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How Universities Can Strategically Support Student Weight Loss
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This month's newsletter is written by guest authors Ms. Caitlin P. Bailey and Dr. Melissa A. Napolitano. Ms. Bailey is a PhD student in the Department of Prevention and Community Health. Dr. Napolitano is a Professor in the Departments of Prevention and Community Health and Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Their current work centers around development and evaluation of healthy weight management programs for young adults.
Almost 20 million students are enrolled in colleges/universities in the US. Cost-effective methods for delivering weight management programs to young adults in higher education settings can provide individuals with important skills for lifelong health while producing population-level impact. However, there are a lack of cost-effectiveness analyses of weight management interventions in the literature to inform college/university decision-makers regarding adoption of such programs for students. More generally, weight loss programs remain relatively scarce on college/university campuses. This programming shortage is especially stark in comparison to other student service offerings (e.g., drug and alcohol use, sexual violence prevention) and may be due, in part, to a combination of institutional barriers (e.g., resources, coordination across departments, competing student health issues taking priority) and participant barriers (e.g., campus built-environment, busy schedules, stigma).
To address the deficit of weight management programming on college/university campuses, our team developed Healthy Body Healthy U (HBHU), a randomized controlled weight management trial designed for young adults in a university setting. In short, the HBHU trial tested two digitally-delivered weight management interventions: 1) a Tailored (or personalized) intervention or 2) a Targeted (or generic) intervention versus control. Trial outcomes indicated a moderating effect of baseline weight status such that the interventions were effective at promoting weight loss at 6 months among young adults with overweight. To demonstrate the value of such programming to university decision-makers, we further tested the cost-effectiveness of the intervention, which we believe is an important next step for all weight management programs seeking to inform and encourage program adoption among stakeholders and decision-makers.
Our analyses compared the cost-effectiveness of the Tailored versus Targeted treatment arms of the HBHU program at 6 months (the most intensive/costly phase of intervention delivery) from a university payer perspective, so that only university implementation costs, not participant costs (e.g., time), were evaluated. Based upon our findings, the full results of which are currently under review, we concluded that personalized technology-based programs are generally cost effective for promoting student weight loss and cardiometabolic health. After 6 months, Tailored participants lost approximately 1 kg and Targeted participants lost approximately 0.5 kg. The Tailored (versus Targeted) intervention cost $5.05 per kilogram lost, and was even lower ($2.28) when including only those with overweight and not obesity. These costs are comparable to other programs currently implemented on college/university campuses across the US. More than 1100 colleges and universities have required completion of programs targeting alcohol (i.e., Electronic Check-up to Go [e-CHUG] and AlcoholEdu), with an average cost of approximately $2.60 per student. Universities have prioritized alcohol and substance use reduction programs, with investments of $2 per student being returned in terms of reductions in health costs, injuries, and death.
Onset of obesity in young adults accounts for approximately half of adult obesity. The success of HBHU and its modest costs suggest that universities invest in weight management initiatives such as this to prevent and mitigate the onset of obesity in this vulnerable population.

Caitlin Bailey and Melissa Napolitano

Caitlin P. Bailey, MS
GW Milken Institute School of Public Health PhD Student
Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy '19

Melissa A. Napolitano, PhD 
Fellow, Society of Behavioral Medicine
Professor | Prevention and Community Health & Exercise and Nutrition Science
The George Washington University
Milken Institute School of Public Health 

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Upcoming Events

Jul 15: Deadline for Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Nominations
Jul 18: ACPM Webinar on Obesity Medicine
Jul 29-30: OMA Virtual Course

ObesityWeek® 2022 Registration is Now Open
July OMA Virtual Course
Obesity Pillars Vol. 2 Now Available
COPE Fall Events
75th World Health Assembly
Call for 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Members
Nurses Obesity Network
New GSA Toolkit 
NPR Podcast on Medical Bias in Obesity Care
PHA Seeks Next President & CEO
New Publication from Redstone Center
Christie St. Pierre, a PhD student at the Milken Institute School of Public Health (SPH) and fellow at the Redstone Center, along with senior author Jennifer Sacheck, co-author Bill Dietz, and additional SPH students published in the journal Pediatrics on Food Insecurity and Obesity in the U.S. Read the full article here.
Registration & Housing for ObesityWeek® 2022 are Now Open!
Early-Bird registration and housing are now open for 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.
July Fundamentals of Obesity Treatment Virtual Course
Join the Obesity Medicine Association from July 29-30 for a 1.5-day virtual course offering introductory education about the evidence-based approaches for evaluating and treating obesity on the first day, and includes a half day of interactive case work to build your skills in developing obesity treatment plans. This course is also an opportunity to earn 9.5 CME/CE credits.

Learn more and register here.
Obesity Pillars - Volume 2 Now Available
The Obesity Medicine Association is excited to announce Volume 2 of Obesity Pillars is now available to read online. All articles published in Obesity Pillars are free to access by everyone.

Obesity Pillars is OMA's new open-access online-only journal dedicated to the publication of clinical and evidence-based research for physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other health care clinicians in the field of obesity medicine.  

Read Volume 2 here.
Upcoming ACPM Webinar on Obesity Medicine


The American College of Preventive Medicine, the American Medical Association, and the Black Women’s Health Imperative invite you to participate in a conversation with Dr. Fatima Stanford, MD, about obesity medicine and diabetes prevention. Dr. Stanford, an internationally renowned expert in obesity medicine, will share her insights into how health care teams can approach conversations about obesity to ensure that patients receive evidence-based treatment and support.

The webinar will be held on Monday, July 18 at NOON ET.
Register for the webinar here.
Queen Latifah Interviews TOS Obesity Experts
Queen Latifah interviewed Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, FTOS of The Obesity Society and Obesity Action Coalition President/CEO Joe Nadglowski about the topic of obesity on June 7, 2022, in a show titled "It's Bigger Than Me." 

Read more about the "It's Bigger Than Me" movement here.
Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly: A Pivotal Moment in Addressing Obesity

After months of effort from World Obesity and its members, the Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly (WHA), the governing body of the World Health Organization, adopted a new set of Recommendations for the prevention and management of obesity throughout the life course, modelled on the document to which World Obesity members provided input in late 2021 and based on a recognition of obesity as a complex multifactorial disease and driver of other diseases.

Also approved was an accompanying Acceleration Plan to support implementation in selected front-runner countries. This is a major milestone in global obesity policy, and is testament to the hard work of the obesity community over recent months and years. 

Read more here.
Call for the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Members

Are you or someone you know interested in using your scientific expertise to serve your fellow Americans? HHS and USDA are asking for nominations to the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The role of the Committee is to review the current body of nutrition science and develop a scientific report to help HHS and USDA develop the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Departments invite members of the public to nominate themselves or other qualified scientific experts to serve on the Committee.

Nominations are due by July 15, 2022 at 11:59 PM E.T. Learn more about who qualifies and how to submit a nomination here.
Nurses Obesity Network

Members of the leading nurse advocacy organizations have joined together to formally announce The Nurses Obesity Network. The Nurses Obesity Network (NON), which is made up of a diverse set of leading nurse advocacy and membership organizations from across the country, will be committed to changing the way we view, treat, and advance care for people living with obesity — including members of the nursing profession. 

The Nurses Obesity Network is comprised of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and American Nurses Foundation (ANF), Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation (HNHN), American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), Haitian Alliance Nurses Association International (HANA-I), National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA), National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA), and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA).

Read an overview of the network here.
New GSA Toolkit Provides Framework for Evidence-Based Obesity Care for Older Adults

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is set to launch its KAER Toolkit for the Management of Obesity in Older Adults. The four steps in the KAER model — Kickstart, Assess, Evaluate, and Refer (KAER) — are intended to improve health‐related outcomes and well‐being for people living with overweight and obesity.

The primary audience of the KAER Toolkit is primary care teams who seek to implement a comprehensive approach to help older adults with overweight and obesity recognize and care for their condition. Informed by leading experts in the care of individuals with obesity, the KAER Toolkit includes practical approaches, educational resources, and validated clinical tools that teams can integrate into their workflow. To be among the first to receive a link to the KAER Toolkit, please sign up here.

If you would like to learn from expert faculty on how they have used the tools and strategies in the KAER Toolkit to improve care for older adults with overweight and obesity, consider attending the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting when we will host a preconference session on the KAER Toolkit. During the November 2 session, a multidisciplinary team of faculty will focus on reframing the conversation around obesity with older adults and implementing the KAER Toolkit. Support for development of the KAER Toolkit was provided by Novo Nordisk.

For more information about the KAER Toolkit or to reserve one of just 50 spots available at the preconference, please email Jen Pettis, Director of Strategic Alliances at
NPR Podcast on Medical Bias in Obesity Care
A recent episode of NPR's 1A podcast discusses how a longstanding bias against patients diagnosed with obesity has affected physicians' ability to help patients seek treatment and access routine medical care. The episode, titled "Medical Bias Against Obesity Is Preventing Patients From Receiving Proper Care," covers barriers to obesity treatment and the role that doctors play in these barriers.

Listen to the episode here.
PHA Seeks Next President and CEO

Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is searching for their next President and CEO, and they would deeply appreciate your assistance in their search. PHA is the premier national organization working to create lasting, systemic changes that transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity.

The next President & CEO will be a dynamic, visionary and bold leader energized to extend the reach and depth of PHA’s networks across the country in this next chapter. They will leverage current momentum to strategically chart the course of PHA’s work and transformative efforts across the food landscape at the city, state and federal level for years to come.

PHA has retained Koya Partners, the executive search firm that works exclusively with mission-driven clients, to lead this search. In partnership with Koya, they are now identifying and recruiting exceptional candidates.

The Position Profile can be found here. To suggest leaders as potential candidates, you can contact PHA's Koya team directly at PHA would also appreciate it if you would thoughtfully forward this along in your networks. 
Villanova University’s MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education (COPE) fall events you do not want to miss!

Recognizing that a global epidemic of diet-related chronic disease is impacting health on both an individual and population health level, greater emphasis than ever is being placed on the role of food and nutrition interventions delivered both within and outside the health care system in the prevention, management, and treatment of diseases.

In response to this growing trend, COPE presents a 5-module, interprofessional online series addressing the Food as Medicine movement. Join us for an end-to-end learning experience featuring expert speakers who will provide practical strategies and showcase successful initiatives and research that make identifying, preparing, accessing, delivering, and funding health-promoting, nutritious foods a priority in health professional training programs, clinical practice, community organizations, health policy law, and popular media.
1 to 1.5 CPEUs and CH awarded for each module (based on length of educational content). Learn more about speakers, modules, and pricing here.

Thursday, November 3, 2022
9am - 2pm
The Inn at Villanova University
Enhance your patient-centered counseling skills utilizing the Shared Decision Making Process (SDM) and develop a decision tool to use in your future practice.

Join Eileen Stellefson Myers, MPH, RDN, LDN, CEDRD-S, FADA, FAND as she walks you through the fundamentals of Shared Decision Making (SDM) and the conversation that happens between a patient and clinician to reach a healthcare choice together. During this in-person, 4-hour interactive training workshop, learn and practice how to effectively communicate and engage in meaningful dialogue to improve the patient’s experience of care and ultimately improve patient adherence to treatment recommendations. Participants will also get the unique opportunity to work through the steps of creating their own decision tool as a framework for patient- centered discussions for use in practice.

4 Contact Hours to Nurses and 4 CPEUs to Dietitians will be awarded.
Learn more here.
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