Obesity Education

“Obesity has adverse effects on nearly every organ system in the body, and is an important cause of a constellation of metabolic abnormalities that are risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The management of obesity and its complications is complex and requires a chronic disease approach. However, advances in behavioral, pharmacological, and surgical therapy make obesity a manageable disease for physicians and other healthcare providers who have had appropriate education and training.”
– Samuel Klein, MD

As of June 2013, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially recognized obesity as a disease, a designation that physicians hope will improve patient outcomes and reimbursements for obesity-related care. During its 2013 Annual Meeting, the AMA’s House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to recognize obesity “as a disease state with multiple pathophysiological aspects requiring a range of interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention.”

In the past two years, the diagnosis and treatment of obesity has become an obligation for healthcare professionals. Healthcare providers now have an important role in promoting preventative measures and encouraging lifestyle modification, in addition to counseling patients about safe and effective approaches for weight loss and maintenance. As stated by Dr. Patrice Harris, a member of the AMA Board of Trustees, “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans.” She further stated that this new classification will also assist in the fight against Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Worldwide Diabetes shares the opinions of the major educational organizations and foundations that support obesity education, such as the American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), and American College of Endocrinology (ACE). While the incidence of obesity continues to grow in the United States, that trend is also increasing in most every other country in the world. At least 2.8 million people worldwide die each year as a result of overweight or obesity, and approximately 35.8 million years of life are lost due to premature morbidity and mortality caused by overweight and obesity. This underscores the increasing need for education in order to treat this rising epidemic.

I am pleased to advise you that I am partnering with Worldwide Diabetes, serving as the Obesity Advisor, assisting with the creation of educational initiatives targeted to healthcare professionals. The goal of this initiative is to provide critical, timely information to healthcare professionals in order to assist them with the management of their patients’ disease.

With Worldwide Diabetes’ global presence, we have been able to sponsor several obesity education initiatives at various international congresses in the past year. Specifically, we have partnered with the 1st Annual Pan American Congress of Internal Medicine, AACE 2015 Pan American Scientific Symposium (Clinical Endocrinology in Latin America), and COLAEN/EndoRecife 2015 (Latin American College of Endocrinology/Brazil). Given the growing trend of diabetes in Latin and South America, the need for these programs was quite high and of immediate value.

Posted here are links to some of the presentations provided during these programs, covering important topics such as the pathophysiology of obesity, the mechanism of action of therapeutic options to treat obesity, and a clinical review of current and emerging treatments for obesity. Our intent is to continue to provide high quality, evidence-based programs around the world on this important topic so as to educate healthcare professionals on the management of obesity and its related comorbidities. Please continue to check back frequently for updates.

Yours sincerely,

Samuel Klein, MD
Worldwide Diabetes Obesity Advisor
William H. Danforth Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Science
Director, Center for Human Nutrition
Chief, Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science
Department of Medicine
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri

The following resources were originally presented at international conferences for Spanish-speaking
healthcare professionals. Check back for English versions or email us for more information.

Posted with permission from American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists © 2015 AACE. Endocr Pract. 2014;20:979-989. Click here for full article.