Highlights of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity 2005 Annual Scientific Meeting

October 15-19, 2005; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Sachiko T. St. Jeor, PhD, RD; Raymond A. Plodkowski, MD

Disclosures

May 30, 2006

In This Article

Preconference Workshop

A preconference workshop focused on pharmacotherapy for obesity.[2] This was a timely topic that brought together discussions of the various targets for pharmacotherapy, including gut and hypothalamic targets, brain targets, and energy expenditure and adipose regulators.

A cogent discussion by Steven Heymsfield, MD,[3] from St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, New York, NY, on challenges faced by industry in drug development was the highlight of this session. This topic is especially important because hope is being focused on the results of clinical trials of new drugs that are expected to make a significant impact on the treatment and prevention of obesity.

There were discussions about the future of end targets of pharmacotherapy in the gut (ghrelin) and brain (melanocortin). Pharmacologic interventions that induce energy expenditure (adipose tissue regulation) to control hunger, satiety, and food intake, and the relative concentration, composition, and volume of nutrients were also discussed. Important future considerations include not only the efficacy and safety of various pharmacotherapeutic approaches, but also longer-term effects on metabolic adaptations to weight loss and opportunities for combination treatments to increase overall efficacy. Targeting populations with possible genetic markers may provide greater potential benefits for specific interventions. It was emphasized that the benefits of pharmacotherapy beyond weight loss, such as effects on other risk factors (eg, low-density lipoprotein), should be considered.

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