The Vastness of Los Angeles

10 Musts for ObesityWeek 2015

The vastness of Los Angeles is a perfect setting for the vast information on obesity that will be presented at ObesityWeek 2015 beginning Monday. With nearly 1,000 studies being presented in more than 200 scheduled sessions with 30 partner organizations, you might wonder where to start. Picking out a few things to recommend is an absurdly impossible task, but here goes anyway.

  1. Opening Session. Obesity Society President Nikhil Dhurandhar will present a compelling distillation of the complex issues we must resolve in obesity. And for the first time ever, five finalists will compete for a $40,000 research grant to be awarded during the opening session (Tue 5 pm, LACC Hall G).
  2. Policy Insights. In the Advocacy Forum (Tue 3:30 pm, LACC 518) and the Access to Care session (Fri 8 am, LACC 403AB), Jennifer Shinall of Vanderbilt University and others will talk about discrimination in access to care for obesity and strategies to overcome it. ConscienHealth’s Ted Kyle will present data on obesity care coverage from a patient perspective (Wed 3:30pm, LACC 511ABC). Diverse perspectives on experience with taxing sugar sweetened beverages will be presented in a symposium (Fri 3:45pm, LACC 511ABC).
  3. Brain Science. In a week with abundant new information about the intersection of obesity and brain science, presentations in the Obesity Journal Symposium (Wed 5:15 pm, LACC 511ABC) stand out. In particular, new data on hypothalamic injury linked to obesity and insulin resistance is “very important in understanding the etiology of obesity and confirms what we’ve shown in rodents,” says journal editor Donna Ryan. “I believe it’s a first demonstration of this in humans.”
  4. Community Health Strategies. Loel Soloman will present a Public Health keynote address describing a whole-person, whole-community approach to obesity prevention and treatment, based on his work as Vice President for Community Health at Kaiser Permanente and a member of the IOM Obesity Solutions Roundtable (Wed 8 am, LACC Hall G).
  5. Brown Adipose Tissue. Jan Nedergaard, a pioneer in brown adipose tissue research, will present the very latest science for this important field of obesity research expected to yield important breakthroughs in understanding and treating the disease (Fri 11 am, LACC Hall G).
  6. Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Outcomes. Two-year data from the landmark Teen-LABS study will be presented on Friday, in conjunction with publication in the New England Journal of Medicine (Fri 1:45 pm, LACC 502A).
  7. Childhood Obesity Treatment and Coverage. A sneak peek at a soon-to-be-published childhood obesity report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) details strategies to fill gaps in delivering evidence-based treatment to children with obesity and their families (Thu 10:30 am, LACC 515B).
  8. Stigma and Bias. New data on the impact of bias and related psychological issues in adolescents with obesity will be presented in an oral session (Wed 1:30 pm, LACC 502B). Important data on recent trends in weight bias and related public attitudes toward people with obesity will be presented Friday (12 pm, Poster T-P-3743).
  9. Obesity Care. Innovative models for delivering obesity care, including group medical visits, Medicare coverage for intensive behavioral therapy, and expanding roles for allied health professionals will be presented Thursday (1:30 pm, LACC 515B). Lee Kaplan and colleagues presents new research on the divergence between clinicians and patients in obesity care (Fri 12 pm, Late-Breaking Poster T-P-LB-3884).
  10. Your Weight Matters LA. The Obesity Action Coalition presents an educational event for the everyday people concerned with the health impact of their weight and real, evidence-based ways to address it (Sat 8 am, LACC 152).

This list could easily go on forever. You can find plenty of other highlights in the web app or the mobile app, available for Android or iPhone.

The Vastness of Los Angeles, photograph © melfoody / flickr

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November 1, 2015