The Obesity Society

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A number of resources are available to those who are struggling with obesity, and numerous organizations, such as the Obesity Action Coalition, exist to help those with overweight and obesity and to raise awareness of the obesity epidemic.

Many other organizations exist to help physicians, scientists and others in the medical research community better understand and manage obesity. One such organization is the World Obesity Federation.

Another is The Obesity Society (TOS).

What Is The Obesity Society?

According to the website of TOS, its vision is to “better understand, prevent and treat obesity to improve the lives of those affected through research, education and advocacy.”

Its mission statement reads as follows: “Through TOS’s unique position, lead the charge in advancing the science-based understanding of the causes, consequences, prevention and treatment of obesity.”

Obesity as a Disease

In 2013, the American Medical Association (AMA)  officially declared obesity to be a disease, acknowledging the “enormous humanitarian and economic impact of obesity as requiring the medical care, research and education attention of other major global medical diseases.”

Also in 2013, the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and The Obesity Society released new, long-awaited obesity guidelines, which were published as the “2013 ACCF/AHA/TOS Guideline for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults.”

The impact of officially acknowledging obesity as a chronic disease was expected not only to raise awareness of the problem among the general public, but also to impact policy at all levels. Policymakers may feel greater need to fund and implement obesity treatment and intervention programs, while third-party payers may be more likely to reimburse physicians and other healthcare professionals for treatment and management of obesity as a recognized disease.


Every year, TOS hosts ObesityWeek, which is the name for their annual scientific meeting. This meeting, according to TOS, has “grown to be one of the world’s largest gatherings of obesity professionals at all stages of their careers, including leading obesity scientists presenting cutting-edge research.”

ObesityWeek draws speakers and attendees from all over the world.

Scientific Journals

In addition to sponsoring educational meetings and co-authoring scientific statements, TOS publishes Obesity, the official journal of TOS. In partnership with World Obesity, TOS also publishes Obesity Science & Practice, an online-only, peer-reviewed, open-access journal for obesity research.

Other clinical resources offered by TOS include the obesity treatment guidelines noted above, as well as Clinical Practice Guidelines for Healthy Eating for the Prevention and Treatment of Metabolic and Endocrine Diseases in Adults.

Advocacy Efforts

In addition to the above, TOS belongs to the Obesity Care Continuum (OCC), which was established in 2011 and is “dedicated to promoting access to, and coverage of, the continuum of care surrounding the treatment of overweight and obesity.”

The OCC also includes among its organization members the Obesity Action Coalition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Society of Bariatric Physicians and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

The OCC states that it “challenges weight bias and stigma oriented policies—whenever and wherever they occur.”


World Obesity Federation. Accessed online at on September 24, 2015.

The Obesity Society. Accessed online at on November 29, 2015.

2013 AHA/ACC/TOS Guideline for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society [published online November 27, 2013]. Circulation.

Gonzalez-Campoy JM, St. Jeor ST, Castorino K, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for healthy eating for the prevention and treatment of metabolic and endocrine diseases in adults: cosponsored by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/The American College of Endocrinology and the Obesity Society. Endocrine Practice 2013;19(suppl 3).

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