EASO New Investigators United Spotlight: Eveline Dirinck

Hello Eveline. It’s great to have the opportunity to meet with you. For those of you who don’t know Eveline, here is a brief biography.

Eveline Dirinck was born on February 22, 1982. After finishing High School, where she studied science and mathematics, she started Medical School at Antwerp University. Her research during Medical School focused on the value of insulin sensitivity tests in a population with obesity. She graduated cum lauda in 2007 after which she began to train as an internist. In August 2009, she started work on her PhD thesis at the department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism at Antwerp University Hospital. In 2014 she graduated as an internist and in July 2015 she graduated as an endocrinologist. In April 2016, she successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled “Endocrine disrupting chemicals: from accumulation to their role in the global “neuro-endocrine” epidemic of obesity and its metabolic consequences.” Since September 2015, she has worked as a member of staff at the department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism of Antwerp University Hospital.

Eveline, we would love to learn more about your country and the area you live in; what is it like?

I live and work close to Antwerp, Europe’s second biggest port and a very international city. Antwerp is a trending, lively city that offers many cultural and leisure activities to take my mind off science. Antwerp is one of the main cities of Belgium, a little country located at the very heart of Europe with beautiful ancient cities with great museums, theatres and a vibrant music scene, lovely countryside, and true appreciation of good food and drink (it’s extremely hard to find a really bad restaurant in Belgium).

How did you come to enter this field?

There are several reasons I became interested in obesity. As a student, I was intrigued by the fact that so many questions still needed to be answered in the field of obesity. Our weight is a key determinant of our general health, and the mechanisms controlling it are fascinating in their complexity. During Medical School, I already initiated my research efforts in the department with Professor Van Gaal. I still feel privileged to work with him. After an international career of 30 years in the field of obesity, he remains inquisitive and enthusiastic about new theories and  developments.

Congratulations on winning the highly competitive 2016 EASO New Investigators Best Thesis prize. Please help us learn more about your thesis and present research interests:

Below is a synopsis of my thesis:

Summary

Obesity is quickly becoming one of the most significant human health threats worldwide. Traditionally, the increase in obesity is attributed to an increased caloric intake and a concomitant significant reduction in physical activity and energy expenditure  However, this does not fully explain the extent of the current epidemic. Concurrent with the obesity epidemic, is the exponential increase of human exposure to synthetic chemicals worldwide. Several chemicals are known to mimic, enhance or inhibit the action of hormones and are therefore called endocrine disrupting chemical(s) (EDC(s)). Today, we are dealing with thousands of these chemicals, either as individual compounds or as part of a potentially dangerous cocktail.  It has been postulated that certain chemicals potentially play a causative role in the development of obesity, by affecting or causing changes in fat mass.

In this PhD, attention is focused on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), the organochlorine pesticide DDT and its metabolite p,p’-DDE, and phthalates. PCBs are odorless, tasteless, viscous liquids whose chemical properties make them excellent dielectric and coolant fluids. Therefore, they were used worldwide for various industrial purposes. There are 250 different PCB congeners and commercially available products always contained a mixture of several congeners. The production of PCBs was banned in the 1970s. Unfortunately, since PCBs are extremely resistant to biological degradation, significant bioaccumulation leads to an ongoing human exposure. The most notorious organochlorine pesticide is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, or DDT. DDT is metabolized by the human body into dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p’-DDE). DDT was used in abundance in the western world until its ban in the 1960s. Unfortunately, DDT remains a popular pesticide in the developing world to increase agricultural production and to control various vectors spreading diseases like malaria. Similar to PCBs, OCPs are very resistant to biological degradation and are labeled persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Today, both PCBs and p,p’-DDE are found in humans around the globe. Phthalates are an essential compound of plastics, lending it flexibility, transparency and durability. Phthalates are easily released from the plastic  into the environment, a process that is accelerates as the plastic ages and breaks down.

Numerous studies have investigated the link between exposure to EDC and obesity and obesity related disorders such as diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. However, the description of the obese or diabetic state, often relied on crude measures such as body mass index, or selfreporting of disease states. Therefore, this study aimed to provide a very detailed description of lean, overweight an obese subjects in terms of body composition, metabolic health, other related factors such as physical activity and toxicological analyses. The overweight and obese group were treated with dietary measures or bariatric surgery and analyses were repeated after 3, 6 and 12 months.

Firstly, serum levels of POPs are lower in obese individuals compared to lean individuals. A potential explanation may be found in the dilution capabilities of these substances. As these lipophilic chemicals are preferably stored in adipose tissue, a higher percentage of body fat will lead to fast and efficient storage, with lower serum levels as a consequence. In adipose tissue, the concentrations of PCBs and p,p’-DDE were identical in both subcutaneous and visceral fat. This implies that, although the serum levels were lower, the total amount of chemicals in an obese individual are higher given the higher amount of fat mass. Despite the identical absolute concentrations in both fat compartments in weight stable conditions, only the subcutaneous fat was significantly negatively associated with PCB serum levels. During weight loss, POP serum levels increased substantially, but the rise was more pronounced in those patients that relatively lost more visceral fat. These data suggest that the obesogenic effect and dynamics of POPs might be more pronounced in the visceral fat compartment.

The second part of this thesis focused on the link between endocrine disrupting chemicals and disturbances of glucose metabolism. Our analyses indicate a positive link between disturbed glucose tolerance, and the total amount of POPs in the human body. We could not identify a compensatory rise in insulin secretion. This finding seems to support the hypothesis of direct POP toxicity to the beta-cell as a potential causative factor in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Even after correction for known risk factors such as visceral adiposity and a positive familial history,  a statistically significant role for POPs on the risk of abnormal glucose tolerance was identified. These data further strengthen the hypothesis of the diabetogenic capacities of POPs in vivo.  Apart from POPs, focus was also put on phthalates and their link with glucose metabolism. In our overweight and obese population, exposure to phthalates was associated with markers of increased insulin resistance, decreased insulin sensitivity and possibly impaired beta cell function.

A third part focused on the link between POPs and metabolic health, using both the standard definition of the metabolic syndrome, as a more elaborate definition of metabolically healthy versus unhealthy obese (MHO versus MUO) that took into account additional information on insulin resistance and inflammation. Our analyses indicate that PCB serum levels were higher in MUO vs MHO, but not in individuals with the metabolic syndrome versus individuals without the metabolic syndrome. The increment in PCB serum levels during weight loss was significant, but did not differ between groups. After weight loss, the resolution of a metabolically unfavorable state was not influenced by the PCB serum levels at baseline. From a clinical point of view, these finding are reassuring as they seem to suggest that current PCB levels in a Belgian population are not capable to impair the metabolically favorable changes related to weight loss.

Finally, since thyroid hormones are key players in the control system of our metabolism, with, amongst others, a pivotal role in energy metabolism, the relation between thyroid function and PCBs and their hydroxylated metabolites was investigated. We could link circulating free T4 levels to serum levels of several PCBs and hydroxylated PCB metabolites, but we didn’t identify a link with thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

The results of this study contribute to the increasing amount of data regarding the obesogenic and diabetogenic  capacities of a number of chemicals. At present, the data regarding this hypothesis are very suggestive but not yet categorically conclusive. Obesity and its related conditions are difficult to treat, and health care related costs of these disease states are towering. The obesogen hypothesis should remain an important research area as reduction of exposure offers a unique preventive possibility at population level.

Fascinating and important work on the role of chemical endocrine system disrupters. What are your future career plans, Eveline?

I wish to continue my efforts in unraveling the link between endocrine disrupters, obesity and metabolic diseases. In addition to obesity and type 2 diabetes, I have a special interest in management of diabetic foot ulcers and in the pre- and postoperative management of bariatric patients.

Aside from your professional interests, what are your hobbies and interests?

I am married to the most wonderful man in the western hemisphere, and together we have 2 adorable twin boys, aged 5. Although my husband is not a physician, he understands the responsibilities that come with my clinical and research work and is extremely supportive. Coming home to my 3 men every evening is the main reason I am a very happy woman.

Patient Council Spotlight: Marina Biglia

Marina, welcome to the Patient Council. Please tell us about yourself and describe your personal experience of obesity:

My story is a story like that of many, a story intertwined with love and conflict with my mother. My mother was a cold woman, emotionally disconnected; now that I’m an adult I know she loved me as much as she was capable of loving, but this erases only part of my childhood pain.

The memories I have of her are only of attempts to please her, and personality upheavals and emotions so that my mother would see me, because my mother couldn’t love me. And it eventually became alarmingly clear that the only way to get her to notice me was by gaining weight.

I had no consciousness then. A young child deprived of a mother’s affection cannot understand the perversity of gaining attention finally by being supported by a dietician, identified by her mother, who put the child on a diet, and took an interest in her that to all the world might look like an unhealthy form of love.

The first dietician my mom brought me to asks: “Why bring her here, ma’am?” I was 17 years old and only a few pounds overweight. 3 pounds. 3 pounds that separated me from the love I craved. But losing the weight, I find that she still does not love me.

Control over my weight was manageable up to the time I was 25 years old. After 25, however, I could no longer manage the dieting yo-yo, the extra pounds become too much. Along with the weight grew my contempt for my mother. I began eating secretly, continuously, at every opportunity.

With my increasing weight my self hatred grew. I endeavoured to hide and become invisible; I dressed only in black or dark blue so the world could not see me.

Lies on lies: lies at home, lying to friends, lying to “experts;” I swallowed silent and desperate cries for help.

The years pass by and the anger and pain do not move from my heart; all the while my fat layer increases. I was happy and smiling on the outside and dead inside, with the classic, nervous and irritating “settlement”, giving in to a thousand compromises with yourself for any sign of love, so not to feel alone.

The lack of mother love sparked a frenzied emotional search for acknowledgement: “Look at me, I exist !!!”.
Always, I tried to be “as you want me”, a Marina that does not correspond to that buried in fat. Because Marina has lots to say NO, but she can never say NO to anyone, for fear that speaking out might deprive me of affection.

And then there were a series of family deaths, serious ones, the kind that’ll break your life into a thousand fragments, and you wonder if you shall ever manage to overcome them. My father died, as did my sister. My mother becomes sick, her illness imprisons her forever in a glass cage: Alzheimers disease.

The mother with whom I would argue, the mother who I was never able to really confront, was suddenly gone. She became a pile of bones, a hand that seeks yours, and trapped words.

“Mom where are you, how can I reach you?”

During this time, desperate for the magic wand to transform me from obesity to normal weight at the speed of light, I was lucky to find, in the most casual way, Amici Obesi Company (www.amiciobesi.it)
This opens up a world, and a new thought began to buzz in my head: I’m not bad or unloveable.

I’m not just a compulsive eater, I am compulsive in every area of my life. I am sick of compulsion 360 °. I decide to have bariatric surgery, specifically gastric banding, without delay.

It was 2004. I’m free, Mom cannot tell me what is right or wrong for me. I had reached a weight of nearly 136 kg. I’m always just looking for the magic wand.

In light of what we now know about managing obesity I sadly came to realise that I was just repeating behaviour I have experienced a thousand times in the past. I lost some weight, then a deadlock emerged. Not one gram of weight disappeared from my body. And I started looking for any way around it.

But why? Why not try to change some of the attitudes that led me to obesity?

I like to think of these most recent years of my life as a coming to consciousness, such a fantastic time that Marina is allowed, for the first time in her life, permission to be herself. So out with the black and blue dresses!

Amici Obesi is an immense help to me, and provides a place where I can meet a lot of people and test myself to see whether the Marina who is emerging makes sense, if the Marina who writes and interact on the forum is authentic.

And I am…protected by the digital world, protected by anonymity, I can really let let my story emerge.
I work a lot on myself, I experience a lot of Marine, and, slowly slowly, I begin to be more lenient with myself. Using every means to find myself: psychotherapy, reading, and many words …

Food still has enormous power over me, but I see it subside a bit more every day; it is no longer in charge. Every day that passes, I become a bit stronger and it is a bit weaker.

My new beginning led me to a gastric bypass surgery and the removal of the gastric band. With the second operation I lost 55 kilos, and I see myself without guilt, because I still feel like a fighter; I have to save myself. I know I can get better and, above all, I know, now, that my fat layer has lost its initial “utility.” I’m ready to live without this protection, I do not need more. I do not deny and reject it, as you deny past love: Obesity gave me a lot, and allowed me to be the person I am today and allows me to be able to say to that mother who is no longer alive: “I loved you so much, more than I ever thought I could”. Because only a great love could survive so much pain.

Tell us a bit about your country, Marina, and where you live:

I live in Italy, in a small town, Vercelli, beautiful countryside with rice fields.

Please share some of your favourite activities, hobbies, and interests:

My primary interest and my passion is information and treatment for obesity. I also love playing with my cats and dogs, I like listening to liri music, reading good books and writing.

Marina BigliaI’ve written two books:

 

Please tell us what is, for you, the meaning of the word “obesity?”

  • I’m not only a patient, I believe that simple and truly, I represent the disease.
  • I am not only an economic cost, I am the daughter of our European failure in prevention; all of society has helped create obesity and we people with obesity have the right to treatment.

Because it is only when I talk about obesity am I certain you know what I mean, I feel authorised to do so, especially for people with obesity, because I am like them. I weighed 136 kg. I know is what obesity is for those affected, what it means, not only physically, but emotionally and in terms of pain, shame and guilt.

And you can not be guilty of an illness.

For our societies, across European nations, the very first step will be to accept obesity as a disease.

Years of obesity have taught me one thing, essentially: that no can understand obesity like another person with obesity.

We have to convince others like us to break the silence surrounding our disease, and the one and only way to do that is through association and discussion.

  • In practice we have to fight for a right to treatment.
  • We need the medical profession to recognise our illness.
  • In addition, I think it is necessary to bring attention to the fact that obesity is a multifactorial disease.

There is no magic bullet. We need to treat each patient full circle: from psychotherapy to nutrition, and if necessary medication and surgery.

And then it is also essential, in my view, for human support from other patients, both real and virtual. Nothing gives you more strength and courage on the road to a new life than sharing and support from those who have been on the same journey. That’s why Amici Obesi Onlus exists in Italy. I hope to bring my knowledge and my experience to help other people who suffer from obesity.

I’m sure that together, we can make a real contribution!

Association for the Study of Obesity North West: Patient Council Blog

Steering Committee member Ken Clare blogs on the recent ASONW meeting

On the 12th of May I was delighted to be invited to speak at the North West UK meeting of the Association for the Study of Obesity, Obesity Management: A selection of stakeholder viewpoints was an interesting meeting with an enthusiastic audience and a variety of speakers who provided a balanced view.

Dr Ruth Carson,Consultant Lead Psychotherapist, Head of Eating Disorders Service, Mersey Care NHS Trust, kicked off the event with a great talk – “How might a psychological perspective enhance the work of weight management and bariatric services?”.

I was proud to fly the EASO Patients Council banner by sharing a presentation “My journey: Weight management from a patient perspective”. In addition to my role in the Patient Council, I am founder of online weight-loss information website WLSInfo http://www.wlsinfo.org.uk

Fiona Chan, weight management dietician, Salford Royal Foundation NHS Trust, gave a stimulating talk entitled “Dietary guidance for medical and surgical weight management”.

The session ended with Dr Juliet McGrattan, who is the Public Health England Clinical Champion for Physical Activity in the North West and resident GP for Women’s Running UK magazine, gave an energising talk:  “Physical activity in weight loss”.

Audience feedback was excellent and all agreed it was a fantastic event.

Full details of the meeting can be found here:

Obesity management: A selection of stakeholder viewpoints’. ASO North West Regional Group, Liverpool, 12th May 2016.

http://www.aso.org.uk/association/north-west/

EASO New Investigators United Spotlight

Maria Angela Guzzardi is a member of the New Investigators United Board.

Maria Angela, Please tell us about yourself.

I was born in Pisa, in Tuscany, but my origins are Sicilian, since that is the place where my family comes from and that I consider my home region.

I was an active and curious girl, and in school, I was interested in science and biology, and also in philosophy and literature. After I undertook study in classics, I decided to focus on science and studied Medicinal Chemistry and Technology at the University of Pisa. As an undergraduate, I became aware of my interest in scientific research and in 2010 I completed my PhD in Innovative Strategies in biomedical Research with a thesis on “Dynamic hepatocytes cultures as in vitro models of the liver and the metabolic system”, at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, a joint programme with the University of Pisa. During my PhD I was very motivated and wanted to explore other aspects of scientific research and other realities. Thus, I spent sometime at the Oxford Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) in Oxford (UK), and then a full year at the Center for Bioengineering in Medicine (CEM), the Harvard Medical School and the Shriners Children Hospital in Boston (MA, USA). Afterwards, I worked as post-doc fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, working on the interaction between hepatitis C virus life cycle and host lipid metabolism. Different work experiences made me realise that I am greatly interested in the complex regulation underlying metabolic homeostasis and by study of the cross-talk between the organs mainly involved in this process of regulation.

In order to gain a deeper understanding in this field, I began working as post-doc in the group of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nuclear Medicine led by Dr. Patricia Iozzo at the Institute of Clinical Physiology at the National Research Council in Pisa, where I still work.

We would love to learn more about your country and the area you live in:

I live in Pisa, which is a lovely student town in Tuscany. Pisa is located about 20 minutes from the sea and about 1 hour from the Appennini mountain chain. The town is famous worldwide for its leaning tower that every year attracts thousands of tourists who take funny pictures pretending to hold up the tower. But if you have the chance to live in Pisa, you can discover that such a small town has a lot of beautiful spots: there is the lovely Arno river that crosses the town just before falling into the Mediterranean sea, there are several historica churches and monuments, the medieval brick wall surrounding the town, and the beautiful Cavalieri square where the historical building of the Scuola Normale of Pisa, formally founded in 1810 by Napoleonic decree, when Tuscany was a province of the French empire.

Please share some detail about your specific professional interests and any research, EU projects or clinical teams you are working with:

In Pisa I am currently part of the Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nuclear Medicine group. My research is focused on the etiology and physiopathology of obesity and type- 2 diabetes, and on the identification of the early mechanisms and markers associated with the development of the above pathological conditions.

My initial interest was the study of glucose metabolism in animal models of obesity and in response to different metabolic conditions by the use of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging technique. In the last years, my interest has extended to the study of the effect of very early exposure to an obesogenic environment. In fact, I have been working extensively on the effect of maternal obesity on offspring cardio-metabolic health, which is the focus of the EU FP7 project DORIAN. During the course of this project, I really came to understand and appreciate that a multidisciplinary approach is of paramount importance when tackling a complex health problem such as obesity, including its development and its complications.

I am also interested in the association between obesity and brain metabolism and function. In the EU FP7 project Neurofast I have been assessing brain response to food cues in a group of women with obesity using PET imaging, and I have explored the hypothesis of food addiction.

How did you find the 2015 EASO NIU Summer School and can you share what you are looking forward to for the 2016 summer session?

Since May 2015 I have been a Board Member of the NIU. The 2015 EASO NIU Summer School was a very successful experience for both young delegates and the EASO NIU staff and the speakers. In fact, it was a good chance to discuss hot topics in the field of obesity, but also to meet and talk with other young researchers from other European countries and share experiences. The summer school 2016 will be even more engaging, not only bus to the important and cutting edge topics that will be addressed, but also because the program includes a special session aimed at helping the new researcher on grant and proposal writing. Moreover delegates will have the chance to present themselves and their work, which I think is a great opportunity, and may pave the way to EASO establishing a European community of new researchers in the field of obesity.

What are your future career plans?

My plan is to develop a stronger expertise in the etiopathology and pathophysiology of obesity and of insulin resistance, and to become an independent researcher. I am working hard to grow a network of international and multidisciplinary collaborations. In order to turn scientific research in helpful treatments for patients’ management, is very important to tackle the mechanisms associated with the development and establishment of obesity, insulin resistance or other pathological conditions. I think that in order to pursue this aim, a multidisciplinary approach is mandatory.

Aside from your professional interests, what are your hobbies and interests?

During the weekend or in the evening during week days I love to participate in sport, such as tennis, and I spend time at the gym. In the summertime, I love walking on the beach just before sunset, when it is less crowded and the weather isn’t as hot, and I enjoy swimming. I also love reading, and I prefer mystery and thriller stories, but I also appreciate classical authors.

I love music and I can play piano, but I regret that I have almost abandoned it in recent years due to shortage of time.

EASO Patient Council: June 2015

We are delighted to welcome a new member to the EASO Patient Council.

Marieke, please tell us a bit about who you are:

My name is Marieke Aarts. I am a 48 year old woman from Holland, and I work as a Bariatric nurse. All of my life I have been overweight. Six years ago, I had a gastric bypass operation and lost 60 kgs. This changed my life completely.

I am the mother of two beautiful and talented children, Sophie (13) and Pieter (11). Last year my husband and I divorced.

For 28 years I have worked in the same hospital, and for the past 8 years I have worked as a bariatric nurse. I particularly find my work as a Bariatric Nurse here in the Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven, which is an excellent bariatric centre in the south of the Netherlands, very rewarding.

Tell us about your county and where you live:

As I think you are aware, the Netherlands is a small country near Germany.

There are many people with severe, morbid obesity people living in the Netherlands. We believe 360.000 among a population of 17 million people are obese. In addition, fully 48 % of the adult population has overweight.
So, we have much to do and very many people to reach!

Marieke, please share some of your favourite things (activities, hobbies, interests)

Of course my very favourite thing is my two children and my family. I will also mention my new relationship!

A great interest end hobby of mine remains is my work and my enduring passion as bariatric nurse.

I love to run, and participate in half marathons; I also like to go to football games. A quite activity I enjoy is reading a good book.

Please describe what your experience of obesity has been:

All of my life I have been overweight. By the time I was eleven years old my weight was already 80 kg. By the time I went to study as an adolescent, I started to drink beer, as many teens do, and my weight went up.

Following the birth of my children my weight reached a peak of 130 kg. it was then that I decided I was not setting a good example as a mother and being the rudder for their ship as I wanted to be. It was at that time the idea was born for bariatric surgery.

What are your hopes for the EASO Patient Council at the 2016 European Obesity Summit?

When I reach out and connect with one person by telling my story, it sometimes has the impact of changing his life, and inspiring him or her to choose quality of life. I am a person who tends to ‘go for it’ and I share my entire story with all my attendant insecurities and secrets!

How do you currently advocate for patients and how do you intend to advocate for patients in the future?

My practice and goals around advocacy are simple. I strive

  • To be myself!
  • To listen
  • Using evidence – based practice and research to inform my choices!

These are some of the reasons I find this organization (EASO) so important!
I am really glad and thankful to be a new member of the EASO Patient Council.

Please support European Obesity Day

European Obesity Day (EOD) takes place this coming Saturday, 21 May, and is aimed at raising awareness and increasing knowledge about obesity and the many other diseases on which it impacts.

EOD is a major annual initiative for the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) and so would like to ask you to support the activities by joining in the conversation on social media. It will help us to reach more of the policymakers, politicians, healthcare professionals, patients and the media who we are targeting with important messages about the need to take obesity more seriously.

There are several ways you can show your support:

In line with the Action for a Healthier Future theme for EOD 2016, we hope we can count on your support.

EASO urges action in advance of European Obesity Day 2016

Brussels

Saturday 21 May 2016 is European Obesity Day. As the leading organisation representing obesity research and clinical practise obesity in Europe, EASO today warns that unless something is quickly done to tackle the region’s rising obesity epidemic, Europe faces devastating impact on healthcare costs and productivity.

EASO, our 32 national European membership organisations and Patient Council urge wide stakeholder engagement to tackle the crisis. http://www.europeanobesityday.eu/obesity-needs-urgent-action-warns-research-organisation/

Food Revolution Day

EASO is delighted to partner with Jamie Oliver and the Food Revolution team to support a new campaign – across Europe and around the world – to focus on food. 20 May 2016, Food Revolution Day has become a key moment in this broad scale social movement to debate and encourage systems’ change along with individual efforts to change the world of food.

“What this means is that from 20 May 2016, the “day” becomes our moment to tell brilliant stories about what has been achieved and bang the drum as loudly as we can about what still needs to be done.” Read the blog from the Food Revolution team on the EASO website.

The Food Revolution has started!

Food Revolution Day, Jamie Oliver’s annual day of action, is coming up on 20 May, but this year it’s going to be a little different.

Jamie is passionate about fighting to provide a healthier, happier world for children through better, more nutritious food. He believes that we can only achieve this by coming together as one united voice and lobbying governments to make real, lasting, meaningful change to the way our kids access, consume and understand food. So, this year, he’s taking the Food Revolution full-time.

Instead of just focussing on one day in May, Jamie and the team are launching an ongoing, year-round Food Revolution that will provoke debate, inspire communities, and lobby governments and businesses to make positive, lasting change in order to give our children better access to good, nutritious food.

What this means is that from 20 May 2016, the “day” becomes our moment to tell brilliant stories about what has been achieved and bang the drum as loudly as we can about what still needs to be done.

image1

WHAT

An ongoing, global campaign to provoke debate and inspire positive, meaningful change in the way we access, consume and understand food.

WHY

We’re in the middle of a global health crisis. Right now, 41 million children under five are overweight, while another 159 million are too undernourished to grow properly. We’re failing our children and future generations by not arming them with the right food and skills they need to grow healthily and happily.

HOW

Meaningful change is built from the ground up. We celebrate the joy of food, we educate people and communities and we inspire them to come together as one voice to lobby governments and businesses to make positive, lasting change.

WHEN

The Food Revolution is a global, year-round campaign. Every May, we hold Food Revolution Day to celebrate success, raise awareness and invite more people, businesses and governments to join the ongoing Revolution.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED

Sign up! First and foremost, head to jamiesfoodrevolution.org and sign up to join the Revolution! We’re calling on all governments to build a plan that tackles the global child nutrition crisis.

Schools Whether you’re a teacher or parent, inspire children to love food with this simple recipe and accompanying resources.

Cook Check out Jamie’s 10 nutritious Food Revolution recipes. Get cooking, pass on your skills and share your own versions of the recipes online with #FoodRevolution

Spread the word! Show your support, download and share our Food Revolution assets, either via social media or to help organise an offline event.

Stay tuned for more ways to get involved and watch the Food Revolution kick off on 20 May!

Sign up and join the revolution!
jamiesfoodrevolution.org
#foodrevolution

European Parliament Healthy Breakfast Event

The European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) was delighted to join MEP Alfred Sant (S&D, Malta) who hosted a Healthy Breakfast in the European Parliament to officially launch a written declaration calling for the recognition of obesity as a chronic disease.

Over 50 stakeholders, including representatives from the European Parliament, national Health Attaches, medical professionals, patients and representatives from leading European health organisations joined Executive Director Euan Woodward to listen to prominent speakers and to discuss the urgent issue of identifying and recognising obesity as a disease.

There was consensus at the Healthy Breakfast that action needs to be taken to ensure the sustainability of the healthcare systems and the health of future generations, highlighting the tremendous difference the recognition of obesity as a disease will make to millions of people across Europe. A full report is available:

160509 – Healthy Breakfast Report EP 26 April

EASO Newsletter May 2016

In 2016 the congresses of EASO (ECO2016) and the IFSO European Chapter (2016 IFSO-EC Annual Congress) will merge to create the inaugural European Obesity Summit (EOS2016). This exciting congress will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden from 1 to 4 June 2016.

Don’t forget to register for EOS2016, you can do this via the congress website.

Remember, the EASO Task Force Teaching Courses will take place on Wednesday 1st June, so plan your journey so that you can participate. There are also special teaching sessions throughout the congress, you can read about them in the main programme.


Save the Date: European Obesity Day is 21 May 2016
Action for a Healthier Europe

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At the recent Obesity Stakeholder Roundtable, EASO reaffirmed support for European Obesity Day, (#EOD2016) which will be held this year on 21 May 2016. #EOD2016 represents an important opportunity to engage and influence diverse stakeholders across Europe.

Read more.


4e283a7d-d4df-49b6-b8aa-57afd1af86f6EOS2016 Speaker Spotlight:

Meet Grace O’Malley

We are pleased to share our interview with Dr Grace O’Malley, chair of the ASOI and a noted research-clinician in the area of childhood obesity.

Read the interview.


4736fd95-96b1-4bd7-b8d6-97e0e33b66a2A Conversation with Dr Volkan Yumuk, Chairman of the EASO Obesity Management Task Force

Professor Volkan Demirhan Yumuk was born and raised in Istanbul. “I now live in the same glamorous city and my residence is here in Asia Minor; my work place is in Europe proper.”

Read more here.


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We are pleased to announce that the latest issue of Obesity Facts, 2016 issue 2 is available online. View the issue on the OFA website.

This issue of Obesity Facts includes EASL-EASD-EASO Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.


European Biotechnology Network Convention: June 23-24, Brussels

Priority access and discount to members of EASO

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EASO is a strategic partner of EBN and we are pleased to offer all EASO members a dedicated registration rate of €50 to attend our first annual convention on June 23-24. This 1.5 day meeting brings together members of EBN, with guests from EASO, to showcase scientific partnership capabilities and understand all aspects of successful collaborations, including funding, IP, skills and of course, exploitation.

Delegates attending include universities, SMEs, large companies and funding providers and it is an exclusive gathering of proactive, partnership-oriented scientists. You are warmly invited to join EBN members in Brussels in June and you can see full agenda and also register through the website here.

We look forward to seeing you in Brussels and you are welcome to contact Claire Skentelbery on any aspect of the conference. Just use the code EASO2016 when you register.


NIU Board: Spotlight on Catherine Gibbons

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Catherine Gibbons is an exercise physiologist, and is particularly interested in exercise, physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the control of appetite and obesity.

Read more.


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We are pleased to announce that the MooDFOOD EU Project has recently published some interesting papers. Visit the project website to view summaries.


015e4f84-3f10-4e1e-a466-538636e982e0European Obesity Day announces parliamentary initiative

Members of the European Parliament are leading a major new initiative to tackle Europe’s rising obesity epidemic, which currently costs governments more than €70 billion a year in healthcare expenditure and lost productivity.

Learn more.


cbe2d962-c994-48df-9bf0-6ed90a68b565Patient Council News: Iceland

Our colleague Sólveig Sigurðardóttir has been awarded a significant community prize by Fréttabladid, the largest Icelandic newspaper, for her work campaigning against ‘fat shaming’. She is photographed here with the President of Iceland Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who presented the award. Sólveig has been campaigning in Iceland for years on this issue and EASO congratulates her on this impressive national recognition.

Read more.


fbffdba7-38b5-4e82-88cb-2671af8afa07Patient Council Spotlight:

Joyce Verhoeven

We are pleased to introduce you to the newest Patient Council Representative from Belgium, Joyce Verhoeven.

Learn more about Joyce.