April 2017

I cannot believe that I am now in my third and final year as Chair of ASO ! This year is particularly exciting and an honour as it is also the 50th anniversary of ASO and so far it’s been a very busy year.

In March, we held our first Centres for Obesity Management (COMs) meeting attended by 60 members that focussed on delivery models for Tier 3 services. Members presented examples of current Tier 3 services being delivered and highlighted issues related to commissioning, service delivery and evaluation. Public Health England also presented an update on the guidance currently being developed. The meeting presented a forum for discussion and networking and was well evaluated. I would like to thank ASO Trustees, Rachel Batterham, Barbara McGowan and Carly Hughes for convening this successful event and of course members for attending. Please do encourage colleagues to join – the COM’s network is for anyone involved in the supporting of delivery of obesity services across all Tiers within the UK and represents a multidisciplinary network. If you are interested in joining please contact the ASO Secretariat.

We are currently undertaking an Interim Strategic Review to assess our progress towards our strategic priorities and Graham Finlayson, ASO Trustee is leading on this. Your views are important so please may I encourage you to participate by completing the survey. We hope to share our findings at the AGM at UKCO2017.

This brings me seamlessly to inform you about our 4th UK Congress on Obesity, UKCO2017 which takes place on 7-8th September at the University of South Wales. I am pleased that it will be in Wales as this reflects that ASO is truly a UK-wide organisation as previous venues have been England and Scotland. Simon Williams is leading the local organising committee and supported by ASO Trustees on developing the programme.

This year, the Congress theme will be obesity, health and social inequalities. Specific sessions will focus on the reasons for the disparity in obesity prevalence in different social groups and on the effectiveness of interventions to address obesity and social inequalities. I am delighted to announce that the Welsh Obesity Society (WOS) and Diabetes UK (Cymru) have worked in close partnership with ASO to create the programme. We are extremely grateful to them for their valuable support.

I also hope that you will be contributing to the programme through submitting abstracts for poster or oral presentation and member-led symposia.

As mentioned earlier, the ASO was established in 1967 so this year is the 50th Anniversary. As part of the anniversary celebrations, we have created Fellowships to honour senior members who have made significant contributions to obesity research and practice. The process for nominations will be announced shortly, meanwhile we hope to announce the Fellowships at the celebratory dinner at UKCO2017. So please note this date in your diary!

As usual, I am happy to discuss your thoughts or suggestions on any of the ASO activities.

Pinki Sahota

Professor of Nutrition and Childhood Obesity

Chair of ASO (Association for the Study of Obesity)