News and Trends—November 2016

| November 1, 2016

News from The Obesity Society

The Obesity Society Honors Two U.S. Senators, Current and Emerging Leaders in Obesity Research with its 2016 Awards and Grants
Awardees will be recognized at ObesityWeek℠ 2016, Oct. 31- Nov. 4, in New Orleans
SILVER SPRING, Maryland ‚ Each year The Obesity Society (TOS) promotes, rewards and encourages research in the field of obesity through its annual awards and grants program. The recipients of this year’s awards and grants will be honored during ObesityWeek 2016, the leading educational and scientific conference with a focus on obesity prevention and treatment to be held Oct. 31- Nov. 4, in New Orleans, La.

“It’s not often that I’ve had the opportunity to recognize such an esteemed group of professionals each of whom has contributed a great deal to the obesity field,” says Penny Gordon-Larsen, PhD, FTOS President. “I am honored to be a part of TOS’s efforts to recognize these stellar scientists and policymakers who have made such a tremendous impact in a range of areas from basic science to clinical research to policy development, many of whom are long-standing or emerging TOS leaders.”

Since TOS Presidential Medals of Distinction were established in 2014, each year TOS President handpicks individuals for their distinguished service to TOS, advocacy for persons with obesity and work on breakthrough discoveries or treatments for the disease. This year, Dr. Gordon-Larsen is pleased to recognize the following individuals with these Medals for their leadership in pushing forward policy measures to expand patient access to care for obesity treatments.

U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, MD (Louisiana) and Thomas Carper (Delaware) for their leadership and support for the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act, legislation that will provide Medicare recipients and their healthcare providers with meaningful tools to treat and reduce obesity by improving access to obesity screening and counseling services, and new prescription drugs for chronic weight management. This is a truly impressive, bipartisan effort to improve the care of people with obesity.

Joseph Nadglowski, President and CEO of the Obesity Action Coalition, for leading the charge to advocate for better treatment, access to care and better health for persons with obesity. Mr. Nadglowski has transformed advocacy by giving patients with obesity power, voice and visibility.

These recipients, and many others, will be honored for their significant contributions to the prevention and treatment of obesity at TOS’s Opening Session at ObesityWeek on Tuesday, Nov. 13 from 5:00 – 6:30pm CT. “I applaud all of the 2016 recipients and finalists for their significant contributions to the research and treatment of obesity,” continues Dr. Gordon-Larsen. “Their work is inspiring and I’m pleased to be able to recognize them with this well-deserved honor.”

TOS is pleased to congratulate the following recipients of the 2016 TOS Awards and Grants.

2016 George A. Bray Founders Award recognizes an individual for significant contributions that advance the scientific or clinical basis for understanding or treating obesity and for extensive involvement with The Obesity Society. Recipient receives a plaque and a $1,000 cash prize.
Recipient: Steven B. Heymsfield, MD, FTOS, Louisiana State University System

2016 Friends of Albert (Mickey) Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award is designed to recognize people who, like Albert (Mickey) Stunkard, have made a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the field of obesity in terms of scholarship, mentorship and education. Recipient receives a plaque and $1,000 cash prize.
Recipient: Dale Alan Schoeller, PhD, FTOS, University of Wisconsin-Madison

2016 Atkinson-Stern Award for Distinguished Public Service recognizes an individual or organization whose work has improved the lives of those affected by obesity, whether through research, public policy, patient care or other means. This award was established by a gift from Thomas A. Wadden. Recipient receives a plaque and a $1,000 award.
Recipient: William H. Dietz, Jr, MD, PhD, FTOS, Milken Institute School of Public Health

2016 TOPS Research Achievement Award recognizes an individual for singular achievement or contribution to research in the field of obesity. This award is made possible through an annual grant from the Take Off Pounds Sensibly Foundation (TOPS). Recipients receive a plaque and $5,000 cash prize and an ObesityWeek travel grant.
Recipient: Roger D. Cone, PhD, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

2016 Lilly Scientific Achievement Award recognizes excellence in an established research career and is made possible through an annual grant from the Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Company. Recipients receive a plaque and $5,000 cash prize and a travel grant to ObesityWeek.
Recipient: Marian Tanofsky-Kraff, PhD, FTOS, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

2016 Ethan Sims Young Investigator Awards recognize excellence in research by young investigators based on their submitted abstracts and presentation during TOS Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek. Each finalist receives up to $1,000 to cover ObesityWeek expenses. The winner receives an additional $1,000 cash prize and a plaque. The award is presented during a plenary session on Friday, Nov. 4 before which the five finalists are invited to present their oral abstracts.
Finalist: Arpana Gupta, PhD, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Finalist: Jodi Nettleton, PhD
student, University of Calgary
Finalist: Kazanna Hames, PhD,
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Finalist: Chunmei Wang, PhD,
Baylor College of Medicine
Finalist: Chanaka Kahathuduwa,
MD, Texas Tech University

2016 Early Career Research Grant is offered to a junior-level investigator or postdoctoral trainee to fund a proposal up to $25,000 that demonstrates a high likelihood of resulting in new and innovative approaches in obesity research.
Recipient: John T. Garretson, PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

2016 Weight Watchers Karen Miller-Kovach Research Grant is awarded to the following individual who will be funded for $50,000 over one year to develop scalable, behavioral weight-loss interventions that include digital tools.
Recipient: Allan Geliebter, PhD, Touro College and University System

2016 Early Career Research Grant Challenge, in its second year, provides a platform for early career finalists for the award to present their research ideas on stage to a panel of judges during TOS’s Opening Session at ObesityWeek. Each finalist is given a $1,500 travel grant to attend ObesityWeek, and the overall winner of the competition receives a $25,000 research grant.
Finalist: Priyanka Bakhtiani, MD, University Hospitals, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital
Finalist: Chanaka Kahathuduwa, MD, Texas Tech University Finalist: Ki Suk Kim, PhD, University of Michigan
Finalist: Shristi Rawal, PhD, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

2016 The George A. Bray Master’s Thesis & Doctoral Dissertation Awards recognize individuals who have completed their master thesis or doctoral dissertation and was successfully defended in the current year. The George A. Bray Master Thesis Award recipient receives a $500 cash award and a $1,500 travel grant. The George A. Bray Doctoral Dissertation Award receives a $1,000 cash award.
Recipient: Amber Alhadeff, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
Recipient: Lisa Shank, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

2016 Pioneer Award for Excellence in the Field is awarded by TOS eHealth/mHealth Section for demonstrating excellence in further advancements in technologies, obesity research, prevention and treatment.
Recipient: Lora Burke, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing
Recipient: Deborah Tate, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2016 Oded Bar-Or Award recognizes an individual selected by the Pediatric Obesity Section for contributions to pediatric obesity research, advances in scientific understanding of etiology, prevention and treatment.
Recipient: Dianne Ward, EdD, University of North Carolina

2016 Clinician of the Year Award, selected by the Clinical Management Section, recognizes an American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) diplomate who exemplifies and embodies the clinical management of obesity.
The recipient of the award will be announced at ObesityWeek 2016 during the TOS (CMO Section) ABOM Reception on Thursday, Nov. 3, 7:30 – 9:00pm CT, Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Grand Salon A6.

2016 Thomas A. Wadden Award for Distinguished Mentorship is awarded to a senior TOS member for distinguished mentorship of the Society’s members who were in their early careers at the time of the mentoring relationship. The recipient receives a plaque and $1,000 cash award.
Recipient: Harvey J. Grill, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

2016 TOS Fellowship Sponsored by Pfizer recognizes a recipient of a fellowship with a focus on central control of obesity, with an emphasis on mechanistic studies to deepen our basic understanding of the homeostatic and reward neurocircuitries underlying food intake.
Recipient: Richard M. O’Connor, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

2016 TOS & Weight Watchers Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program is a two-year post-doctoral fellowship offered to a recipient for training and research in obesity within an industry context.
Recipient: Katlin Roke, PhD, University of Guelph

2016 Pat Simons Travel Grants awards young investigators a $1,000 grant to help offset the expenses related to attending ObesityWeek. Recipients are selected based on the quality of their abstract submitted to TOS Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek.
Recipient: Shana Adise, Pennsylvania State University
Recipient: Melanie Baskind, Harvard Medical School
Recipient: Navpreet Chhina, MD, Hammersmith hospital & Imperial College London
Recipient: Jocelyn Dunstan, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Recipient: David Hume, MD, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Recipient: Elissa Kim, PhD, University of California, San Diego, School of medicine
Recipient: Gina Tripicchino, MS, MSEd, The University of North Carolina a Chapel Hill

2016 Foster Schauer Travel Grants award a $2,500 grant and a certificate to two recipients to help offset the expenses related to attending ObesityWeek. Two winners are selected, one from TOS and one from ASMBS, based on the quality and ranking of an abstract that has been accepted for presentation during ObesityWeek.
TOS Recipient: Theo Niyonsenega, PhD, University of South Australia
ASMBS Recipient: Alex Michaels, MD, University of Virginia

2016 Bench to Bedside Awards provide two TOS early career members in attendance at ObesityWeek a $1,000 travel grant each. The recipients are selected at random on site at ObesityWeek.

About The Obesity Society.The Obesity Society (TOS) is the leading professional society dedicated to better understanding, preventing and treating obesity. Through research, education and advocacy, TOS is committed to improving the lives of those affected by the disease. For more information visit: Connect with us on social media: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Find information about industry relationships here.

About ObesityWeek 2016. ObesityWeek is the premier, international event focused on the basic science, clinical application, prevention and treatment of obesity. TOS and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) host the world’s pre-eminent conference on obesity, ObesityWeek 2016, Oct. 31 – Nov. 4, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. For the fourth year, both organizations hold their respective annual scientific meetings under one roof to unveil exciting new research, discuss emerging treatment and prevention options, and network and present. Connect and share with ObesityWeek on Twitter and Facebook, or by using #OW2016.

WHO urges global action to curtail consumption and health impacts of sugary drinks
Geneva, Switzerland—Taxing sugary drinks can lower consumption and reduce obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay, says a new WHO report.

Fiscal policies that lead to at least a 20% increase in the retail price of sugary drinks would result in proportional reductions in consumption of such products, according to the report titled “Fiscal policies for Diet and Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)”.

Reduced consumption of sugary drinks means lower intake of “free sugars” and calories overall, improved nutrition and fewer people suffering from overweight, obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.

Free sugars refer to monosaccharides (such as glucose or fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) added to foods and drinks by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices, and fruit juice concentrates.

Obesity on the rise. “Consumption of free sugars, including products like sugary drinks, is a major factor in the global increase of people suffering from obesity and diabetes,” says Dr Douglas Bettcher, Director of WHO’s Department for the Prevention of NCDs. “If governments tax products like sugary drinks, they can reduce suffering and save lives. They can also cut healthcare costs and increase revenues to invest in health services.”

In 2014, more than 1 in 3 (39%) adults worldwide aged 18 years and older were overweight. Worldwide prevalence of obesity more than doubled between 1980 and 2014, with 11% of men and 15% of women (more than half a billion adults) being classified as obese.

In addition, an estimated 42 million children aged under 5 years were overweight or obese in 2015, an increase of about 11 million during the past 15 years. Almost half (48%) of these children lived in Asia and 25% in Africa.

The number of people living with diabetes has also been rising, from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. The disease was directly responsible for 1.5 million deaths in 2012 alone.

Need to reduce sugar intake. “Nutritionally, people don’t need any sugar in their diet. WHO recommends that if people do consume free sugars, they keep their intake below 10% of their total energy needs, and reduce it to less than 5% for additional health benefits. This is equivalent to less than a single serving (at least 250 ml) of commonly consumed sugary drinks per day,” says Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.

According to the new WHO report, national dietary surveys indicate that drinks and foods high in free sugars can be a major source of unnecessary calories in people’s diets, particularly in the case of children, adolescents and young adults.

It also points out that some groups, including people living on low incomes, young people and those who frequently consume unhealthy foods and beverages, are most responsive to changes in prices of drinks and foods and, therefore, gain the highest health benefits.

To access the full press release, please visit:


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