The "Molecular Mechanisms, Treatment, and Disparities of Obesity" annual meeting theme includes research on the biochemistry of addiction, insights into the treatment and prevention of obesity, and a look at the hormones and enzymes involved in obesity. The meeting will be held April 9-13, 2011, in Washington, D.C. (Titled "Examining Obesity" in print version.)
|Craig E. Cameron
||C. P. David Tu
Obesity is a major public health concern. It is caused by high calorie intake and low levels of physical exercise. If Americans continue their current lifestyles, 43 percent of adults may be obese in 10 years. The extra weight increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and many types of cancer. Obese individuals incur 30 percent more in health care expenses than their normal-weight peers. The cost of obesity may represent as much as 21 percent of health care spending by 2018. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the number of Americans from the ages of 18 to 34 who are considered obese has jumped from 6 percent in 1987 to 23 percent in 2010. A whopping 35 percent of Americans ages 17 to 24 are unqualified for the military because of physical and medical issues. Thus, obesity causes not only work force productivity problems but also homeland security issues. The prevalence of obesity also has increased significantly in global populations. According to a 2005 estimate by the World Health Organization, at least 400 million adults were obese worldwide. The organization projected that this number would nearly double by 2015.1
Click here for more 2011 annual meeting thematic overviews.
For information on annual meeting registration, housing and abstract submission, click here.
Obesity is the result of an imbalance between energy intake and energy use. This excess energy is stored as fat when the glycogen storage has been saturated. Excessive fat can cause major changes in gene expression, enzyme function, regulatory schemes, hormone patterns and metabolism in different tissues and organs, which, in turn, can lead to the development of various diseases.
The diversity of human genomes (gene-gene interactions) and cultures (gene-environment interactions) contributes to racial and ethnic differences in the regulation of body weight and the subsequent development of obesity due to further energy imbalance. Because adipose tissue and adipokines play a central role in body weight control, we need to understand the signaling pathways that link excessive energy storage to the development of disease.
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Minority Affairs Committee has organized an obesity theme titled “Molecular Mechanisms, Treatment and Disparities of Obesity” for the 2011 annual meeting.