Interview with National Walk from Obesity 2021 Fundraising Champion

| December 1, 2021

Bariatric Times. 2021;18(12):18

When you have a goal as important as ours—funding research and education on the treatment of obesity—you have no choice but to find creative ways to keep going, even through a pandemic.

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Foundation reacted and hosted the virtual National Walk from Obesity (WFO) Day on September 25, 2021, themed “Taking Steps for Your Health.”

For the second consecutive year, this special day brought together local communities, with individual and industry support, as one national community. The awareness created by everyone rallied around the ASMBS Foundation’s mission will fund a special research grant regarding patient postoperative opportunities, such as weight regain.

Recently, the foundation announced it has awarded two research grants studying the effects of obesity on COVID-19 infections in adolescents and the increasing use of adult cannabis during and after the pandemic, and its impact on weight loss outcomes following bariatric surgery.

“These latest grants are for studies on the impact of COVID-19 and emerging areas of interest that have thus far received little scientific study,” said Paul Enochs, MD, President of the ASMBS Foundation.

The enthusiasm, generosity, and support of the National WFO was highlighted by team #NutritionDirect, which was the fundraising champion for the second straight year.

Dr. Enochs had the opportunity to catch up with #NutritionDirect team captain, Matt Jason, to discuss their focus and how it plays a pivotal role in driving success. 

Dr. Enochs: Hi, Matt. Congratulations to you and team #NutritionDirect for defending the President’s Cup Trophy as the Top Fundraising Team of the 2021 National WFO Day. For the second straight year, the passion and support of team #NutritionDirect led the fundraising efforts of so many participating teams. As the new leader of Team #NutritionDirect, tell us about the pressure to keep the President’s Cup Trophy.

Matt Jason: I put a lot of pressure on myself to defend the President’s Cup Trophy this year. Last year our team captain, Jim Bradley, did an outstanding job of raising awareness on the virtual WFO in our organization, and it clearly showed. I was able to keep that awareness and excitement going within our team to regain the top position. I am so glad it paid off, and we are very proud of what we accomplished for the ASMBS Foundation.

Dr. Enochs: As a valued National Sponsor of the WFO in both 2020 and 2021, tell us what went into making the decision of maintaining your support of the ASMBS Foundation’s efforts.

Matt Jason: The vision of our company is to help everyone we serve live their best life. This is a belief that we truly embrace at Endo, and there was never a question if we should join the ASMBS Foundation’s efforts this year. The support of our Senior Director of Marketing, Ted Lawson, and National Sales Director, Jeff Day, has been immense, and their passion helped motivate our entire team. Given the fact that our products align with the bariatric market, we feel it’s very important to support this patient population.

Dr. Enochs: Team #NutritionDirect is named after a product that your company offers. What exactly is Nutrition Direct and who can benefit from it? How do they get your product?

Matt Jason: Nutrition Direct™ is a 30-day supply of nutritional supplements, recommended for people who have had weight loss surgery, delivered each month in one simple package and formulated to meet the specific ASMBS guidelines.1 For more information on Nutrition Direct, please visit our website at

Dr. Enochs: As the National WFO Day Fundraising Champions, you were awarded the President’s Cup Trophy on behalf of your team for the second year. Can you comment to the word on the street that Nutrition Direct is building a special trophy case at headquarters to showcase your National WFO hardware? Share with us the benefits of the relationship with the ASMBS Foundation.

Matt Jason: I’m still waiting on the plans for the trophy case! In all seriousness, I plan to bring the trophy to our national sales meeting this year to share with team #NutritionDirect. The foundation and the overall awareness you create for obesity means so much to us. We are all proud of what we accomplished and plan to continue this success next year.

Dr. Enochs: Once again, thank you and #NutritionDirect for your continued support. The ASMBS Foundation appreciates #NutritionDirect’s valued support and sponsorship and looks forward to an exciting 2022. Is there anything else you would like to add for our readers about Nutrition Direct and those organizations considering support of the ASMBS Foundation?

Matt Jason: It was a pleasure to work with Michael Votta and Dr. Enochs to support this wonderful cause! We are excited that the regional WFO events have returned to an in-person format, in addition to the virtual WFO. We look forward to continuing to support both of these events in 2022.


  1. Parrott J, Frank L, Rabena R, et al. ASMBS Integrated Health Nutritional Guidelines for the Surgical Weight Loss Patient – 2016 update: micronutrients. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2017;13(5):727–741. 

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Category: ASMBS Foundation News and Update, Past Articles

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