4th World Congress on Interventional Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes Focuses on Barriers to Utilization of Bariatric/Metabolic Surgery and Hosts the First-Ever Joint Consensus Conference on Obesity & Diabetes Stigma

| April 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

For Immediate Release – April 4, 2019

Rachel Zeevy; Kenes Group
[email protected]
Tel: +972-52-5884470

4th World Congress on Interventional Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes Focuses on Barriers to Utilization of Bariatric/Metabolic Surgery and Hosts the First-Ever Joint Consensus Conference on Obesity & Diabetes Stigma

45 Leading Global Societies and 90 World-Renowned Experts to Gather in New York City at the 4th World Congress on Interventional Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apr 4, 2019–The 4th World Congress on Interventional Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes (WCITD), (April 8-10, 2019, Hilton Midtown in New York City), organized in partnership with the American Diabetes Association (ADA), will host the first joint consensus conference on obesity and diabetes stigma. The initiative, which involves multiple scientific societies from the USA and around the world, will develop a white paper that analyzes the causes of stigma and proposes educational and policy initiatives designed to eradicate it.

Participating organizations in the stigma conference include, in addition to the ADA, the World Obesity Federation (WOF), The Obesity Society (TOS), European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), Diabetes UK, Obesity Canada, Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity (IFSO), and many others.

People with obesity face increased risks of serious medical complications in addition to a pervasive, negative social stigma. They are often discriminated against in the workplace and education, and even by healthcare professionals. Research has shown that obesity stigma can cause physical and psychological adverse consequences among affected individuals, who are less likely to seek and receive adequate care. Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, the prevailing view in society is that obesity is a choice – a condition, rather than a disease – that can be reversed simply by voluntary decisions to eat less and exercise more. These assumptions mislead public health policies, confuse messages in popular media, undermine access to evidence-based treatments, and compromise advances in research.

“Weight stigma represents a major stumbling block in the fight against the pandemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Francesco Rubino, Director of WCITD 2019, Chair of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery at King’s College London, and consultant surgeon at King’s College Hospital, London, United Kingdom. “Tackling stigma is not only a matter of human rights and social justice but also a way to advance prevention and treatment of these diseases. It is time to put aside longstanding preconceptions and unsupported beliefs through a new public narrative of obesity that is coherent with modern scientific knowledge and respectful of the rights of affected people,” he added.

Dr. William T. Cefalu, ADA’s Chief Scientific, Medical and Mission Officer and program co-chair of the 4th WCITD said, “It is a milestone for major scientific organizations from the USA and around the world are joining efforts to understand and challenge the stigma associated with weight and diabetes. This is a unique opportunity to speak with one voice to raise awareness of the negative consequences of weight and diabetes stigma and address the misconceptions that influence, cause, or reinforce it.”

Another highlight of WCITD 2019, a three-day forum entirely focused on review and discussion of the latest scientific evidence on the use and study of gastrointestinal (GI) interventions for type 2 diabetes, is a consensus-development conference to appraise barriers to utilization of bariatric/metabolic surgery in eligible patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Results of an international survey on utilization of bariatric/metabolic surgery across more than 30 countries will be presented at 4th WCITD for the first time. This survey shows that in most nations, including the USA, fewer than 0.9% of eligible patients have access to surgical treatment of diabetes (metabolic surgery), despite compelling evidence of its efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness. Procedures such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, which have been shown to improve and, in most cases, induce complete remission of type 2 diabetes, are now recognized as a standard therapy for this disease by more than 50 worldwide scientific and medical organizations 1.

Experts representing many organizations will seek to understand the obstacles that prevent use of surgery in appropriate candidates, and they will develop a roadmap of education and policy initiatives to help ensure implementation of these guidelines.

“It is worrisome that a highly effective, evidence-based treatment for diabetes is being underutilized by the vast majority of patients in need. Lack of patients’ and physicians’ awareness of new evidence and guidelines, inadequate insurance coverage, and misperceptions about risks or aims of metabolic surgery negatively impact access to this approach”, said Dr. Philip Schauer, Professor of Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Director of the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric & Metabolic Institute, and program co-chair of the 4th WCITD 2019. “Addressing such barriers should be a priority for healthcare providers and policy makers.”

The program of WCITD will also provide an update about the mechanisms by which surgery on the gastrointestinal tract improves diabetes. “Metabolic surgery works in ways that are only partially understood,” said Dr. David Cummings, Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington, Director of the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System’s Weight Management Program, and program co-chair of the 4th WCITD. “Understanding how surgery works can inform the search for novel and less invasive interventions and/or new drugs, and it might facilitate further recognition of the underlying mechanisms of diseases,” he added.

Type 2 diabetes and obesity represent a major public health challenge for the 21st century and are the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. Diabetes is currently the seventh-leading cause of death, globally and nationally, and prevalence of these two diseases continues to rise simultaneously. An estimated 39 percent of people worldwide live with both diseases. Despite this, type 2 diabetes and obesity still receive far less research funding compared to other diseases, relative to their prevalence and the financial burden they impose on society. Projected costs of diabetes, both direct (e.g., prevention, diagnosis, treatment) and indirect (e.g., workplace absenteeism) was $327 billion in 2017 in the United States and over $1.3 trillion globally. 2,3

The 4th WCITD seeks to change policies, practices, and the way healthcare providers, policy makers, and the general public think about diabetes and obesity.

Event Highlights:

  • Results of the Attitudes Stigma & Knowledge (“ASK”) Study will be presented for the first time at WCITD. This online survey of more than 3,000 subjects conducted by King’s College London and University of Leeds, UK, investigated prevalence of obesity stigma among the lay public in the U.S. and the U.K., as well as among healthcare professionals from around the world. The study sought to determine possible causes of stigma and the influence of such stigma in shaping attitudes toward available treatments for obesity. (Data will be presented on April 10, 2019.)
  • Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, will present new data from the STAMPEDE randomized clinical trial on April 8 2019, comparing the long-term effects of metabolic surgery vs medical and lifestyle interventions on the quality of life of patients with type 2 diabetes.
  • Four consensus-development conferences:
    1. Stigma as a stumbling block in type 2 diabetes and obesity care, research, and policy.
    2. Barriers to implementation of metabolic surgery guidelines.
    3. Remission of diabetes: update from a joint consensus conference for the definition of “diabetes remission” and its implications for care and policy, with discussion from the ADA, EASD, Diabetes UK, & DSS – April 9, 2019.
    4. Establishing safe standards for development of novel procedures and device-based therapies to treat type 2 diabetes (a joint consensus conference with participation by ADA, AACE, SAGES, ASMBS, ASGE, & IFSO – April 9, 2019.

For more information about the event program, visit http://www.wcitd.com.

For media-approved promotional tools, check out the WCITD tool kit at https://wcitd.com/promotional-toolkit/


  1. Rubino F. et al. Metabolic Surgery in the Treatment Algorithm for Type 2 Diabetes: A Joint Statement by International Diabetes Organizations. Diabetes Care 2016 Jun;39(6):861-77. doi: 10.2337/dc16-0236
  2. American Diabetes Association. Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2017. Diabetes Care 2018; https://doi.org/10.2337/dci18-0007
  3. Bommer C. et al. Global Economic of Diabetes in Adults: Projections from 2015 to 2030. Diabetes Care 2018 May; 41(5): 963-970. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc17-1962

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Category: Past Articles, Symposium Preview

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