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Obesity and Eating Disorders SIG Update

Nikki Nollen, PhD, Obesity and Eating Disorders SIG Co-Chair
Christie Befort, PhD, Obesity and Eating Disorders SIG Co-Chair

The mission of the Obesity and Eating Disorders SIG of SBM is to advance the field of obesity and eating disorders through the scholarly pursuit of scientific research. In addition, the SIG strives to provide networking, mentorship, and scientific training to those interested in obesity, eating disorders, and weight-related pathology. Recognizing the value of interdisciplinary collaboration, we have spent the past year strengthening ties with two related SBM SIGs: Diabetes and Physical Activity. At the 2010 SBM Annual meeting, we hosted a roundtable discussion with the Physical Activity and Diabetes SIGs to discuss fostering cross-SIG collaborations. More than 40 people attended the discussion which focused on developing a critical agenda for research and/or key next steps within each domain, identifying overlap in interests that could benefit from interdisciplinary collaboration, and identifying an initial set of joint priorities areas.

Initial joint priority areas identified were:

  1. Creation of a summary paper or a series of papers to be published in a special issue of a journal;
  2. Creation of an annual award that exemplifies cross-cutting research and interdisciplinary collaboration;
  3. Creation of a joint listserve for the purpose of disseminating the latest ongoing research efforts across SIGs (e.g., highlighting 1-2 research projects per month);
  4. Jointly sponsored workshops or symposia at the annual meeting on topics such as cross-cutting measurement issues, genetics and lifestyle behaviors, or quality of life in relation to physical activity, diabetes, and obesity; and
  5. Circulation of conference highlights or web links to other professional organizations whose work is relevant to the membership of our SIGs (e.g., American Diabetes Association, American College of Sports Medicine, Obesity, etc.)

Following the SBM Annual Meeting, we sought broader input by asking members from all three SIGs to complete an online survey. Members were asked to rank the five priorities in order of preference and to provide suggestions for other priority areas. Two clear priorities emerged: a joint workshop/symposium and a joint paper. We will continue our momentum by hosting a second cross-SIG meeting at the 2011 SBM Annual Meeting. This meeting, scheduled for a Friday Breakfast Roundtable, will engage Obesity, Physical Activity, and Diabetes SIG members in planning for a joint workshop, symposia, and/or paper in the upcoming year. Our hope is to engage members in specific tasks to meet these shared goals. We are excited about the upcoming annual meeting and invite anyone interested to attend our cross-SIG meeting.

Nikki Nollen (nnollen@kumc.edu)
Christie Befort (cbefort@kumc.edu)