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Physical Activity and Inactivity
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Regular physical activity can provide a variety of health benefits – such as a decreased risk of depression and increased life expectancy. But what role does physical activity play when it comes to obesity? In this month’s newsletter, we examine the current body of literature on the connections between physical activity and obesity. 
Extensive literature indicates that physical inactivity is associated with increased risks of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast and colon cancers. Inactivity also accounts for approximately 9% of premature mortality. In 2013, physical inactivity cost health-care systems approximately $53.8 billion worldwide, of which $31.2 billion was paid by the public sector, $12.9 billion by the private sector, and $9.7 billion by households. In addition, physical inactivity was responsible for 13.4 million disability -adjusted life years worldwide, and physical inactivity-related deaths contributed to $13.7 billion in productivity losses.
Children and adolescents are a group of concern when it comes to physical inactivity, due to high rates of sedentary behavior, including excessive screen time. Approximately 80% of adolescents worldwide are not sufficiently active (as shown in the figure below), and many adolescents engage in two or more hours of recreational screen time daily. Time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is inversely associated with changes in BMI from ages 9 to 15, and physical activity contributes to the attainment and maintenance of healthy weight among youth.

Source: van Sluijs

Physical activity plays a key role in weight loss, weight maintenance, and the prevention of weight gain and obesity; however, without changes in diet, very high levels of physical activity are necessary to achieve clinically significant weight loss as well as improved weight maintenance. While physical activity by itself does not appear to have a major impact on weight loss, it does have an effect on changes in body composition. A study of young adults found that while moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity physical activity were not significantly associated with decreases in BMI over time, they were both significantly associated with decreased fat mass and decreased percentage of body fat in young adults with overweight or obesity. Physical activity also has an effect on health outcomes, independent of its effects on weight and body compostion. Regular physical activity and exercise are associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, all of which are common comorbidities of obesity. These benefits emphasize the importance of physical activity for people with obesity.
The built environment has a significant impact on weight outcomes, particularly among children. A study which evaluated favorable characteristics of neighborhoods for physical activity found that children living in neighborhoods with high physical activity environments, defined as having at least one high-quality park as well as built environments that were conducive to walking, with a high residential density, land-use mix, and street connectivity, had the lowest rates of overweight and obesity compared with children living in other neighborhood types. Another study that examined the same associations over time found that environments that were more walkable and recreation-supportive were associated with better child weight outcomes.
A variety of multi-disciplinary interventions can improve physical activity rates and subsequently reduce obesity among populations, especially for children who could benefit now, into adulthood, and for future generations. First, urban design strategies and city planning policies should focus on setting and achieving specific health and sustainability targets. The creation of walkable and cycling-friendly neighborhoods with accessible public open spaces can improve the health of populations and lower the risk of non-communicable disease. Schools also provide an important locus for physical activity. High quality sport and physical education programs can enable students to develop lifelong physical activity skills

Finally, when it comes to implementing physical activity guidelines, it is critical that governments sustain their commitment and investments to physical activity and collaborate across sectors in their efforts to increase physical activity in their populations. The World Health Organization encourages governments to consider social and cultural contexts while communicating, disseminating, and implementing public health guidelines into national guidelines.


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Upcoming Events

Sep. 15: NUTRITION 2022 Virtual Event
Sep. 20 & 21: PCNA/ABC Health Equity Summit
Sep. 20: COPE Webinar -- Culinary Medicine in Clinical Practice
Sep. 21: COPE Webinar -- Behavioral Weight Loss Maintenance
Nov. 1-4: ObesityWeek® 2022

Health Affairs Forefront Publication by Dr. Bill Dietz
SAGE Journals Publication
Obesity Canada Call for Abstracts
ASPIRE Research Grants Program
New GSA KAER Toolkit
Health Affairs Publication on Obesity as a Chronic Disease
Health Affairs Forefront has published a piece by STOP Director William H. Dietz, MD, PhD, on the ways in which weight bias permeates every level of the health care system –resulting in potentially life-saving anti-obesity medications remaining underutilized and inaccessible to most patients. In a social climate where taking medication is considered "the easy way out," the Office of Personnel Management is an outlier and has ensured that, for the first time, all federal employees will gain access to comprehensive obesity care coverage during this fall's open enrollment season. 

Read the full story here.
New Publication by GW Faculty, Students, and Alumni
Melissa Napolitano, Yan Wang, Doctoral Student Caitlin Bailey, MPH Alumni Rachel Ingersoll and Meghan Mavredes have published an article on “Dietary Behaviors, Physical Activity, and Reported Role Models Among Emerging and Young Adults With Overweight and Obesity” in SAGE Journals. 

Read the full article here.
Virtual Event: Recent Advances in the Treatment of Obesity, September 15 at 1 PM ET
Join obesity experts Ania M. Jastreboff, MD, PhD (Yale University School of Medicine) and John Buse, MD, PhD (University of North Carolina School of Medicine) for a review of current options for the pharmacological treatment of obesity.  Discussion will include the role of diet counseling and lifestyle interventions with new obesity therapies. Continuing education credits will be provided.

Learn more here.
PCNA/ABC 2nd Annual Health Equity Summit
Please join us for the PCNA/ABC 2nd annual Health Equity Summit, Sept. 20 & 21, 2022. This free, virtual event runs from 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. CDT each day.
A person’s social position, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual identity, or disability can increase their chance of experiencing a heart attack or stroke — or surviving it. How can we as providers make a difference? The 2022 Health Equity Summit will offer solutions, provide tools and tips, and outline steps that can be taken at the personal, local, and national levels to close the gap in health disparities.

Learn more and register here.
Hurry: Early-Bird Pricing Ends Sept. 7th!
Connect with industry leaders and experts in the obesity medicine field. Register for this year’s Overcoming Obesity 2022 Conference in Anaheim, CA, Oct. 12-16 and discover the comprehensive, evidence-based approach to treating obesity. Dive into advanced techniques for developing personalized treatment plans for patients with type 1 diabetes, bipolar disorder, adolescents with obesity, patients with limited resources, and much more. Be sure to register by September 7, in order to save up to $300 with early-bird pricing!

Learn more and register here.
Upcoming Virtual Events with COPE

COPE presents a 5-module, interprofessional online series addressing the Food as Medicine movement. In the first module, Culinary Medicine in Clinical Practice, Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS will discuss the development of Culinary Medicine curriculums and how these innovative programs bridge the gap between the basic sciences, clinical medicine, the community, and culinary education.

1 to 1.5 CPEs to Dietitians and CH to Nurses will be awarded for each module (based on length of educational content).

Learn more and register here.

The Role of Habits in Behavioral Weight Loss Maintenance
September 21, 12-1pm ET

While a significant amount of importance has been placed on behavioral interventions for managing obesity, more often than not, weight loss is followed by weight regain for a variety of reasons. However, habit-based interventions have shown tremendous promise for weight loss maintenance. In this webinar, Nicholas Frye, MS, LCPC, CHES® will discuss factors leading to weight regain, explore the Dual Process Model and how it relates to our understanding of weight regain, and provide four habit-based interventions you can use with your patients and clients to help them overcome this ubiquitous challenge.

Earn 1 free CH for Nurses and 1 CPE for Dietitians.

Learn more and register here.
Register Now for ObesityWeek®
Register now and secure housing for ObesityWeek® — the preeminent international conference for obesity researchers and clinicians. ObesityWeek® 2022 is a hybrid conference this year.

Register for in-person Nov. 1-4, 2022, in San Diego, Calif., or virtual attendance. All registrants receive two full months of access to recordings of all sessions.

Learn more here.
Roundtable on Obesity Solutions Workshop Materials Available Online
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Roundtable on Obesity Solutions convened a three-part workshop series that explored how structural racism, weight bias and stigma, and health communication intersect with obesity, gaps in the evidence base, and challenges and opportunities for long-term, systems-wide strategies needed to reduce the incidence and prevalence of obesity.

The proceedings of the workshop series, Addressing Structural Racism, Bias, and Health Communication as Foundational Drivers of Obesity, has been released.

Click here to read the publication online or download the PDF. 

The video recording and slide presentations from the three workshops and their accompanying proceedings in brief are also available and linked below:
New GSA KAER Toolkit Provides Framework for Management of Obesity in Older Adults
The Gerontological Society of America KAER Toolkit for the Management of Obesity in Older Adults seeks to equip primary care teams with a useful framework to help older people with overweight and obesity recognize and care for their condition.

The kit provides tools and resources to:
  • Kickstart the weight management conversation in the primary care setting with a focus on obesity as a disease, not a behavioral issue or problem based on poor choices
  • Assess for overweight and obesity, underlying conditions, contributing medications, and overall health
  • Evaluate treatment options based on assessment, discuss with patient, implement, and monitor outcomes
  • Refer for community resources to assist on the weight management journey
The toolkit also includes information about ways to get paid for KAER-based care and many references and resources. GSA also makes available additional resources regarding overweight and obesity, including podcasts, publications, and more. 

View the toolkit here.
Call for Abstracts: 8th Canadian Obesity Summit

The call for abstracts for the Scientific Programme of the 8th Canadian Obesity Summit, May 14-17, 2023, is now open.

This unique interdisciplinary conference is designed to share current understanding of the causes, complications, treatments and prevention approaches for obesity.

The Summit is a cutting-edge research conference, which also features dedicated tracts for health practitioners and inspiring presentations organized by groups working in the obesity space.

Learn more here.
ASPIRE Competitive Research Grants Program
Pfizer is proud to announce the funding of a competitive grants program. The program is an extension of the Advancing Science and Patient care through Innovative Research and Education (ASPIRE) program and is part of Pfizer's ongoing commitment to translating scientific discoveries into innovative medicines for patients with obesity.

The mission of the ASPIRE program is to support basic science and pre-clinical/clinical research with the potential to advance medical and clinical knowledge of obesity as a disease, including the pathophysiology of obesity and the optimal management of obesity and comorbid conditions. Research proposals that cover areas in basic, clinical, and translational sciences will be accepted beginning August 22, 2022 through October 11, 2022, and will be assessed independently by an Expert Review Panel. The program will fund grants up to $250,000 (US dollars) from a total fund of $1,000,000 (US

Learn more and apply here.
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