What to Expect at OBESITYWEEK 2014

Published in October 2014 Issue             

More than 5,000 surgeons, doctors, integrated health professionals, scientists, policymakers and other experts on obesity will gather at the Boston Convention and Exhibit Center next week for ObesityWeek 2014.

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASBMS) and The Obesity Society (TOS) have joined forces again to focus the world on the basic science, clinical application and prevention and treatment of obesity.

The weeklong conference beginning Sunday, November 2 will feature the latest research on metabolic and bariatric surgery, randomized clinical trial results on new treatments and technologies, pharmacotherapy, the role of genetics, and how business and economic policies can reduce obesity, to name a few of the topics explored in more than 1,500 scientific abstracts. Presenters include leading practitioners from private practice, as well as researchers from Stanford University, Cleveland Clinic, New York University and Imperial College London, among many others.

"Top Ten Papers” Session will include presentations on sleeve gastrectomy, bariatric biomarkers, medication utilization and bariatric surgery, a randomized clinical trial on an intragastric balloon and predicting potentially preventable hospital readmissions after bariatric surgery.

The Integrated Health Abstract Session will feature a randomized trial on the effects of a very low calorie diet in the preoperative phase of bariatric surgery, results from the ASMBS national survey on the multidisciplinary approach, and changes in taste perception after bariatric surgery.

The keynote speakers include Dr. C. Ronald Kahn, one of the world’s leading diabetes researchers. The Harvard Medical School professor and chief academic officer at the Joslin Diabetes Center will discuss “Developmental Genes and miRNAs in Control of Body Fat.” Dr. Kahn and colleagues at Joslin have been conducting groundbreaking research on the molecular process in fat cells that influences fat distribution and body metabolism.

Dr. Jim Marks, senior vice-president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is speaking on “Building a Culture of Health: The Childhood Obesity Story.” The former assistant surgeon general and director of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion will discuss how to build bridges between clinical care and the community to help Americans lead healthier lifestyles.

The Integrated Health Keynote speaker, Rebecca Puhl, PhD, deputy director, Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, will talk about ways to address the obesity stigma in health care and what that means for bariatric care.

Ninh T. Nguyen, MD

“Obesity is a chronic disease that requires a multidisciplinary approach to treatment,” said Ninh T. Nguyen, MD, ASMBS President, who will deliver a presidential address on the society’s accomplishments this year and the challenges and opportunities
of tomorrow.

“ObesityWeek brings together all these disciplines under one roof for an unprecedented transfer of knowledge about the science and treatment of obesity. It’s an event like this and the people who come here that help move the needle on the biggest public health problem in the world,” Dr. Nguyen said.

Dr. Edward E. Mason, the father of bariatric surgery, will deliver the Edward E. Mason Founder’s Lecture. Dr. Mason, who celebrated his 94th birthday this month, will address ObesityWeek in a live telecast from Iowa, where he will reflect on his and the society’s storied past and the lessons we can learn from history.

More than 40 partner organizations including the American College of Sports Medicine, American Heart Association, American Society for Nutrition and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists will hold symposia on topics including physical activity for bariatric surgery patients, identifying obesity and cardiovascular risks in racial and ethnic minorities and important components of weight loss programs.

Georgeann Mallory, RD

"More organizations are involved than ever. We have a record number of exhibitors and the quality of the education continues to set a new bar,” said Georgeann Mallory, ASMBS Executive Director.

The ASMBS Foundation will be holding its annual LEAD Awards in conjunction with ObesityWeek 2014 on Monday, November 3 from noon to 1:30 p.m. The ASMBS and ASMBS Foundation will present awards to leaders in the field of bariatric surgery who have shown superior guidance, training, and dedication. Dr. Robert Brolin will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award; Dr. James Mitchell will be presented with the ASMBS Integrated Health Circle of Excellence Award; Dr. Walter Pories will get the Patient Safety and Quality Award and Dr. John Dixon will get the Master Educator Award; Dr. Kimberly Steele will be presented with the Excellence in Nutrition Award and Henry Alder is the recipient of the Distinguished Industry Award. Tickets may be purchased on the Foundation’s website.

The ASMBS will also have a book signing with the editors of The ASMBS Textbook of Bariatric Surgery, on Thursday, November 6th during the lunch break. This new two-volume textbook was written and edited by leading experts in the field of bariatric surgery and integrated health.

“This comprehensive and authoritative guide to bariatric surgery was created by ASMBS members for ASMBS members. No one knows this material better,” said ASMBS president Ninh T. Nguyen and one of the editors. “This textbook will be an important educational resources for years to come. I look forward to talking to our members about it.”