The Disease of Obesity: Pathophysiology and Management

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Release Date: August 4, 2021
Expiration Date: August 4, 2022

Obesity is a growing public health crisis in the United States, with the current prevalence of obesity among US adults of 42.4%. In 2013 the American Medical Association recognized obesity as a disease. The Obesity Society and the Obesity Medicine Association have also issued statements defining obesity as a disease. Unfortunately, most clinicians have received little or no education about obesity. Obesity management strategies begin with lifestyle changes and counseling, if needed the addition of pharmacotherapy, and if these measures are ineffective, referral to an obesity medicine specialist and possibly referral to a metabolic and bariatric surgeon. However, many patients are not offered these recommended management strategies.

The educational program “The Disease of Obesity: Pathophysiology and Management” will provide clinicians with a greater understanding of obesity as a disease, including its etiology and physiologic effects, and management strategies, including the efficacy and safety of anti-obesity medications and how and when to incorporate them into individualized management plans.

Welcome and Introduction
Obesity: Causes and Effects
Pharmacotherapy for Obesity
Q&A Session

 Karli Burridge, PA-C, MMS, FOMA
 Physician Assistant and Fellow, Obesity Medicine Association
 President, PAs in Obesity Medicine
 Owner, Gaining Health
 Glen Ellyn, IL

Karli Burridge, PA-C, MMS, FOMA is a nationally recognized expert in obesity medicine. She is a physician assistant and Fellow of the Obesity Medicine Association. She is a co-author of the Obesity Algorithm®, is the President of PAs in Obesity Medicine, and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Illinois Obesity Society. She has received multiple awards for her work in expanding the field of obesity medicine and in furthering obesity education for health care providers. Karli is the owner and founder of Gaining Health, which she developed to provide resources and tools for health care providers who want to incorporate obesity management into their clinical practice.

 W. Scott Butsch, MD, MSc
 Director of Obesity Medicine, Bariatric and Metabolic Institute
 Cleveland Clinic
 Cleveland, OH

 W. Scott Butsch, MD, MSc has been the Director of Obesity Medicine in the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (BMI) at the Cleveland Clinic since 2018. Prior to this he was an obesity medicine physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Weight Center and an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School from 2008-2017. He completed a clinical nutrition fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2007 and was one of first two physicians in the United States to complete subspecialty fellowship in obesity medicine in 2008, established at MGH/HMS. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and a Fellow of The Obesity Society.

Dr. Butsch‘s clinical interests focus on the pharmacological management, specifically the use of combination therapies in patient with severe obesity, bariatric surgical patients and special populations with severe obesity. He heads clinical research in obesity medicine at the BMI and leads clinical trials in obesity pharmacotherapy. His academic interests focus on obesity education. He was the Curtis Prout Fellow in medical education at HMS in 2010, Director of Clinical Nutrition course at HMS from 2009-2016 and the Director of Education in the Division of Nutrition at HMS from 2014-2018. He is an author of numerous chapters and manuscripts and lectures nationally and internationally on the management of obesity.

Dr. Butsch is a national leader in obesity education and has been instrumental in the creation of obesity competencies in the United States and abroad. He created and is the director of the subspecialty fellowship in obesity medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. He has helped shape the current state of education and training in obesity medicine in the United States as a co-creator of obesity education programs, including HMS’s Obesity Medicine Board Review course, as a creator/director of the World Federation’s SCOPE Leadership Programme, which trains international physicians in obesity medicine.

He serves in leadership roles in Cleveland Clinic’s CME training courses in obesity medicine (United States and Chile), as well as in professional societies (eg, The Obesity Society and the Massachusetts Medical Society). He has focused his attention in advocacy and policy in obesity and has been instrumental in writing policy to reduce weight stigma and discrimination in the state of Massachusetts, improve coverage for anti-obesity medications (Ohio), and in support of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act at the federal level.

 Angela Golden, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP
 Owner, NP Obesity Treatment Clinic
 Flagstaff, AZ

Angela Golden, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP is a current fellow and past president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). She completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice at Arizona State University and has been an NP for over 20 years. She owns NP Obesity Treatment Clinic in Flagstaff, AZ. She earned OMAs NP/PA Certificate of Advanced Clinical Education and the Specialist Certification of Obesity Professional Education, an internationally recognized certification. She also is certified as a life coach and for Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Dr. Golden has a great deal of experience as a consultant in the development of patient education materials, has recently authored a book, Treating Obesity in Primary Care and written peer reviewed articles, participated in research, and been interviewed by lay media on obesity treatment. She presents nationally and internationally with an emphasis on obesity, health policy, leadership and clinical care. She has 11 grandchildren, one great grandchildren and loves researching the history of nursing as a hobby. She has written a fiction book, “The Nurse and The Vampyre” telling the history of nursing.

The intended audience for this educational initiative is nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians, who are clinicians responsible for the management of patients with obesity.

At the conclusion of an activity, participants should be able to:
  • Outline factors which influence the development of obesity
  • Discuss the physiologic effects of obesity
  • Evaluate the efficacy and safety of agents approved to manage obesity and those in late-stage development
  • Create personalized management plans for patients with obesity

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Potomac Center for Medical Education and Rockpointe. The Potomac Center for Medical Education is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Potomac Center for Medical Education designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

For questions regarding CME credit or the evaluation, please email

This activity is approved for 1.0 contact hour(s) of continuing education (which includes 0.10 hour(s) of pharmacology) by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners®. Activity ID# 21095177. This activity was planned in accordance with AANP Accreditation Standards and Policies.

This activity has been reviewed by the AAPA Review Panel and is compliant with AAPA CME Criteria. This activity is designated for 1 AAPA Category 1 CME credits. PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation. Approval is valid from 8/13/2021 to 8/4/2022. AAPA reference number: CME-203262.

The Potomac Center for Medical Education (PCME) adheres to the policies and guidelines, including the Standards for Commercial Support, set forth to providers by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and all other professional organizations, as applicable, stating those activities where continuing education credits are awarded must be balanced, independent, objective, and scientifically rigorous.

All persons in a position to control the content of a continuing medical education program provided by PCME are required to disclose any relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest to PCME as well as to learners. All conflicts of interest are identified and resolved by PCME in accordance with the Standards for Commercial Support in advance of delivery of the activity to learners.

Program Faculty and Steering Committee
The faculty, authors and content developers reported the following relevant financial relationships that they or their spouse/partner have with commercial interests:

Karlijn Burridge, PA-C, MMS, FOMA: Consultant/Independent Contractor: Bariatric Advantage, Gelesis, Currax

W. Scott Butsch, MD, MSc: Consultant/Independent Contractor: Novo Nordisk, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals; Speaker's Bureau: Rhythm Pharmaceuticals

Angela Golden, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP: Consultant/Independent Contractor: Gelesis, Hisamitsu, Novo Nordisk, Scynexis; Speaker's Bureau: Acella, Novo Nordisk; Honoraria (AdvisoryBoard): Currax

Planners and Managers
The planners and mangers reported the following relevant financial relationships that they or their spouse/partner have with commercial interests:  

Terry A. Glauser, MD, MPH: Nothing to disclose

Content Reviewers
The content reviewers reported the following relevant financial relationships that they or their spouse/partner have with commercial interests:

Katie Propst, PhD: Nothing to disclose

The contents of some CME activities may contain discussions of non-approved or off-label uses of some agents mentioned. Please consult the prescribing information for full disclosure of approved uses.

Please ensure the computer system you plan to use meets the following minimum requirements:
  • Operating System: Windows 98 or higher & Macintosh 2.2 or higher
  • Internet Browser (Mac & Windows): Google Chrome, Safari 5.0.6 or higher, Firefox 3.0.3 or higher, & Opera 5 or higher
  • Broadband Internet connection: Cable, High-speed DSL & any other medium that is internet accessible
  • Media Viewing Requirements: Adobe Reader, Microsoft PowerPoint, Flash Player & HTML5

There is no fee for this activity. To receive credit, participants must take the pre-test, view this CME activity in its entirety, and then complete the post-test, with a score of 75% or better, and evaluation. The estimated time for completion of this activity is 1 hour. To receive their certificates, participants must demonstrate mastery of the presented material via the post-test. Participant is allowed to take the post-test multiple times.

Jointly provided by the Potomac Center for Medical Education and Rockpointe


This activity is supported by an educational grant from Novo Nordisk.

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