2021 Obesity Course: Etiology, Prevention and Treatment

2021 Obesity: Etiology, Prevention, and Treatment

Release Date: April 15, 2021
Course Closes for Registration: May 5, 2022
Course Closes for Credit Claiming: August 8, 2022 (Course materials will be available to participants to review until August 7, 2023.)
Format: Video-recorded lectures split into sixteen topic-based modules
Materials: Video lecture slides are downloadable as pdf files. Videos are not downloadable and must be reviewed online. 

Target Audience

This Obesity course provides an excellent overview for all health professionals; physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and more. For physicians interested in obtaining obesity medicine certification through the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM), this course satisfies the ABOM requirement of at least 30 hours of live CME credit on the topic of obesity.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this activity learners should be able to: 

  1. Understand the influence of weight bias on the care of people with obesity.
  2. Understand the complexity of the development and treatment of obesity.
  3. Apply best practice approaches to the prevention and treatment of pediatric obesity.
  4. Identify, classify and determine appropriate treatment approaches for people with obesity, including lifestyle, advanced pharmacological approaches, and bariatric surgery.
  5. Create treatment plans for people with obesity that include motivational interviewing, behavior modification, and nutrition and physical activity plans.
  6. Integrate stress management and sleep hygiene into the evaluation and treatment of people with obesity.

Course Overview

Lifestyle behaviors – including diet, physical inactivity, alcohol abuse, and tobacco use – have been linked to an increased risk of the leading causes of death and chronic diseases in the US and around the world. The challenge of reversing the obesity epidemic has highlighted the need for new ways to teach complex skill sets which effectively target lifestyle behaviors, particularly diet and physical activity. However, most health professionals (apart from registered dieticians) have little or no training in the science of nutrition, diet, and physical activity. Moreover, health professionals lack training in facilitating behavior change. Many, in fact, do not engage in nutrition counseling at all. 

The American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) has established a credentialing protocol, which includes an exam for physicians to become certified in the field of obesity medicine. The Institute of Human Nutrition (IHN) at Columbia University is an ABOM Partner Organization; the IHN now offers its long-standing obesity course to prepare physicians for the ABOM exam and to provide CME credits to help physicians meet the requirements to become a Diplomate of the ABOM. 

Topic Highlights 

  • The Epidemiology and Health Risks of Obesity, Louis Aronne, MD1 
  • Genetics of Obesity: Nature Meets Nurture, Rudy Leibel, MD 
  • Epigenetics and the Development of Obesity, Lori Zeltser, PhD 
  • Adipose Tissue: White, Brown, and Beige and Why Shades Matter, Marc Reitman, MD, PhD 
  • Carbs, Calories, or Quality: What Matters Most for Bodyweight, Kevin Hall, PhD 
  • Body Weight Regulation: Why is it so hard to Keep Weight Off, Michael Rosenbaum, MD 
  • Obesity and Type II Diabetes: New Thoughts on Pathophysiology and Treatment, Caroline Apovian, MD1
  • Is Hyperinsulinemia the cause of Obesity, Inflammation, and Insulin Resistance?, Barbara Corkey, PhD 
  • Rethinking Food Reward, Dana Small, PhD 
  • From Brain to Bedside: How Neuroscience Informs Clinical Care for Patients with Obesity, Ellen Schur, MD, MS
  • Physical Activity and Weight Loss and Maintenance of Weight Loss, John Jakicic, PhD 
  • Losing and Regaining Weight: Do the Benefits of the Losses Outweigh the Consequences of Regain? Steven Heymsfield, MD 
  • Microbiome and Energy Balance, Eamonn Quigley, MD 
  • Nutrient Metabolism and Obesity: Special Considerations after Bariatric Surgery, Jeffrey Mechanick, MD 
  • Chronic Stress and Obesity, Rajita Sinha, PhD 
  • Obesity and Pregnancy, Patrick M Catalano, MD 
  • Challenges in Women and People of Color with Obesity and Obesity-related Diseases, Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA

1(Diplomate ABOM)

View a complete list of course lectures

Course Navigation

  • This course is split into 16 topic-based sections. Participants may interact with the material of their choosing and claim CME according to the amount of material reviewed. 
  • The system does not track participant progress through the course material.
  • Participants are responsible for keeping track of how much material they have reviewed. Each section header lists the time required to complete that section.
  • There is one 20 question CME quiz to be completed once the participant has finished completing the course material. There are no section-based quizzes. 

Technical Requirements

This activity is best experienced using the most current browser (or one back) of Firefox or Safari. At this time, the Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers are blocking full-screen video viewing. 

For all activities featuring audio, you must have a sound card and speakers. To view graphic images and references that appear in separate "pop-up" windows, you must have JavaScript and session cookies enabled on your computer. Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required for certain activities.

Accreditation Statement

The Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation Statement

The Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons designates this enduring material for a maximum of 67.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 67.5 medical knowledge MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the activity, with individual assessments of the participant and feedback to the participant, enables the participant to earn 67.5 MOC points in the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABP MOC credit.

Faculty Disclosures

All those involved with the planning and delivery of this education will disclose all financial relationships in the past 24 months with ineligible companies.  An ineligible company is any entity whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. For each financial relationship, disclosure will include the name of the ineligible company and the nature of the financial relationship(s).

Jaclyn Maurer Abbot PhD, RDN

Sharon R Akabas PhD

Caroline Apovian, MD, FACP, FACN, ABOM Diplomate
          Tivity Health, Inc., Novo Nordisk Inc., Roman Pharma Inc., Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Curavit Clinical Research, Gelesis, Inc., Zafgen, Inc. & Nutrisystem, Inc.

Louis J Aronne MD, FACP, ABOM Diplomate
      Consultant, Advisory Board & Research Funding

          Eisai Co., Ltd., Novo Nordisk Inc. & Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
      Consultant & Advisory Board
Pfizer Inc., Eisai Co., Ltd., Real Appeal, Inc. &  Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
      Equity Interests & Board of Director’s Member
          IntelliHealth LLC & MYOS RENS Technology Inc.
      Equity Interests
          ERX Pharmaceuticals & Zafgen, Inc.
      Research Funding
          Aspire Bariatrics, Inc. & AstraZeneca PLC,
      Consultant, Advisory Board, Research Funding & Equity Interests
            Gelesis, Inc.
      Consultant, Advisory Board, Equity Interests & Board of Director’s Member
          Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. & Wellness Pharmacy
      Research Funding & Equity Interests
          Allurion Technologies Inc.

Ruben D Baler PhD

Kerri Boutelle

 Bonnie Bernstein PhD

Carolyn Bramante MD, MPH

Joel V Brill MD
      Consulting Fees

          Accomplish Health, Ambu A/S, AnX Robotica Corp., CapsoVision, Inc., Cernostics, Check-Cap Ltd., Digma Medical, Diversatek, Inc., Dune Medical Devices, Echosens, EndoGastric Solutions, Inc., FoodMarble Digestive Health Ltd., Gala Therapeutics Inc., Glaukos Corporation, Gynesonics, Inc., Hello Heart Inc., HyGIeaCare Inc., Innovative Health Solutions Inc., Insightec, Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., Lumendi, Ltd., Mainstay Medical Limited, Mauna Kea Technologies, Medtronic, ModifyHealth, LLC, Motus GI Holdings, Inc., Neuspera Medical Inc., Nuviera, OptumRx, Inc., Pacira BioSciences, Inc., Perspectum Diagnostics Ltd, Proteus Digital Health, Inc., RefleXion Medical, Inc., Respira Therapeutics, Inc., Respiratory Technology Corporation, Senseonics, SonarMD, StageZero Life Sciences, LLC, STRATA Skin Sciences, SWORD Health Technologies, Inc., Tabula Rasa HealthCare, Tusker Medical, Inc., UCB Biopharma SRL, Vertos Medical, Inc., W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., Wright Medical Group N.V. & FAIR Health, Inc.

Josie Burke

W. Scott Butsch MD, MSc, FTOS, ABOM Diplomate
      Health Consultant, Clinical Advisory Board & Speaker

          Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
      Health Consultant
          Novo Nordisk Inc.

Chris Campagnola CSCS, ACE, LMT

Susan Carnell PhD

Patrick Catalano


Barbara Corkey PhD

Yale Cycowicz

Eugene Dinkevich MD, FAAP, ABOM Diplomate

Cristina R Fernandez MD, MPH, FAAP

Madelyn Fernstrom PhD, CNS

Jennifer Orlet Fisher
          WW International, Inc. & Nestlé S.A.                          

Claudia Fox MD, MPH, FAAP, ABOM Diplomate
      Research Support

          Novo Nordisk Inc. & Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dympna Gallagher EdD

Kevin D Hall PhD

Sandra G. Hassink MD, MS, FAAP

Kim Hekiminan PhD

Steven Heymsfield MD
      Medical Advisory Board Member

          Tanita Corporation & Medifast, Inc.

Dayle Hodge MD, MS, PhD

Katie C Hootman MS, PhD, RD, CDN

          Faeth Therapeutics, Inc.
      Professional education reviewer
          PepsiCo, Inc.

Deborah Horn DO, MPH, ABOM Diplomate

          Gelesis, Inc., Novo Nordisk Inc. & Currax Pharmaceuticals LLC
      Invited faculty to sponsored CME
      Advisor & Speaker
          Novo Nordisk Inc.

Leon I Igel MD, FACP, FTOS, ABOM Diplomate

John Jakicic PhD
      Scientific Advisory Board

          WW International, Inc. & Naturally Slim
      Advisory Board

Ania Jastreboff MD, PhD, ABOM Diplomate

          Novo Nordisk Inc., Eli Lilly and Company & Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH
          American Diabetes Association, Eli Lilly and Company, Novo Nordisk Inc., National Institutes of Health & National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Scott Kahan MD, ABOM Diplomate

          VIVUS Inc., Pfizer Inc. & Gelesis, Inc.

Aaron S Kelly PhD
      Unpaid Consultant
          Novo Nordisk Inc.,  VIVUS Inc. & WW International, Inc.
      Research Support
          AstraZeneca PLC

Abraham Krikhely MD, FACS
      Speaker & Proctor

          Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
          Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. & Surgical Specialties Corporation
      Surgical Video Reviewer
          CSATS Inc.    

Judith Korner, MD, PhD, ABOM Diplomate
          FoundHealth, Inc. & Digma Medical
      Scientific Advisory Board
                GI Dynamics, Inc.   

Rekha B Kumar MD, MS, ABOM Diplomate

          Novo Nordisk Inc. & Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
          Gelesis, Inc., Pfizer Inc. & Eli Lilly and Company
          VIVUS Inc.

Rudolph L Leibel MD

Ruth Loos PhD


      Speaker & Educational Consultant
          Abbott Laboratories & Nestlé S.A.
      Advisory Board
          Avanos Medical, Inc. & Baxter Healthcare Corporation

Jeffrey I Mechanick MD FACP, MACE, FACN, ECNU

          Abbott Nutrition
      Advisory Board & Ownership Interest

Ali Mencin MD

Carlos Augusto Monteiro

Diana Rodriguez Moreno

Jamie Mullally MD, ABOM Diplomate

Ramifis Nieto-Martinez MD
          Merck & Co., Inc.

Perrie O’Tierney-Ginn PhD

Rebecca L Pearl PhD

Christopher Petrilli MD, SFHM

Eamonn Quigley MD, FRCP, FACP, MACG, FRCPI

          Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Novozymes A/S, Vibrant Pharma Inc., Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Allergan plc & 4D Pharma plc
      Research Support
          Vibrant Pharma Inc., 4D Pharma plc, & Biomerica Inc.

John Rausch MD, MPH, ABOM Diplomate

Eric Ravussin PhD
          Amway Corp., LNC Therapeutics SA, Kintai Therapeutics, Inc., Eli Lilly and Company &  Generian Pharmaceuticals
      Contracted Research
          Amway Corp. & Novartis AG

Tirissa Reid MD, ABOM Diplomate

Marc L Reitman MD, PhD

Angela Incollingo Rodriguez PhD

Victoria W Rogers MD

Michael Rosenbaum MD

Leslie Rosenbruch MS, RD, LDN, CDE

          Medtronic Diabetes

Prantik Saha MD, MPH

Katherine H Saunders MD, ABOM Diplomate
      Ownership and management interest
          IntelliHealth LLC

Ellen Schur MD, MS

Heather Seid MS, RDN

Sarbattama Sen, MD

Ari Shechter PhD

Alpana Shukla MD, MRCP(UK)

Rajita Sinha PhD
      PI of Research Contract
          CT Pharma, LLC

Dana Small PhD

Bonnie Spring PhD
      Scientific Advisory Board

          ActiGraph, LLC
          Apple Inc.

Reshmi Srinath MD, DABOM

 Marie-Pierre St-Onge PhD

          PepsiCo, Inc., Nestlé S.A. & WW International, Inc.

Fatima Cody Stanford MD, MPH, MPA, FAAP, FACP, FAHA, FTOS
          GoodRx, Inc., Calibrate Health, Inc. & Novo Nordisk Inc.
          Amazon.com, Inc.

Beverly Tchang, MD, ABOM Diplomate
      Consulting Fees
          Novo Nordisk Inc.

Paul R Thomas EdD, RDN

A. Janet Tomiyama PhD

Richard Weil MEd, CDE

Olivia Weinstein MS, RD, LDN

          The Pursuit By You, LP
          Penn State University
          Boston Medical Center

Jennifer Woo Baidal MD, MPH

Lori M Zeltser PhD

          Novo Nordisk Inc.

Jeffrey Zitsman MD

All of the relevant financial relationships listed for these individuals have been mitigated.

MOC Disclaimer

Please note that by entering your ABIM/ABP number(s), you are allowing us to share your completion data with the ACCME and the certifying board(s).

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