Keynote Lecture - Obesity Week
Professor Farooqi gave the Keynote Lecture at Obesity Week which took place in New Orleans, USA in the first week of November. This American meeting brought together Healthcare professionals who care for people with weight problems and Surgeons who perform bariatric surgery. Alongside clinical professionals, researchers who work in related areas also attended the meeting. Some of the topics covered were how pathways in the brain control weight, why some treatments (including surgery) are effective for some people but not others, and how to design effective public health policies.
This was a great opportunity to discuss our work and how it has shed light on how the leptin-MC4R pathway regulates weight. An interesting aspect of the meeting was that the organisers encouraged attendees to sign an Obesity Pledge to understand and support patients with obesity. This urges "healthcare professionals, policymakers, patients and families to regard obesity with the same level of seriousness that other chronic diseases are regarded". Raising awareness in this way can be really powerful. It can advocate for more support for research into obesity and can help to tackle some of the stigma and discrimination people with obesity have to deal with. Needless to say, this pledge fits very well with our approach to understanding obesity and is an initiative we wholeheartedly support.