The annual meeting of The Endocrine Society was held virtually from March 28 to 31 and attracted participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in endocrine and metabolic disorders. The conference highlighted recent advances in the diagnosis and management of obesity, endocrine disorders, diabetes, growth hormone, and thyroid diseases.
In one study, Adnin Zaman, M.D., of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, and colleagues found that baseline fitness is a potentially individual-specific factor that might account for the significant variability in weight loss seen in participants enrolled in a behavioral weight loss program.
The investigators measured cardiovascular fitness during a graded exercise test on a motorized treadmill using indirect calorimetry and categorized based on published age and sex norms. Participants wore an armband that measured free-living physical activity during one week at months 0, 6, 12, and 18. The researchers found that baseline fitness may moderate 18-month weight loss, as those with poor or better fitness lost nearly twice the amount of weight as those who had very poor fitness at baseline.
“Those with poor or better fitness at baseline achieved significantly higher mean levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at 18 months compared to those with very poor fitness,” Zaman said. “Therefore, participants with very poor fitness at baseline may require additional exercise support during a behavioral weight loss program to achieve the high levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity recommended for weight loss and weight loss maintenance.”
In another study, Mita Shah Hoppenfeld, M.D., of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and colleagues surveyed 125 Stanford University internal medicine residents at multiple primary care clinic sites to evaluate residents’ comfort with, knowledge of, and practices regarding managing obesity in their clinics.
“Although 81 percent of resident physicians described feeling comfortable or somewhat comfortable with counseling patients about lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, only 33 percent reported consistently providing such counseling to patients with obesity,” Hoppenfeld said. “Barriers to providing lifestyle counseling included lack of time (93 percent), poor familiarity with resources (50 percent), and lack of training in motivational interviewing (36 percent). The top barrier (84 percent) to prescribing weight loss medications was unfamiliarity with them.”
In addition, the investigators found that nearly one-third (31 percent) of residents correctly identified medically advisable indications for bariatric surgery, but only 9 percent of those reported referring patients they considered appropriate for surgical evaluation.