OBESITY+ A Service of the Canadian Obesity Network

As we continue with this month’s campaign to raise funds for the Canadian Obesity Network, I thought it may be a good idea to review some of the many services and activities that the Network has been providing its members. – one of them is OBESITY+ – a partnership between the Network and McMaster University’s.

OBESITY+ provides its clinician members (and anyone else who may be interested) with an automatic e-mail alert and link every time a “high quality” article on obesity prevention or management is published in the medical literature.

This service is called OBESITY+ (which stands for Online Best Evidence Service in Tackling obesitY PLUS) and is available online for free.

The engine behind this extraordinary service (that cuts through and eliminates about 98% of all published literature on obesity) is McMaster University’s Health Knowledge Refinery.

The features of OBESITY+ include:

  • A systematic review of over 120 journals (including quarterly updates of the Cochrane Library) with selection of articles by expert research staff concerning the cause, course, diagnosis, prediction, prevention, treatment, and economics of obesity, according to explicit criteria, with high reproducibility and periodic quality assurance checks.
  • Ratings of each eligible article for clinical relevance and newsworthiness by at least 3 practitioners with an interest in obesity.
  • E-mail alerts about new evidence, adjusted to the user’s preset levels of relevance, newsworthiness, and frequency. Each alert includes clinical ratings and comments, and electronic links to the article’s abstract on PubMed (if available) and to the fulltext article on PubMed or the publisher’s site (if available for free).
  • A cumulative searchable bibliographic database of the alerts that is continuously updated.
  • A user interface allowing each user to register for a subset of the accumulating database by practitioner type.
  • A link to EvidenceUpdates, a service from the BMJ Group and McMaster University’s Health Information Research Unit that provides access to current best evidence from research, tailored to the user’s health care interests, to support evidence-based clinical decisions.

This service, now used by thousands of obesity professionals around the world, is available to all members of the Canadian Obesity Network but does require a separate registration and log-in to set your personal alerting threshold and frequency. As a clinician, you can even opt in as a rater for new articles.

If there is only one place where you have time to go for the best in obesity research – it is certainly OBESITY+

I always find it interesting to see how practitioners rate these new articles and am often surprised to note which articles turn out to be most popular.

Now that OBESITY+ has been online almost 6 years, I’d certainly love to hear from anyone using this service.

If you are not yet a subscriber, register for OBESITY+ now!

And don’t forget to make your contribution to CON.

Banff, AB