March: Obesity

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our investment in research and pursuit of life-saving discoveries never stops,
and our commitment to clinical care remains unsurpassed.

March is National Nutrition Month, and the Endocrine Society and Hormone Health Network are raising awareness of how hormones influence obesity – a complex disease that is associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life.

Obesity is not a simple problem of willpower or self-control. While diet and physical activity are very important, researchers have found that fat cells, the gastrointestinal tract, and the brain produce many hormones that play an important role in how much we eat, how much energy we spend, and how much we will weigh. In rare cases, obesity can be caused by a hormone imbalance, such as in hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome.

Obesity is a global epidemic. More than 35 percent of adults and nearly 17 percent of children in the United States alone have obesity. Globally, more than 39 percent of adults are overweight and 13 percent are obese. The Endocrine Society and its members are committed to the research and clinical approaches needed to combat this worldwide burden.

The Endocrine Society celebrates its Centennial this year. The past 100 years have seen remarkable scientific discoveries in endocrinology, including many Nobel prizes, and the future is just as promising. Compelling new endocrine research, such as studies on energy-burning brown fat and gut bacteria that make up our microbiome, hold great promise for future breakthroughs in the care of individuals with obesity.

Quick Links: Get InvolvedIn the NewsFor PatientsResearchClinical PracticeScientific MeetingsFrom the Experts

AdvocacyGet Involved

The Endocrine Society advocates for issues important to the field of endocrinology and promotes public awareness of health and science issues.

  • Join the Conversation! Endocrine Society and The Obesity Society will jointly host a Twitter Chat for Potential Risks and Management of Obesity | Wednesday, March 16, 2:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Take Action! Urge Your Member of Congress to Co-Sponsor the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (H.R. 2404/S. 1509)
  • Download the Obesity Care Advocacy Network (OCAN) comments. As a member organization, the Society joined other associations and members in the writing of a letter on suggested amendments that was sent to the Senate Finance Committee on the Chronic Care Working Group Policy Options Paper.

The Endocrine SocietyIn the News

As journalists report on the latest trends in hormone health and science, they often turn to the Society for expertise. The Endocrine Society appears in thousands of stories each year. This month, we highlight recent obesity-related press. Learn more in the online newsroom.

Patient ResourcesFor Patients

The Society is dedicated to providing patients helpful information about endocrine diseases and conditions. Founded in 1998, the Hormone Health Network offers a breadth of fact sheets, patient guides, and resources to help the public stay informed.

Hormone Hotline


Endocrinology Articles

Endocrinology, established in 1917, is the Society's premier research journal. The Special Series: Endocrine Society Centennial Celebration offers featured articles each month. Subscribe online.

Endocrine Facts and Figures

Endocrine Facts and Figures is a compendium of epidemiological data and trends related to a spectrum of endocrine diseases published by the Endocrine Society. All information is sourced from peer-reviewed publications and reviewed by a group of experts in the field.

EducationClinical Practice

Centennial ESAP

The Endocrine Self-Assessment Program (ESAP™) is the Society’s premier education tool for clinicians. This fall, the Society will be publish a special edition Centennial ESAP – a collection of 24 cases with historical links to past presidents. As a preview, we release one of the cases each month. Learn more about our clinical education products on the Endocrine Society’s Center for Learning.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM), established in 1941, is the world’s leading journal for endocrine clinical research and practice information. Subscribe online.

Practice Tools and Meeting Sessions

In recognition of obesity awareness month, the Society highlights the following tools and sessions.

MeetingsScientific Meetings

ENDO 2016 | Celebrating a Century of Endocrinology

April 1 – 4, 2016 (Friday – Monday) | Boston, MA
ENDO 2016 satellite events include the “Childhood Obesity in the Community” conference, March 31 – April 1 in Cambridge, MA. This bi-annual conference brings together specialists to discuss the science, public policy, and economics of pediatric obesity. Learn more about this and other ENDO 2016 satellite events.

Obesity Week 2016

October 31 – November 4, 2016 (Monday – Friday) | New Orleans, LA
The Obesity Society holds its annual scientific meeting with the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Join more than 5,000 professionals to experience the future of obesity research, treatment, and prevention at this leading, international obesity conference. More information is on the Obesity Week website.

The Endocrine SocietyFrom the Experts

What are the most important recent developments in obesity research or clinical care?

“We have come to appreciate the strong relationship between consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and the risk of obesity, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome. The addition of an upper limit to sugar intake reflects this reality and offers us a chance to increase our efforts at preventing obesity.”
~ George A. Bray, MD, Boyd (University), Professor Emeritus, Pennington Biomedical Research Center Louisiana State University

“[The] establishment of obesity and metabolic dysfunction as risk factors for cancer development AND as key determinants of response to therapy and cancer progression. Recognition that some normal weight individuals exhibit metabolic changes that mimic the obese and some obese individuals are metabolically normal – [and a] need for more objective assessments of an individual’s physiology. [A] growing recognition that weight management and physical activity should be integrated in the care of cancer patient.”
~ Kristy Brown, PhD, Head, Metabolism & Cancer Laboratory, Hudson Institute of Medical Research

"What makes obesity so challenging is that rather than reflecting a passive process of consuming more calories than are expended, obesity results from a disorder of a complex system responsible for long-term weight maintenance. In effect, obesity is characterized by the biological defense of an elevated level of body fat mass. Recent advances in neuroscience have enabled fundamental breakthroughs in our understanding of how the underlying biological process of this “energy homeostasis system” works.  These breakthroughs set the stage for current and future work to clarify mechanisms that underlie the defense of elevated body weight in obese individuals."
~ Michael W. Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director, Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence, University of Washington

What should we expect to discover in the immediate future?

“Recent studies have suggested that changes in the gut microbiome may affect metabolism and result in weight gain. Future research may prove a causal relationship between the gut microbiome and obesity. Studies of interventions that change the gut microbiome may lead to new therapeutic targets for weight management.”
~ Connie Newman, MD, Adjunct Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine

“[A] greater understanding of the hedonics of weight regulation, the mechanisms of bariatric surgery, and the role of the microbiome. Understanding and implementation of the intervals of follow-up in clinical obesity care, e.g. weekly, monthly, timing of intensification, re-intensification, and de-intensification.”
~ Amy Rothberg, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *