Date: April 23-25
Accreditation: 17.5 CME/CE

The theme for the 2021 Spring Obesity Summit is Treat Obesity First. Obesity is associated with hundreds of other chronic diseases, so why not address it at the root? Treating obesity first will help you better manage obesity-related conditions; it will also reduce the risk of your patients developing further complications and improve their overall health and quality of life.

At the Spring Obesity Summit, gain practical strategies you can use to address obesity at the root in a primary care, specialty, or obesity medicine practice. Learn how to apply evidence-based guidelines to the treatment of obesity – including selecting appropriate anti-obesity medications, managing patients in post-bariatric surgery, and treating your patients’ obesity-related conditions, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease.  

2021 Spring Conference Tracks for Summit:

  1. Yellow track = Primary Care and New to Obesity Medicine Track
  2. Green track = Advanced Obesity Medicine Track

Schedule on Friday, April 23 (EDT)


9:45-10:00 AM - Presidential Address

Craig Primack, MD, FACP, FAAP, Dipl. ABOM

10:00-11:00 AM - Obesity Medicine 2021 Keynote Address: Multidisciplinary Care Under One Roof: The best treatment for obesity today and tomorrow

Matt Hutter, MD, MBA, MPH

In this session, Dr. Matt Hutter, the President of the ASMBS, will discuss the benefits of having a multidisciplinary approach for the treatment of patients with obesity.  The current state of metabolic and bariatric surgery will be discussed.  However, most who could benefit from surgery don’t consider it. By having caregivers under one roof who can offer all the effective interventions – including behavioral, pharmacological, and surgical treatments – patients can best learn what treatment will be most effective for them. 

  • Understand the benefits for your patients and your practice, of providing multidisciplinary care under one roof.
  • Update your understanding of the risks and benefits of surgical treatments for patients with obesity.
  • Consider how behavioral and/or pharmacological interventions can be helpful as “neo-adjuvant” and/or “’adjuvant” therapies for surgical patients before and/or after surgery.
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11:00 AM-12:00 PM - Curing Obesity in Two Words: Be Inefficient!

Harold Bays, MD, FOMA, FTOS, FACC, FACE, FASPC, FNLA

Why do so many highly motivated and intelligent individuals find such difficulty achieving a healthy body weight? Dr. Harold Bays, Chief Science Officer at the Obesity Medicine Association, will describe the latest science supporting how, conceptually, obesity can be managed by implementing the two-world principle of “Be Inefficient!” An understanding of this two-word summary of obesity management requires the ability to integrate complex biological principles, into clinical practicalities. “Be Inefficient” can also be an effective guidance to patients, helping to explain why achieving a healthy body weight can be so challenging, and what can be done to meet the challenge.

  • Recognize biologic efficiencies and inefficiencies in weight management
  • Utilize the four pillars of obesity treatment to enhance a patient’s ability to achieve a healthy weight
  • Identify the impact of the gut microbiome and bariatric surgery on efficiency of weight management

12:00-12:15 PM - Break

Visit the exhibitors virtually and explore the latest technologies, products, and services available to enhance and improve your practice. Discover new products and services to use when treating patients with obesity.

12:15-1:00 PM - Pharmacotherapy of Complex Obesity: A Case Based Approach

Silvana Pannain, MD

More than one-third of adults in the United States suffer from the chronic disease of obesity. While lifestyle modification is the cornerstone of any weight loss treatment, weight loss achieved through lifestyle modifications alone is often limited and difficult to maintain. Therefore, pharmacotherapy, when used appropriately in combination with lifestyle modification plays an important role in the treatment of obesity and improves both short-term and long-term outcomes. The session will offer a case-based, practical guide to current strategies in obesity management across various conditions such as drug induced weight gain, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, depression, binge eating, other psychiatric conditions, cardiovascular disease, suboptimal post bariatric surgery weight loss or post bariatric surgery weight regain, and monogenic obesity. Finally, the session will discuss the treatment of the patient with overweight/obesity who also has prediabetes or diabetes and recommend appropriate diabetes medications to prescribe that consider a weight centric approach.

  • Review case-based, practical guidelines to current treatment strategies in obesity related diseases.
  • Discuss the appropriate approaches to specific case scenarios
  • Apply weight centric treatments to patients with overweight/obesity as well as prediabetes or diabetes

1:00-2:00 PM - The Art and Science of Deprescribing

Jeff Stanley, MD, Dipl. ABOM

No matter what dietary or surgical intervention is used to treat patients with obesity, knowing how to deprescribe, especially for patients with type 2 diabetes, is critical. This session will address the practical and critical skill of deprescribing medications as patients with diabetes and other metabolic disease lose weight. Successful obesity medicine providers will understand that their treatment will alter the medication needs of their patients. Therefore, obesity medicine clinicians are medically, ethically, and legally required to have the necessary skills to keep patients safe. Medication deprescription is an anticipated outcome with weight loss, but there is a lack of guidelines on how to safely proceed with medication changes. This session will provide obesity providers with guidance on proper medication deprescribing.

  • Identify any safety issues regarding hypoglycemia and euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis associated with certain medications and weight loss
  • Prioritize medications to be deprescribed including insulin
  • Manage insulin dosing during weight loss and relapse
  • Effectively deprescribe medications for other medical conditions that improve with weight loss

2:00-3:00 PM - Lunch

Visit the exhibitors virtually and explore the latest technologies, products, and services available to enhance and improve your practice. Discover new products and services to use when treating patients with obesity.

3:00-4:00 PM - Slashing the Fat out in NAFLD

Humberto Gonzalez, MD

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a prevalent medical problem worldwide and frequently coexists with obesity and its associated conditions. This session will review the difference between non-alcoholic fatty liver and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, as well as the differential diagnosis of fatty liver. Guidance on the clinical assessment of NAFLD, utilizing laboratory values, imaging studies and other preclinical tests will be reviewed, as well as the role of liver biopsy. A review of the therapeutic armamentarium with focus on the liver specific effects. Additionally, this session will review the role and effect of lifestyle and pharmacological treatment as well as more invasive interventions such as bariatric surgery and other procedures.

  • Define Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and review appropriate diagnostic tools
  • Apply liver fibrosis and staging to risk stratification in NAFLD
  • Utilize different therapeutic modalities and describe their efficacy in the treatment of NAFLD

4:00-4:45 PM - Early Intervention in Weight Management: Treating Pre-Obesity

Michelle Look, MD, Dipl. ABOM

Treatment of people with unhealthy weight has typically focused on those with obesity or in those with BMI ≥ 27 with existing comorbidities; however, evidence indicates that the negative effects of excess weight on morbidity and mortality begin at lower BMI categories. Properly identifying at-risk patients who have pre-obesity and initiating treatment earlier may interrupt the progression towards further weight gain, obesity, and prevent or delay comorbidities. This engaging and interactive session will underscore the risks associated with pre-obesity, highlight best practices for screening and taking a weight history, and review practical treatment strategies to halt progression of the disease.

  • Recognize the risk of disease burden associated with pre-obesity
  • Understand the importance of proper screening techniques for weight history
  • Review evidence based practical treatment strategies for patients with pre-obesity

4:45-5:00 PM - Break

Visit the exhibitors virtually and explore the latest technologies, products, and services available to enhance and improve your practice. Discover new products and services to use when treating patients with obesity.

5:00-6:15 PM - Understanding Food Security & Obesity Paradox: A Case Study

Shivajirao Patil, MD, MPH, BC-ADM, FAAFP, Dipl. ABOM & Kay Craven, MPH, RND, LND, CDE

Food insecurity is more common than most people believe, and it is not confined to the poorest of the poor. This session will review the paradoxical relationship between food insecurity and obesity. Using an interactive case, this session will provide practical strategies on how to screen and assess for food insecurity, and how to manage food insecurity along with related chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular diseases.

  • Define food insecurity and discuss its epidemiology
  • Recognize adverse effects of food insecurity on health
  • Utilize available resources to tailor obesity and chronic disease management in the presence of food insecurity
  • Assess patients for food insecurity

Schedule on Saturday, April 24 (EDT)


9:30-10:00 AM - CME Breakfast Panel*

Grab breakfast and ask a panel of obesity medicine experts all of your questions you have from the first day of the Summit.

  • Discuss strategies for treating obesity patients in a variety of case-based scenarios
  • Explore different approaches to an obesity treatment plan from what previous experts have seen successful

*Optional CME: This session is worth an optional 0.5 CME/CE credits. Attendance is not required to receive the full 17.5 CME/CE credits for the Spring Obesity Summit.

10:00-11:00 AM - Obesity Medicine 2021 Keynote Address: The Case Against Sugar

Gary Taubes 

Obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome are all associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases, including, most notably, heart disease, hypertension, fatty liver disease, stroke, cancer and dementia. Historically, these diseases were known as Western diseases because they were common in populations that ate western diets, particularly white flour and sugar, and were mostly absent in populations that ate traditional diets. Health organizations today suggest that these Western diseases, including cancer, are caused by energy-dense, high-fat foods and sedentary lifestyles. The alternative hypothesis is that the causative agents of these diseases are refined carbohydrates and sugars, in particular (sucrose and high fructose corn syrup). Understanding the history of the science of western diseases is critical to understanding the hypothesis and whether it should be taken seriously.

  • Understand the history of Western diseases and their relationship to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
  • Review the history of sugar and HFCS consumption and its association with Western disease trends.
  • Review the potential health effects of sucrose and HFCS, circa 2021

11:00-11:15 AM - Break

Visit the exhibitors virtually and explore the latest technologies, products, and services available to enhance and improve your practice. Discover new products and services to use when treating patients with obesity.

11:15 AM-12:15 PM - A Real World Approach to Treating Obesity in Primary Care
11:15 AM-12:15 PM - D-O-C and B-E-D: Recognize, Diagnose, and Treat Binge Eating Disorders

A Real World Approach to Treating Obesity in Primary Care

Sandra Christensen, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC, FOMA

Primary care clinicians encounter patients with obesity on a daily basis. Given the complexity of obesity, and the complications that need to be managed, many are unsure about where to begin. Using real-world case studies this presentation will provide a practical, step-by-step approach for the evaluation and management of patients with obesity in a variety of primary care settings. Strategies for developing treatment plans will be step-wise, individualized, and patient-centered based on time, setting, clinician skill level, as well as clinic resources. Participants will be able to identify appropriate patients, assess readiness, initiate a conversation, and implement a treatment plan. Time-efficient evaluation tools will be provided and the components of comprehensive treatment will be incorporated into the cases.

  • Identify appropriate patients, assess readiness, and initiate conversations about obesity
  • Explain initial interventions that stabilize obesity
  • Implement a step-wise, comprehensive treatment plan
  • Describe how and when to make appropriate referrals

D-O-C and B-E-D: Recognize, Diagnose, and Treat Binge Eating Disorders

Abby Bleistein, MD, FACP, AAP, DOMA

Binge eating disorder (BED) is present in 30% of adults who seek obesity treatment. Of children who seek treatment for obesity, 9% have over-eating episodes. While BED is a common problem among patients seen in an obesity medicine practice, often it is not screened for and may be overlooked. Some studies indicate a greater chance of relapse for patients with obesity have lost weight and have BED. Recognizing and treating BED is a crucial part of providing care for our patients with obesity. This presentation will review the epidemiology, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of patients with BED utilizing case presentations to illustrate the best treatment strategies to optimize outcomes in this patient population.

  • Describe the prevalence of binge eating disorder in adults and children with and without obesity
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of BED
  • Define binge eating disorder by criteria
  • Identify screening tools for eating approach in the patient interview
  • Implement optimal treatment strategies for patients with binge eating disorder

12:15-1:15 PM - Obesity Management in Primary Care: Challenges and Solutions
12:15-1:15 PM -  Coherent Management of Diabetes and Obesity

Obesity Management in Primary Care: Challenges and Solutions

Nikhil Dhurandhar, PhD, FTOS & Leah Whigham, PhD

This presentation will review the barriers and challenges in receiving obesity treatment as perceived by people with obesity, health care providers and employers, and provide solutions for how these misalignments are easily rectifiable in the primary care setting. During this session receive customized training in obesity management tailored for primary care providers. Additionally, participants will develop individualized dietary treatment recommendations for patients with obesity. This presentation will review the barriers to effective medical care for persons with obesity as identified in the ACTION (Awareness, Care, and Treatment In Obesity MaNagement) study.

  • Describe the complexity of the disease of obesity and how that impacts care.
  • Evaluate the barriers and challenges in receiving obesity treatment as perceived by people with obesity, health care providers and employers.
  • Implement individualized care plans for people with obesity.

Coherent Management of Diabetes and Obesity

Daen Scott, FNP-BC, BC-ADM, CDCES, CSOWM

This lecture will review the latest diabetes treatment guidelines which include individualized glycemic targets, medication options that address managing both diabetes and obesity, and new technologies designed to improve diabetes care. Case based examples will illustrate how these new tools may be implemented into a busy medical practice and some of the common pitfalls that may be encountered.

  • Develop individualized goals for patients with diabetes utilizing current evidence-based, AACE and ADA guidelines.
  • Identify appropriate medications for treating diabetes in patients with obesity.
  • Describe potential applications for personal and professional continuous glucose monitoring
  • Implement the new diabetes management guidelines into clinical practice

1:15-2:15 PM - Lunch

Visit the exhibitors virtually and explore the latest technologies, products, and services available to enhance and improve your practice. Discover new products and services to use when treating patients with obesity.

2:15-3:15 PM - Primary Care Management of Patients in Post Bariatric Surgery
2:15-3:15 PM - Longitudinal Management of Patient after Bariatric Surgery

Primary Care Management of Patients in Post Bariatric Surgery

Catherine Varney, DO, Dipl. ABOM

It is estimated that up to 17% of patients are lost to follow up in the first year alone following bariatric surgery. This number dramatically increases with each year following their surgery. Many times, patients cite lack of time as a reason for dropped attendance at follow up visits. Additionally, access to a comprehensive surgical-medical weight loss program is a barrier to continued care, and some patients simply don’t realize the need and importance of follow up. Complications following bariatric surgery are significant; there is a 15-20% complication rate following the most common bariatric surgery procedures within the first month following the surgery. Primary care providers can capture opportunities at routine and acute visits to monitor for health maintenance related to post bariatric care including labs that identify nutritional deficiencies, hematologic, metabolic and endocrine abnormalities. Additionally, weight, BMI and weight loss trajectory can be reviewed and addressed with both brief and extended intervention in nutritional and behavioral counseling. Most primary care providers cite lack of time and resources as primary reasons not to address what may seem as an extensive list of monitoring. This session will simplify and summarize both brief and extended intervention that can be fit into even an acute visit.

  • Explain the short and long-term complications of bariatric surgery
  • Identify necessary labs, diagnostic tests, and frequency of testing in the post-operative period
  • Recognize patients with slow or poor weight loss or weight regain following bariatric surgery
  • Describe coding, billing and reimbursement for monitoring and intervention of patients’ post-bariatric surgery

Longitudinal Management of Patient after Bariatric Surgery

Jennifer Seger, MD, ABFM, FOMA, Dipl. ABOM

This case-based presentation will discuss the management of patients after bariatric surgery. Each case will address monitoring recommendations for patients after surgery. In addition, these clinical scenarios will address the proper evaluation and management of some common short-term and long-term complications of surgery.

  • Identify common acute and chronic complications after bariatric surgery & appropriate next steps
  • Describe recommendations for identifying and monitoring patients for nutritional complications
  • Develop a longitudinal care plan for optimizing outcomes in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery

3:15-4:15 PM - Weight Bias in Pediatric Obesity
3:15-4:15 PM - Overcoming Barriers: Physical Activity in Persons with Spinal Cord Injury

Weight Bias in Pediatric Obesity

Julie Benard, MD, FAAP, Dipl. ABOM

This session will review weight bias, its definition and sources in the lives of pediatric patients with obesity as well as their parents. The media’s view and assumptions of obesity drives weight bias in our society and forms the basis for a great deal of stigma our patients face. In pediatric obesity medicine, weight bias is particularly important to recognize as it affects not only the patients themselves but also their families. Participants will review potential causes for their own weight bias, and discuss the harms of weight bias for pediatric patients We will discuss solutions to combating weight bias and how to help families overcome this barrier to accessing healthcare.

  • Review weight bias definition and describe the media’s influence on the public’s perception of weight bias
  • Recognize the sources of weight bias in pediatric obesity, including the practitioner, and its implications on our patients’ weight loss efforts
  • Describe how weight bias can contribute to poor mental health outcomes as well as school outcomes for pediatric patients with obesity

Overcoming Barriers: Physical Activity in Persons with Spinal Cord Injury

David R. Gater, MD, PhD, MS

Attendees will participate in a series of case presentations on managing individuals with obesity and spinal cord injury (SCI).  Cases will explore specific comorbid conditions related to SCI and their impact on the ability to engage in physical activity.  Participants will learn to develop specific activity regimens tailored to address mobility limitations of different levels of SCI, and customize treatment plans.  Attendees will learn to adopt strategies designed to benefit both functional mobility and weight management.

  • Describe the impact of SCI or mobility and body weight / composition
  • Identify specific activities that can be utilized in persons with SCI
  • Develop exercise plans to maximize energy expenditure in persons with SCI

4:15-4:30 PM - Break

Visit the exhibitors virtually and explore the latest technologies, products, and services available to enhance and improve your practice. Discover new products and services to use when treating patients with obesity.

4:30-5:45 PM - Short and Sweet: Utilizing Motivational Interviewing in Primary Care
4:30-5:45 PM - A Hot Mess – Obesity, Inflammation and CVD; Systems Thinking

Short and Sweet: Utilizing Motivational Interviewing in Primary Care

Nicholas Pennings, DO, FOMA 

This session will address the challenges of utilizing motivational interviewing in the primary care setting. Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based strategy that is particularly effective for working with patients looking to make a lifestyle change. Using common case examples, attendees will learn to apply simple motivational interviewing tools geared toward the busy health care provider.

  • Describe the components of Motivational Interviewing (MI) best utilized by primary care providers
  • Identify opportunities to use MI in cases of patients with obesity
  • Utilize MI to promote lifestyle change in patients with obesity

A Hot Mess – Obesity, Inflammation and CVD; Systems Thinking

Lance Simkins, MD, FACC

Inflammation is known to play a significant role in cardiovascular disease. Adiposopathy derived inflammation is also recognized as a key contributor in obesity-related diseases.  This session will explore the roles and relationships of inflammation, obesity and cardiovascular disease as part of a larger system.

  • Review the role obesity plays in the development of cardiovascular disease.
  • Recognize the influence of obesity related and other sources of inflammation on CVD.
  • Discuss the effectiveness of behavior modification on these interrelated systems.

Schedule on Sunday, April 25 (EDT)


9:30-10:15 AM - Breakfast with the Experts*

*This event is worth 0.75 CME/CE credits. In addition to class sessions, attendance at this event is required to earn the full 17.5 CME/CE credits for the Spring Obesity Summit.

  • Working with Students and Residents –  Nicholas Pennings, DO, FOMA
  • Prescribing FDA approved Anti-Obesity Medications – Harold Bays, MD, FOMA, FTOS, FACC, FACE, FASPC, FNLA
  • Off-label Prescribing – Angela Fitch, MD, FACP, FOMA
  • Behavioral Interventions: MI/CBT – David Macklin, MD
  • Intermittent Fasting – Krishna Doniparthi, MD, FAARM, FOMA
  • Meal Replacement VLED – Diana Pallin, MD
  • NP/PA Roles – Christina Funk, DNP, FNP-C, APNP
  • Treating Obesity in Pediatric Patients – Marisa Censani, MD
  • Setting Up an Obesity Medicine Practice – Michelle Freshwater, MD
  • Treating patients with the Four Pillars – William McCarthy, MD, FOMA
  • Behavior Modification – Silky Bagga, MD/ MBA
  • Ketogenic Diet – Shubhangi Shidham, MD, ABOM
  • Getting Started in Obesity Medicine – Houman Varghai, MD, FACP

10:15-10:30 AM - Break

Visit the exhibitors virtually and explore the latest technologies, products, and services available to enhance and improve your practice. Discover new products and services to use when treating patients with obesity.

10:30-11:30 AM - Inequality in Infectious Disease - COVID, Obesity, and Patients of Color

Keith Ferdinand, MD, FACC, FAHA, FNLA, FASPC

This session will explore the virulence of COVID infections in different populations. People with obesity are more likely to develop complications of COVID-19 infections with higher hospitalization rates and mortality.  The added risk of infection complications also applies to people of color, especially those who also have obesity. Attendees will learn to recognize the specific risks COVID-19 in people of color with obesity as well as identify the role of prevention, early detection and aggressive treatment in these patients.

  • Identify the risks of complications of COVID-19 infections in people of color with obesity
  • Describe the role of inflammation in the development of COVID-19 complications
  • Recommend prevention strategies for COVID-19 infections
  • Employ aggressive treatment strategies for high-risk patients with COVID-19 infections

11:30 AM-12:30 PM - Addressing Obesity Complications and Obesity Pharmacology

Angela Golden, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP

This presentation utilizes case studies of patients with obesity and complications or co-morbidities and discusses how medications are utilized to manage both obesity and the complications. The presentation will also review obesogenic medications that may have been utilized to treat the complications or co-morbidities and their alternatives.

  • Discuss the pathophysiology of obesity and associated complications
  • Identify evidence-based guidelines for pharmacologic management of the chronic disease of obesity
  • Describe the impact of obesity treatment options on obesity complications

12:30-12:45 PM - Break

Visit the exhibitors virtually and explore the latest technologies, products, and services available to enhance and improve your practice. Discover new products and services to use when treating patients with obesity.

12:45-1:30 PM - Precision Medicine for Treatment of Obesity

 Andres Acosta , MD, PhD, Dipl. ABOM

Individual variability is seen in obesity treatment with nutritional therapy, pharmacotherapy, bariatric surgery, and even physical activity.  This session will explore nutritional, psychological, pharmacological, and genetic traits that can be used to individualize obesity treatment to enhance patient outcomes.

  • Recognize individual variability in patients with obesity
  • Identify phenotypic patterns of eating and activity 
  • Discuss the role of genetics in pharmacotherapy
  • Utilize patient traits to develop tailored obesity treatments

1:30-2:30 PM - Challenging Cases in Obesity Medicine

Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA, FAAP, FACP, FAHA, FTOS, Dipl. ABOM

This presentation will explore the evaluation and treatment of a series of complicated cases. Obesity medicine specialists will present their approach to treating patients with multiple medical problems and complex case histories. This session will review real-world scenarios to provide insights and skills to enhance clinical management of patients with obesity and co-morbid conditions

  • Identify specific obesity related health complications
  • Address complex patients in obesity
  • Develop effective treatment plans in patients with obesity and complex medical histories

Commercial Support

This course is supported by educational grants from Rhythm Pharmaceuticals and Ethicon.

This education activity may receive additional support through educational grants from a commercial interest.