Having just returned from the ASBP’s Annual Obesity Symposium in Las Vegas, I have to say I’m finding it difficult to contain my enthusiasm and excitement about treating patients who are overweight and obese. The conference is put on by an organization called the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, which I admit I didn’t even know existed until two years ago. The ASBP has been in existence for more than 60 years, providing educational conferences for physicians, physician extenders such as PAs and NPs, and other allied health care providers such as dietitians, and medical support staff. Their mission is to “advance and support the physician’s role in treating overweight patients.”
Why should you care about the ASBP? This year’s meeting had about 500 attendees…that’s 500 people who are going back to their communities armed with the latest and most up to date information as it pertains to obesity. Since everyone is well aware that the U.S. now faces an overweight and obesity epidemic affecting 2 out of 3 people, there needs to be an “army” of health care providers ready to rise up to this challenge.
The conference lasted five days and covered topics such as what causes obesity and specifically what the latest research is showing in this area, menopause and metabolism, obesity and the toxic environment, inflammation and obesity, behavioral issues, and one of my favorites – using low carbohydrate diets in the treatment of obesity. Each morning began with an interactive exercise demonstration using simple equipment such as resistance bands, stability balls, and of course our forgotten favorite — our feet! We had the opportunity to hear from the dietitian from The Biggest Loser and the author of The Zone Diet.
If you are a health care provider who works with overweight or obese patients, I highly recommend you visit the ASBP website, www.asbp.org, to learn more about the amazing work they are doing to tackle the complex problem that obesity presents to our society.
If you yourself are overweight or struggling with obesity, I encourage you to find a provider who is an active ASBP member and has the time and expertise to confront this challenging disease. Visit www.asbp.org to locate someone in your area.
— Dr. Jennifer Seger