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The briefing room is open, step inside…

19th October 2021

To kick off its latest initiative, ‘The briefing room’, EASD e-Learning has brought together a stellar panel to discuss one of the most urgent and significant issues facing diabetes today: obesity.

At one point during this lively and entertaining discussion, professor and bariatric surgeon Francesco Rubino urges his fellow panelists: “Let’s make a theory of everything here.”

It’s a bold ambition, certainly. But with panelists in command of this much depth and breadth of expertise, it doesn’t seem entirely out of reach.

This is the first in a new series of in-depth panel discussions on contentious clinical and therapeutic aspects of diabetes and beyond. ‘The briefing room’ brings a flavour of the chat show to bear on proceedings, complete with comfy sofas and convivial atmosphere – thanks here, in no small part, to some good-humoured chairing by Professor Steve O’Rahilly, who deftly steers the conversation so that the panel of experts are best able to bring their various perspectives to bear on the topic.

And what a panel this is: there’s Steve O’Rahilly himself, of course, whose own investigations include seminal work on human genes implicated in obesity and how these relate, at a molecular level, to the body’s metabolic processes. Then there’s Professor Roy Taylor, whose DiRECT study (the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial) has demonstrated that with a low-calorie weight-loss intervention, type 2 diabetes can be reversed in primary care.

Bringing a metabolic/bariatric surgical perspective to the topic, there’s Professor Carel Le Roux, who specialises in managing patients undergoing bariatric surgery and pharmacotherapy to treat obesity, and whose research focuses on the mechanisms of metabolic/bariatric surgery and the signaling pathways between the gut and the brain. Also in the metabolic/bariatric surgery corner, there’s Francesco Rubino, pioneer of the notion that gastric bypass surgery has the potential to reverse type 2 diabetes and whose research helped highlight the role of the gastrointestinal tract in the pathophysiology of obesity.

Adding pharmacotherapy to the mix is Professor John Wilding, President of the World Obesity Federation no less, whose own research is focused on developing new treatments and strategies to reduce the burden of diabetes and obesity-related disease. And bringing a primary care point of view to proceedings, coupled with particular expertise in behavioural medicine, there’s academic GP Professor Paul Aveyard. Paul’s research focuses on how healthcare professionals can support behaviour changes, including helping people with obesity to manage their weight.

That’s the panel. So, what insights and advice do they have to share about obesity? Step inside the briefing room and find out…

For more on the topics raised in ‘The briefing room’, why not enrol on the following EASD e-Learning courses:

Obesity and diabetes
Metabolic surgery
GLP-1 receptor agonists

Watch out in 2022 for our new course, ‘Lifestyle intervention’, which will be launching with a module from Professor Roy Taylor.