European Obesity Summit


Posted: 1st to 4th June 2016, Gothenburg, Sweden

The International Sweeteners Association (ISA) participates in the European Obesity Summit

For once more the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) is present where the scientific dialogue takes place and participated in the European Obesity Summit in Gothenburg.

This year, for the first time, the congresses of EASO (ECO2016) and the IFSO European Chapter (2016 IFSO-EC Annual Congress) merged to create the inaugural European Obesity Summit (EOS), in order to bring together colleagues from every area of obesity research, prevention and management. Experts from around the world presented the latest research, clinical approaches and perspectives on obesity from a wide range of fields. Issues covered included:

  • Childhood obesity
  • New aspects on metabolic control
  • Novel drugs
  • Metabolic outcomes (diabetes, lipids, hypertension)
  • Behavioural and lifestyle interventions
  • Medico-surgical approaches
  • Lifecourse Epidemiology
  • Food and diet patterns
  • Behaviour change

For a fifth consecutive year, the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) participated in a European Obesity Congress to engage in the scientific debate around obesity prevention and management and inform about the science behind low calorie sweeteners.

Our information booth gave delegates the opportunity to address any questions on low calorie sweeteners, and to receive the new ISA booklet about ‘Low calorie sweeteners: Role and benefits’ and the updated ISA factsheets with the latest scientific evidence. The ISA further took the opportunity to conduct a 3-minutes survey, to learn more about their scientific interests and views in relation to ISA and low calorie sweeteners. In return, participants who completed our short survey have entered into a prize draw to win the registration for next year’s European Obesity Congress (ECO 2017). We will keep you informed on the outcome of this survey! Thank you again for visiting us at EOS and we look forward to seeing you next year at ECO 2017!

An exciting four-day congress came to an end, and the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) is proud to have participated in the European Obesity Summit (EOS) 2016 in Gothenburg, Sweden, from 1st until 4th of June. Organised by the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) and the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity (IFSO), this meeting brought together experts and healthcare professionals from all aspects of obesity, and covered a wide range of scientific topics presented by renowned scientists from all around the world.

The latest research and most important issues on a number of scientific areas such as appetite regulation, behavioural interventions, and weight management, were presented in more than 70 lectures, joint reviews, workshops, symposia and oral sessions. The ISA has picked up and presents below five of the most intriguing topics on obesity research, which have been discussed during the recent EOS 2016.

More than 50 years ago the hypothesis was put forward that ‘the differences between the intakes of food must originate in the differences in energy expenditure’ and that this relationship could form the basis for appetite control. More recently, Professor John Blundell and his research team in the University of Leeds, UK, have suggested that sedentary behavior is clearly associated with increased adiposity and exerts a disinhibitory effect on eating (allowing or promoting overconsumption). In contrast an increased level of physical activity (and energy expenditure) improves appetite regulation. Both metabolic and behavioural components of energy expenditure exert effects on appetite regulation, and this offers new ways of thinking about energy balance and obesity.

Professor Kees de Graaf from the Wageningen University in the Netherlands gave a very interesting talk on the role of taste and smell in food choice and intake, and concluded that, although they have an intimate connection in the sensory perception of food, their role in food intake is quite different. Smell mainly plays an appetizing role in choice and intake, while taste has a strong role as a macronutrient sensing system, signaling the entrance of nutrients to the brain and the gastrointestinal tract, and therefore, taste is strongly involved in satiation.

Is weight maintenance achievable? The answer to this question is ‘yes’, but the rate of success seems to be rather low and there is a high inter-individual variability. However, Professor James Stubbs, Prof. of Behaviour change and weight management, University of Derby, UK, supported during his presentation that there is good evidence that behaviour change techniques associated with self-regulation of physical activity and eating behaviour (e.g. goal setting, action plans, self-monitoring, relapse prevention plans) and aspects of motivation are important for weight loss maintenance. Furthermore, a greater initial weight loss and increased physical activity are both strongly associated with weight loss maintenance.

An outstanding number of mobile applications has emerged over the last years aiming to help people manage their body weight. In a recent study, a total of 3,013 available relevant apps were identified, with a total of 666,169,136 million downloads for both free and paid apps. Identified apps’ content is mainly on body weight, exercise and calorie intake recording and monitoring. However, according to Lead researcher Charoula Nikolaou, PhD, Marie Curie Research Fellow, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, none of the applications identified had been developed by a certified health organization or university, and most importantly, there is no published data on the effectiveness of these weight management applications to date.

Three common myths about sugars and low calorie sweeteners were examined by Professor Anne Raben, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Reviewing the latest scientific literature coming from human clinical studies, Prof. Raben debunked the myth that low calorie sweeteners increase hunger and the risk of overweight. On the contrary, two recently published systematic reviews have showed that using low calorie sweeteners might be helpful in reducing energy intake and have a moderate positive effect on body weight loss. Furthermore, low calorie sweeteners have been found to have a favourable effect on several risk markers such as blood glucose, abdominal fat and blood lipids.

You may also find interesting to watch the following video with Professor Peter Rogers talking about his recent systematic review and meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Obesity, which examined the role of low calorie sweetened foods and drinks in energy intake, weight loss and management. You may access the latest issue of Obesity Facts from the European Journal of Obesity and download the EOS 2016 book of abstracts.

  1. European Obesity Summit (EOS) - Joint Congress of EASOand IFSO-EC, Gothenburg, Sweden, June 1 - 4, 2016: Abstracts. Obes Facts 2016;9(suppl 1):1-376 (DOI:10.1159/000446744).