Warding Off Obesity At The Alamo

The next few days, I will be attending the 30th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society at the San Antonio Convention Centre, just a few steps from the Alamo.

As a Fellow of this organisation and someone, who has sat on well over a handful of TOS committees, attending this conference has become part of an annual rite – one that I certainly enjoy very much.

This year, to coincide with the start of this meeting, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) dedicates a full issue to obesity.

Articles include a discussion of government’s role in obesity prevention, a number of viewpoint pieces on obesity drugs, a randomised controlled study on the effect of exercise dose on diabetes risk in children, a survey on the possible role of bisphenol A in obesity, a 20 year analysis of the health benefits of bariatric surgery, a randomised controlled trial of surgery versus conservative treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, and a discussion of differences in diabetes risk by adiposity phenotype – in short, a pot-pourri of current topics of interest – no game changers – but certainly a few thoughtful comments, interesting new data and a general indication of the breadth of epidemiological and clinical research in this field.

Certainly an issue of JAMA that all of us working in the field should probably read cover-to-cover (fortunately, most of these articles are available for free download).

Historians may recall that in the end the defenders of the Alamo, despite their heroics, ultimately lost the battle (but not the war). Often, the few researchers and practitioners, who have dedicated most of their careers to better understanding and fighting obesity (and the many misconceptions about it), may feel that they too are fighting against impossible odds.

Just how much progress will be made remains to be seen – the next few days will at least show if we are headed in the right direction.

San Antonio, TX