Obesity SIG

Membership to Special Interest Groups is open to all APA members.
To join a SIG, click here

SIG purpose/mission:
The mission of the Obesity SIG is to connect individuals who share an interest in childhood obesity and to share resources, research, and best practices.

Current SIG goals:
1. To provide annual programs at PAS on various topics related to childhood obesity practices, research, or advocacy initiatives to SIG members. 
2. To develop a network for members with similar interests in obesity practice and research. 
3. To collaborate with other obesity-related groups to provide members with access to resources and endorse consistent practices and recommendations across organizations. 

Annual summary:
Our SIG produced a highly interactive session at PAS this year, which was very well received by 52 attendees. The program focused on severe obesity and building connections among senior and junior faculty and fellows. It was held on May 7thand began with introductory comments from our SIG mentor, Sandra Hassink.  Next, the program included 15 minute presentations on 4 key areas, pairing senior and junior physicians. We were excited to have the below expert speakers share strategies and approaches on teaching obesity treatment across settings and across age groups. If you are interested in copies of the presentations, please contact the Obesity SIG co-chairs.   
1. “Severe obesity in preschoolers: Medical and Psychological Characteristics and Interventions,” presented by Ihuoma Eneli, MD, MS, and Eileen Chaves, PhD 
2. Obesity management in primary care and the community presented by Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH, and Matt Haemer, MD, MPH 
3. Medication management, presented by Brooke Sweeney, MD, and Jaime Moore, MD 
4. Bariatric surgery, presented by Sarah Armstrong, MD, and Jennifer Robbins, MD.   

Next participants chose two topics for in-depth and interactive roundtable discussions (rotating after 25 minutes). Report out from the discussions was led by a fellow or junior faculty member. Key learnings from the preschooler group included focusing on the contextual factors, particular phenotypes of severe obesity, child temperament, and in treatment the importance of engaging the parents, understanding their parenting styles and out they deal with preschooler’s food selectivity. There was also a discussion of the potential genetic disorders that should be considered  In the Obesity Management in Primary Care, Dr. Taveras summarized essential components of clinical-community linked interventions, presenting key findings from the Connect4Health study, Mass in Motion study, Texas CORD, La Vida Saluadable, and BMI2 study. She then reviewed the many research questions these studies left unanswered including what are the most effective interventions for populations facing greatest disparities, how to implement these in under-resourced settings, what could be the role of implementation science, and what is the durability of intervention effects. In group discussion, participants discussed the need to change the dialogue regarding the length of behavior change expectations, the gap between findings of studies at the individual level and the practice/clinic level, the need for better systems to connect to community resources, and the need for systems-level care using possibly a stratifying approach.  Drs. Moore and Sweeney used cases in the formal presentation and small group discussion to provide opportunities for participants to practice decision making in starting medical management of obesity. She discussed the mechanism of action and side effects of Metformin, Topiramate, and Lisdexamphetamine. She also discussed candidate selection, prescribing, monitoring, and discontinuation criteria.  Last, Drs. Armstrong and Robbins discussed indications for bariatric surgery, typical results, and barriers to obtaining bariatric surgery including racial and economic disparities and providers’ disinclination to refer. In small group discussions, participants discussed pediatric weight management providers working with adult bariatric surgeons, the ambiguity of assessing psychological readiness in adolescents, and the difficulty of maintain follow up with adolescents after surgery.   We will hold an election next spring for a new SIG co-chair as Drs. Weedn and Haemer will soon be completing their terms. If you are interested, please submit a CV and paragraph outlining your interest to the current co-chairs  

Other groups (other SIGs and other groups not in the APA) that work in your area of interest:  

a. Nutrition
b. Advocacy Training 
c. Serving the Underserved 
d. Culture, Ethnicity, and Health Care 
e. Disease Self-Management 
f. Environmental Health 
g. Teaching in Community Settings 
h. Academic Fellows 

Current SIG Co-Chairs:

Kristen Copeland, MD
3333 Burnet Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45229
Phone: (513) 636-1687

Matthew Haemer, MD MPH
4690 E Perry Parkway
Denver, CO 80121
Phone: (720) 777-7474

Ashley Weedn, MD, MPH
1200 Children's Ave, Ste 12400
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone: (405) -27-4407

Current SIG Mentor:

Sandra Hassink, MD
2602 Pennington Drive
Wilmington, DE 19810
Phone: (302) 229-8240




Renew Membership

Join APA


APA Journal