Annual meeting highlights intersection of obesity, diabetes

ObesityWeek 2019 offers attendees a full schedule of cutting-edge nutrition, obesity, public policy and bariatric surgery research, with a special series of lectures this year focusing on type 2 diabetes, one of obesity’s more common comorbidities.

Paul MacLean

The seventh annual ObesityWeek, convened by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and The Obesity Society (TOS), brings together approximately 5,500 attendees to take in scientific presentations, keynote lectures and networking events, as well as postgraduate courses offered for surgeons and integrated health professionals. The meeting, described as the largest international conference on obesity, takes place through Thursday at the Mandalay Bay South Convention Center in Las Vegas, and offers nurses, dietitians, mental health professionals, physicians, surgeons and researchers the opportunity to connect and share their specialized expertise and concentrations.

“ObesityWeek is really the central hub for science on obesity treatment and weight management,” Paul MacLean, PhD, professor at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus and an ObesityWeek program committee co-chair, told Endocrine Today. “We are the premier society that brings a lot of different sciences and disciplines together to understand obesity and talk about how we address this worldwide epidemic.”

Matthew R. Hayes

This year’s agenda features a lineup of talks and research dedicated to the intersection of diabetes and obesity, Matthew R. Hayes, PhD, associate professor of nutritional neuroscience and vice chair of basic and translational neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, and an ObesityWeek program committee co-chair, told Endocrine Today. On Thursday, Barbara E. Corkey, PhD, professor emeritus of medicine and former vice chair for research in the department of medicine at Boston University, will give the TOS keynote presentation, titled, “Why have we failed to decrease obesity and diabetes?”

“Dr. Corkey will be presenting a lifetime of research on efforts to understand pancreatic beta cell signaling pathways and how these efforts have opened new avenues of obesity research,” Hayes said.

The program also showcases research on obesity across the life cycle, Hayes said.

“One thing that stands out is our need to look at obesity across the life cycle, not just in an aging population, but also the prenatal programming that is implicated and is becoming a greater focus for our society, to look at ways to prevent obesity from occurring,” Hayes said. “As much as we are looking at ways to treat obesity, we have to change policies and practice and increase education and outreach and really look at the mechanisms that set up early life to increase the risk for developing obesity.”