November 01, 2016
3 min read

ObesityWeek features interdisciplinary focus, cutting-edge science at annual meeting

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ObesityWeek 2016 will offer attendees a mix of the latest obesity science and treatment research, featuring a roster of world-renowned experts addressing everything from genetics and nutrition to bariatric surgery and important public policy developments.

The 4th annual ObesityWeek, a combination of the 33rd American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) meeting and the 34th annual meeting of The Obesity Society (TOS), will bring together more than 5,000 attendees to take in 1,500 cutting-edge scientific presentations, keynote lectures and networking events, as well as 29 postgraduate courses offered for surgeons and integrated health members. The meeting takes place from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

“A lot of the meetings that relate to obesity tend to be either heavily clinical or heavily scientific,” Penny Gordon-Larsen, PhD, FAHA, FTOS, president of The Obesity Society, told Endocrine Today. “At ObesityWeek, we bring together a range of science, from basic to clinical to population. It’s truly interdisciplinary, which is a feature that sets this meeting apart. To treat people adequately, you have to understand the mechanisms that underlie weight gain.”

Penny Gordon-Larsen
Penny Gordon-Larsen

Sessions this year will explore a wide variety of obesity-related topics, including improving obesity support and diagnosis, pediatric interventional studies, weight loss maintenance and targeted food marketing. The weeklong conference will also feature the largest exhibit hall of its kind, showcasing products, services and technologies from companies and organizations worldwide.

“We refer to ObesityWeek as being the place where science and treatment meet, and it really is true,” Patrick O’Neil, PhD, co-chair of the ObesityWeek Board of Managers and past president of The Obesity Society, told Endocrine Today. “We have people involved in the treatment of obesity from all the relevant disciplines — physicians, registered dieticians, psychologists, exercise therapists, nurse practitioners — and we have people involved in the science, developing a better understanding of obesity so that we can become better equipped to manage, treat and prevent it.”

Patrick O'Neil
Patrick O'Neil

This year’s keynote speakers will include Sadaf Farooqi, PhD, a genetics of obesity expert and professor at the University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories (Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 8 a.m.); food policy speaker Kelly Brownell, PhD, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University (Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 5:15 p.m.); obesity and diabetes researcher C. Ronald Kahn, MD, president of the Joslin Diabetes Center (Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 5:15 p.m.); molecular genetics and neurophysiology expert Scott Sternson, PhD, Janelia Group Leader of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Friday, Nov. 4, at 9:30 a.m.); and Kevin Concannon, PhD, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services at the United States Department of Agriculture (Friday, Nov. 4, at 9:30 a.m.).

New this year, TOS and ASMBS will present an hour-long joint keynote discussion on surgery, weight regain and weight loss on Friday, Nov. 4, at 11 a.m., featuring a panel of leading scientists and clinicians from TOS and ASMBS leadership discussing a challenging case study with audience participation.

The meeting will also feature three additional joint TOS/ASMBS sessions:

  • “Weight Regain with Bariatric Surgery,” on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 1:30 p.m., will explore the biological barriers to long-term weight maintenance.
  • “Pediatric/Adolescent Obesity: When is the Right Time to Consider Surgery?” on Friday, Nov. 4 at 3:45 p.m., will explore the utility of bariatric surgery in pediatric care
  • “Toward Optimizing Long-Term Obesity Treatment: Measuring Core Variables in Adult Weight Loss Trials,” on Friday, Nov. 4 at 8 a.m., will focus on an NIH-initiated effort to develop a core set of measures for weight loss studies.

“By bringing (TOS and ASMBS) audiences together, we’re able to put out this unparalleled educational agenda that brings all these breakthroughs together and allows us to understand issues from basic mechanisms to clinical care and surgical outcomes to obesity policy,” Gordon-Larsen said.

The sessions, O’Neill said, show an appreciation for the multifaceted nature of obesity.

“We’re covering all the territory from the gene to national policy and everything in between,” O’Neill said. “By having these different disciplines presenting their findings at the same venue at the same time, and interacting with one another, we really hope that this meeting will continue to have a synergistic effect on understanding ways to better treat obesity.”

“This is a meeting for clinicians, researchers and public policy makers,” O’Neill said. “We invite everyone who has an interest in obesity to come on down to New Orleans.”

The Endocrine Today and Healio.com staff will provide coverage from ObesityWeek, including reports on the sessions described above and others, onsite video interviews and much more. For more information on the ObesityWeek agenda and registration, visit www.obesityweek.com/registration. by Regina Schaffer

Disclosure: Healio.com is a media partner of ObesityWeek.