AMA Works to Improve Obesity Education for Physicians

CHICAGO (June 8, 2015) – Today, the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP), working with the American Medical Association (AMA), took another step toward improving the treatment of obesity.

The AMA will work with accrediting organizations to analyze the state of obesity education in medical schools and for physicians in training, identify organizations that provide good educational toolkits and resources, and finally, make recommendations to address those gaps.

“This resolution puts the AMA in a position to make a real difference in how obesity is treated in this country,” said Dr. Ethan Lazarus, ASBP’s AMA delegate. “We have to educate our future doctors about treating a disease that continues to affect more than one-third of the population.”

Dr. Lazarus added, “Most physicians in this country received little to no training with regards to obesity and continue to counsel patients affected by weight to eat less and exercise more. Current science does not support this as an effective and sustainable treatment strategy.”

This action by the AMA follows its recognition that obesity is a disease in 2013 and its advocacy efforts in 2014 to improve patient access to evidence-based obesity treatment as well as provide insurance coverage for these treatments.

“We wanted to introduce a resolution that goes beyond recognition and truly creates a call-to-action for obesity education in medical schools,” said Dr. Carolynn Francavilla, ASBP’s alternate AMA delegate.

Drs. Lazarus and Francavilla also hosted the first-ever obesity caucus at the annual meeting. The caucus brought together leaders from many organizations as well as AMA staffers involved in the AMA’s efforts to improve health outcomes. Participants at the caucus worked on developing collaborative initiatives to further improve treatment and prevention of obesity, reduce weight bias, improve obesity education, and help reverse the obesity pandemic.


ASBP Will Change it’s Name to Obesity Medicine Association (OMA)

Name Change Will Better Align Organization with Medical Obesity Treatment and Prevention Trends

DENVER (July 30, 2015) – The American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) announced today that it will change its name to Obesity Medicine Association (OMA). The name change will allow the organization to better align with the widespread recognition of obesity as a chronic disease among health care professionals and will put the organization in a position to lead the health care industry as the need for clinical obesity treatment grows.

“ASBP has a rich history as the leading voice in obesity education, awareness, and treatment, and the decision to change the name to OMA derives from the need to better communicate what we represent and our approach to treatment,” said Eric C. Westman, MD, MHS, president of ASBP. “As an organization, we aim to not only be a valuable resource to members and the patients we serve, but to be recognized and fully understood by the medical community, patients, medical students, and consumers.”

The name change to Obesity Medicine Association will align the organization with the recognition of obesity as a chronic disease by the American Medical Association (AMA) in 2013 and will clarify industry misconceptions. The term “bariatric” has become associated with surgery; however, OMA will not represent bariatric surgeons. The term “obesity” is more commonly used by patients and clinicians alike, and having this term in the name will better communicate that OMA represents physicians and health care providers who specialize in the clinical treatment of obesity.

The new name will also be more inclusive of OMA’s vast membership, made up of physicians and allied health care providers who play an integral role in the treatment of those affected by obesity. OMA will welcome physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and others involved in obesity treatment. Additionally, OMA will communicate a more global presence, as rates of obesity continue to increase worldwide.

“As we grow and move forward, it is important that our name not only support our rich history, but also pave the way for our promising future,” said Deborah Bade Horn, DO, MPH, FASBP, president-elect of ASBP. “For 65 years we have been a sound voice within the medical and obesity treatment community, and we will continue to build on that reputation as the Obesity Medicine Association.”

To learn more about the name change to Obesity Medicine Association, please contact ASBP at