Highlights From the North American Society for the Study of Obesity Annual Meeting: A Physician's View

Raymond A. Plodkowski, MD


December 01, 2003

In This Article


The North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) 2003 Annual Scientific Meeting was jointly sponsored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for the first time. This collaboration is important because obesity is a gateway disease that can lead to the dysmetabolic syndrome (metabolic syndrome, syndrome X) and type 2 diabetes. Excess dietary intake of energy and macronutrients (particularly saturated fat) is also directly linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.[1,2] Furthermore, obesity increases the risk of hypertension, stroke, sleep apnea, and certain types of cancer (endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon).[3]

To combat obesity and its sequelae, information was presented at the NAASO meeting regarding calorie-restricted diets and the importance of physical activity as an adjunct to dieting. In addition, new medications, devices, and surgical procedures available to medical professionals to treat overweight and obese individuals were discussed. The controversy concerning optimal diet composition for weight loss (high-protein/low-carbohydrate vs traditional low-fat diets) was discussed. This summary will review highlights of the pre-sessions and scientific sessions regarding these topics.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.