News and Trends—March 2015

| March 1, 2015

Published Outcomes Announced From Study on Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Safety
Columbus, Ohio—Cardiovascular risks of severe pediatric obesity, assessed among adolescents participating in the “Teen Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery” (Teen-LABS) study, were recently published in JAMA Pediatrics. Teen-LABS is a multi-center clinical study funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that is examining the safety and health effects of surgical weight loss procedures. Teen-LABS is being conducted at five clinical centers in the U.S., including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital,  Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The study’s Chair, Thomas H. Inge, MD, PhD, is located at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Marc P. Michalsky, MD, FACS, FAAP, surgical director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s, is the lead author for the article, which focuses on cardiovascular risk factors within the study population.

“This NIH-funded study will add important knowledge to the field of severe obesity during adolescence and the effects of bariatric surgery,” said Dr. Michalsky, also an Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery and Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “Collaborating with colleagues around the country in a study of this magnitude to gather critical data defining cardiovascular disease (CVD) and other health risks, is both gratifying and hugely important. The results of this study will improve our understanding of the significant medical challenges faced by severely obese teens as well as document outcomes following surgical weight loss.”

In this most recent publication from the Teen-LABS research study, investigators note that while pediatric obesity is more common now than in previous decades, very little is known about the CVD risks in the most severely obese teens. The main goal of the current publication was to assess the baseline prevalence and predictors of CVD risks among severely obese adolescents before undergoing weight-loss surgery.
The authors of this publication found that severely obese adolescents carry not only excess weight, but also have much higher risk for CVD  than previously realized. Of the 242 participants in the Teen-LABS cohort, 95 percent had at least one CVD risk factor. Seventy-five percent had elevated blood pressure (including hypertension and pre-hypertension), 50 percent had unhealthy cholesterol levels, and nearly three-quarters of the group were insulin resistant. Importantly, the study also confirmed that increasing weight in teenagers is associated with increases in blood sugar and blood pressure.

While the majority of study participants are female, researchers found an interesting link between gender and CVD. “We found that adolescent boys were at a markedly higher risk compared with adolescent girls for abnormal triglyceride levels,” said Dr. Michalsky. “Among severely obese adolescents, recognition and treatment of CVD risk factors is important to help limit further progression of disease.”
To read the study abstract, visit and search PMID: 25730293.

Two Nutritional Sciences Professors Receive National Awards Naima Moustaid-Moussa and Nikhil Dhurandhar Research Different Facets of Obesity
Lubbock, Texas—Two professors from Texas Tech University’s Department of Nutritional Sciences received prestigious national awards from the American Society for Nutrition (ASN).

Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar, the newly hired department chairman and president of The Obesity Society, will accept the 2015 Osborne and Mendel Award, while Naima Moustaid-Moussa, the director of the Obesity Research Cluster, will accept the 2015 Pfizer Consumer Healthcare Nutritional Sciences Award. Both will be honored at ASN’s award ceremony March 29 in Boston during the annual Experimental Biology meeting.

“We are extremely proud of Dr. Dhurandhar and Dr. Moustaid-Moussa and their accomplishments,” said Linda Hoover, dean of the College of Human Sciences. “Their contributions to the field of nutrition are significant, particularly in the area of obesity research. These awards from the American Society for Nutrition not only highlight the work of these two faculty members but also brings attention to our newly formed Department of Nutritional Sciences. Both Dr. Dhurandhar and Dr. Moustaid-Moussa have been instrumental in the creation of the department and will continue to contribute to its success.”

The Osborne and Mendel Award recognizes recent outstanding basic research accomplishments in nutrition. Dhurandhar, who came to Texas Tech in November from The Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University, is researching an obesity-causing virus and the potential both for diabetes treatment and a vaccine for obesity. “I am honored to receive this important award from the American Society for Nutrition, a highly prominent professional organization,” Dhurandhar said. “This recognition of our research is highly encouraging. It is well worth the efforts our team has endured in conducting this pioneering research about the role of certain infections in obesity and diabetes. I hope our research will eventually contribute to alleviating sufferings of people affected with obesity or diabetes.”
The Pfizer award recognizes significant investigative contributions to the understanding of human nutrition. Prior to coming to Texas Tech in 2012, Moustaid-Moussa was co-director of the Obesity Research Center at the University of Tennessee. Her research focuses on nutrient-gene interactions in health and disease, with specific emphasis on the role of fat cell inflammation in obesity and associated diseases.

“I am thrilled and honored to be selected for this award by the American Society for Nutrition,” Moustaid-Moussa said. “I do not consider this at all as a personal award. This award would not have been possible without a team effort and hard work and dedication of my lab students, postdocs and research staff.”

Such recognition moves Texas Tech along the path to Tier 1 research status, leaders said.
“Texas Tech is committed to groundbreaking research that improves quality of life for people, and nowhere is that more clear than in the work being done to combat obesity,” Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis said. “Congratulations to Dr. Dhurandhar and Dr. Moustaid-Moussa for this recognition. These awards demonstrate the strength of the faculty we have in the College of Human Sciences and at Texas Tech.”

New Study Shows Decrease in Asthma-Related Hospital Visits Following Bariatric Surgery
Plano, Texas—A new study recently released by the department of emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital shows that obese patients who also suffer from asthma had 50% less visits to the hospital following their bariatric surgery.

The study followed over 2,000 obese patients with asthma who decided to undergo weight loss surgery. While 22% of these patients had at least one visit to the emergency room or a hospitalization as the result of asthma related symptoms, only 10.9% of patients had similar experiences two years following bariatric surgery for weight loss. These results, says Dr. Nick Nicholson, the founder and lead surgeon at the Nicholson Clinic for Weight Loss Surgery, one of the leading weight loss surgery centers in North Texas, are not surprising.
“The link between obesity and asthma is undeniable and we know that when weight loss surgery is performed, the conditions related to that obesity begin to improve or even disappear,” says Dr. Nicholson. “Under the appropriate circumstances, there are so many benefits to weight loss surgery and helping patients to breathe easier is one of them.”

There are studies that have been conducted that show that adults who struggle with obesity are nearly five times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma as compared to those with a healthy body weight. More frightening is the fact there are multiple studies that show that obesity in children and teenagers can double their risk of developing asthma. Researchers believe that in those with obesity, the extra weight on the chest puts pressure on the lungs, preventing them from fully expanding. As a result, shorter, more shallow breaths are taken which narrow the airways and potentially cause irritation. With the weight lifted from the chest, the lungs can fully expand and asthma flare-ups decrease as a result.

“There are so many reasons that I’m proud to offer weight loss surgery to patients who have long struggled with obesity,” says Dr. Nicholson. “In addition to helping them look and feel better, surgery often gives them a new lease on life in terms of their ability to live a longer and certainly healthier life. Being able to decrease asthma symptoms and visits to the hospital as a result is another fantastic benefit of surgery for those who have had their health continually compromised by their weight.”

Founded by Dr. Nick Nicholson, one of the country’s leading weight loss surgeons and co-author of “Weight Loss Surgery: The Real Skinny”, the Nicholson Clinic for Weight Loss Surgery offers an integrated approach to achieving health through weight loss. With award-winning,state-of-the-art facilities throughout Texas—and a team of doctors and medical professionals who are at the top of their field—the Nicholson Clinic provides a comprehensive continuum of care that focuses on the whole patient—from weight loss surgery options, physiological support, and nutritional guidance, to physical evaluations, counseling, support groups, and other “life after surgery” programs to help achieve long-term success.

For more information about the Nicholson Clinic for Weight Loss Surgery, visit
To read the study abstract, visit and search PMID: 25670012.

News from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
About the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) represents more than 6,500 endocrinologists in the United States and abroad. AACE is the largest association of clinical endocrinologists in the world. The majority of AACE members is certified in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism and concentrates on the treatment of patients with endocrine and metabolic disorders including diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity. Visit our site at

1.) Dramatic Increases in Diabetes Incidence, Costly Care and Redundant Spending: Leading Medical Association Responds to “Unmanageable” Situation, Pushes Congress to Pass Improved Diabetes Care Legislation
WASHINGTON, DC—An estimated 29.1 million Americans (almost 10 percent of the total population) have diabetes, another 86 million citizens aged 20 or older suffer from pre-diabetes, and spending on diagnosed diabetes has increased 41 percent over five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Further, diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, new cases of blindness among adults and non-traumatic lower-limb amputations in the U.S. and is a gateway to multiple chronic diseases and conditions that are diabetes complications, including heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.

Citing these alarming statistics, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), the world’s largest organization of clinical endocrinologists (specialists in the treatment of diabetes), is leading the charge of more than 40 national organizations representing physicians, allied health professionals, patients, communities and the medical industry in support of legislation that will improve care for those with diabetes, prediabetes and associated illnesses.

The National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act (H.R. 1192/S. 586) calls for the creation of a commission of the country’s foremost diabetes experts—endocrinologists and related clinical care specialists, patient advocates and federal agency representatives—to identify duplication and critical gaps in federal diabetes initiatives and make recommendations to improve the implementation and coordination of diabetes care. The legislation is co-sponsored in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Pete Olson (R-22-TX) and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-2-IA) and in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

“Diabetes and its devastating complications are exacting a terrible physical and financial toll on our country’s population, and it has become an unmanageable situation,” said Dr. Mack Harrell, president of AACE. “While well-intentioned, many of the nation’s healthcare regulatory activities on this front are inconsistent, ineffective or overlapping, so it’s incumbent upon on Congress to take action immediately to pass this legislation that calls for better leveraging our government’s investments to reverse this dire situation and improve clinical care.”
The National Clinical Care Commission Act has been also endorsed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American College of Cardiology, the American Medical Association and The Endocrine Society, not to mention many patient advocacy groups including the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the Diabetes Hands Foundation, the diatribe Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the YMCA of the USA.

A delegation of AACE leaders will be making visits to Congress members to advocate for the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act and other high-priority legislative initiatives.

2.) Top U.S. Medical Association Leading Effort to “Trans-culturalize” Treatment Guidelines Throughout Latin America: Adapting Standards of Care to Maximize Efficacy Within Region’s Varying Cultures
JACKSONVILLE, Florida—Responding to requests from its international members to adapt medical guidelines and best-practice treatment algorithms to be more applicable for use in their home countries, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) just concluded a first-of-its-kind conference where the foundation was laid to achieve culturally maximized quality of endocrine care for patients across and within all borders.
More than 200 endocrinology experts and specialists from 11 Central and South American countries, Mexico and the Caribbean Basin participated in the Pan-American Scientific Symposium: Clinical Endocrinology in Latin America held Feb. 26–28 in San Jose, Costa Rica. The Symposium was hosted in cooperation with the Asociacion Nacional Pro Estudio de la Diabetes, Endocrinologia y Metabolismo to “trans-culturalize” AACE’s medical guidelines and teachings for conditions ranging from diabetes and thyroid disease to obesity and bone disease. The term was coined by AACE to describe the process of adapting medical practices to work within a particular culture. The conference is the first event conducted for AACE’s newly created Center for Transcultural Endocrinology.

“An important part of our work and that of our Latin American colleagues is to acknowledge those variances from country to country that will need to be addressed to implement AACE guidelines, and that we are committed to supporting these and other doctors across the globe to ensure our guidelines are adapted to work optimally for improved patient care within different cultures,” said Jeffrey I. Mechanick, MD, FACP, FACE, FACN, ECNU, Immediate Past President of AACE and Chair of the AACE Pan-American Scientific Symposium Committee.
Dynamic presentations from the region’s top endocrine physicians were complimented by an in-depth, final-day conference workshop, in which select experts from participating countries convened as a group to begin the process of transculturalizing AACE’s guidelines and identifying emergent concepts in four disease categories. The resulting document will be summarized in AACE’s peer-reviewed journal, Endocrine Practice.

First and foremost, the group reached unanimous agreement that they do not support the idea of two levels of care. Rather, they recognize and function based on the premise that there should be only  one level of excellent care.
Among the group’s additional emergent concepts:
•    Type 2 diabetes: All patients being screened for diabetes should have an A1C hemoglobin measurement
•    Obesity: Nutritional education and  more pharmacologic options are necessary to optimize the obesity care model
•    Thyroid nodule management: Increased access to and use of quality neck ultrasound is necessary
•    Bone disease: We need more scientific data on bone loss in Latin America to assist in guiding governmental policy that would support the highest standard of treatment

“By agreeing on these emergent concepts, and with the efforts of physicians who have taken on the task of continuing the work we had begun with this conference, we have established a strong foundation to advance patient care in Latin America and beyond,” stated AACE President R. Mack Harrell, MD, FACP, FACE, ECNU.

“The type of activity that we had was invaluable, because of the opportunity to review guidelines in a very practical way and try to transculturalize the different ways of managing these types of diseases,” said Jose Jimenez, MD, a leading endocrinologist practicing in Costa Rica, “This is the beginning of a new era, in the evolution of the management of endocrine disorders in my region.”

“We can bring to the (Latin American) medical community new concepts and new guidelines to help manage their patients with optimal, quality of care,” added Costa Rican endocrinologist and AACE Costa Rican chapter co-founder Dr. Sonia Cerdas Pérez.

Let the Journey Begin—OAC Releases Pricing Information, Registration date opening and theme for the 2015 Your Weight Matters National Convention
Tampa, Florida—The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) released new and exciting information on its 4th Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention, including registration pricing details, the official opening date of registration, this year’s Convention theme. This year’s Convention, Our Journey—Restore. Refresh. Renew., is set for August 13–16, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas, and will offer the everyday individual concerned with weight and health the latest evidence-based strategies to help them in their journey.

Registration for YWM2015 will officially open on March 23, 2015 offering a variety of affordable options starting at just $30/day for One-day Registrations, and just $95 for the Full Convention Package (early-bird discount savings). “One of the most important factors for someone interested in attending the Convention is the cost of registration. We listened to our attendees and kept the registration cost the same low price as last year. We want everyone interested in this event to be able to be a part of it,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

In 2014, the OAC Convention broke its attendance record with more than 500 attendees from more than 40 different states throughout the nation. The Your Weight Matters Convention has quickly become known throughout the country as the place to be to learn more about topics such as weight, nutrition, exercise, emotional issues, and more from the most sought-after experts in the healthcare field. “Throughout the past three years, Convention speakers have truly been the who’s who in science and research, such as Dr. Arya Sharma, Dr. Michelle May, Dr. Gary Foster, Dr. James Levine, Merrill Littleberry, LCSW, LCDC, CCM, CI-CPT; and many others. There simply is no other event providing this level of education delivered by the biggest names in healthcare,” said Michelle Vicari, OAC Convention Committee Chair.

Located just steps away from the world famous San Antonio Riverwalk, YWM2015 will take place at the beautiful San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter. The Rivercenter hotel is a magnificent 38 story hotel on the River Walk and the OAC has secured a competitive room rate of only $125/night. “I have personally had the pleasure of staying at the host hotel, and it is absolutely amazing. Attendees will feel very comfortable as we learn more about our weight and how it’s impacting our health. ‘Our Journey – Restore. Refresh. Renew.’ is the perfect theme for this year’s event. We want attendees to join with us on this journey. First-time attendees will be captivated by the level of evidence-based education presented, and those who are joining us again know that the OAC does not miss a single detail when it comes to providing attendees with an overall experience of the highest quality,” said Ted Kyle, RPh, MBA, OAC Chairman.

To reserve your room today or for more information on YWM2015, please visit More information on registration, lodging and the ability to sign-up for Convention E-news Alerts is now available online.

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a nearly 50,000 member-strong National non-profit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support.


Category: News and Trends, Past Articles

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