 each in total costs in the first round. There will be future Request for Applications (RFA) releases from the center. Maximum project duration will be 12 months if using existing data, or 24 months if original data will be collected. Projects can begin as early as 16th April 2012, and must begin by 16th May 2012.


**Applications due by 31st March 2012**


See the full RFA at www.jhgcco.org for details of investigator and project eligibility and application procedures.  



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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