Newswise — BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Calling it the most under-reimbursed major disease in America, two endocrinology societies announced an evidence-based, multidimensional, comprehensive framework to combat the nation’s obesity epidemic today. Meeting in Washington, D.C., the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American College of Endocrinology Consensus Conference of Obesity: Building an Evidence Base for Comprehensive Action laid out a plan of attack.

The conference featured obesity thought-leaders representing public and private stakeholders, part of a year’s long effort to identify the myriad issues surrounding the epidemic of obesity and the necessary steps for solving it.

“Key findings include the need for an improved definition of obesity, high-quality research that includes evaluation of a complications-centric clinical approach to obesity and better understanding of reimbursement mechanisms,” said conference chair W. Timothy Garvey, M.D., professor and chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Nutrition Sciences.

“We also need to address the value associated with obesity prevention and management, increased nutrition and obesity education, and enhanced public awareness and health literacy,” said conference co-chair Alan J. Garber, M.D., Ph.D.

The framework was derived from five fundamental questions debated by conference participants: What is obesity, what options are available for obesity management, what is the optimal use of therapeutic modalities, can the framework be cost-effective, and what are the knowledge gaps and how can they be filled?

Each question was considered within the realms of biomedicine, government and regulation, health industry and economics, plus society, education and research.

Conference organizers say next steps include translating these findings into actionable recommendations for individual patients that are likely to succeed and developing logistics for effective implementation.

The AACE’s Board of Directors declared obesity a disease state in July 2011. The association also was the author of the resolution adopted in June 2013 by the American Medical Association House of Delegates recognizing obesity as a disease.

About UABKnown for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center and the state of Alabama’s largest employer, with some 23,000 employees and an economic impact exceeding $5 billion annually on the state. The five pillars of UAB’s mission deliver knowledge that will change your world: the education of students, who are exposed to multidisciplinary learning and a new world of diversity; research, the creation of new knowledge; patient care, the outcome of ‘bench-to-bedside’ translational knowledge; service to the community at home and around the globe, from free clinics in local neighborhoods to the transformational experience of the arts; and the economic development of Birmingham and Alabama. Learn more at

About the American Association of Clinical EndocrinologistsThe American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists represents more than 6,500 endocrinologists in the United States and abroad. The AACE is the largest association of clinical endocrinologists in the world. The majority of AACE members are certified in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism and concentrate on the treatment of patients with endocrine and metabolic disorders, including diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity. For more information, visit the AACE website at, become a fan on Facebook at, or follow AACE on Twitter at @TheAACE.

About the American College of EndocrinologyThe American College of Endocrinology is the educational, charitable and scientific arm of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. ACE is the leader in advancing the care and prevention of endocrine and metabolic disorders by providing professional education and reliable public health information; recognizing excellence in education, research and service; promoting clinical research; and defining the future of clinical endocrinology. For more information about the College, visit For more information about the endocrine system, visit the ACE-sponsored patient education website at