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American Society of Bariatric Physicians Will Change Its Name to Obesity Medicine Association

DENVER, July 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) announced today that it will change its name to Obesity Medicine Association (OMA). The name change will allow the organization to better align with the widespread recognition of obesity as a chronic disease among health care professionals and will put the organization in a position to lead the health care industry as the need for clinical obesity treatment grows.

"ASBP has a rich history as the leading voice in obesity education, awareness, and treatment, and the decision to change the name to OMA derives from the need to better communicate what we represent and our approach to treatment," said Eric C. Westman, MD, MHS, president of ASBP. "As an organization, we aim to not only be a valuable resource to members and the patients we serve, but to be recognized and fully understood by the medical community, patients, medical students, and consumers."

The name change to Obesity Medicine Association will align the organization with the recognition of obesity as a chronic disease by the American Medical Association (AMA) in 2013 and will clarify industry misconceptions. The term "bariatric" has become associated with surgery; however, OMA will not represent bariatric surgeons. The term "obesity" is more commonly used by patients and clinicians alike, and having this term in the name will better communicate that OMA represents physicians and health care providers who specialize in the clinical treatment of obesity.

The new name will also be more inclusive of OMA's vast membership, made up of physicians and allied health care providers who play an integral role in the treatment of those affected by obesity. OMA will welcome physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and others involved in obesity treatment. Additionally, OMA will communicate a more global presence, as rates of obesity continue to increase worldwide.

"As we grow and move forward, it is important that our name not only support our rich history, but also pave the way for our promising future," said Deborah Bade Horn, DO, MPH, FASBP, president-elect of ASBP. "For 65 years we have been a sound voice within the medical and obesity treatment community, and we will continue to build on that reputation as the Obesity Medicine Association."

To learn more about the name change to Obesity Medicine Association, please contact ASBP at info@asbp.org.

About the American Society of Bariatric Physicians

The American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) will officially change its name to Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) on Oct. 2. ASBP is the leading association for physicians and other health care providers dedicated to the comprehensive medical treatment of patients affected by obesity and associated conditions. ASBP holds one of the few obesity-focused medical specialty society seats in the AMA's House of Delegates. More than half of physicians certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine are members of ASBP. Leaders from ASBP played a critical role in the AMA's decision to recognize obesity as a disease, and more recently, to develop more educational resources about obesity for medical students. ASBP also offers the Obesity Algorithm®, a free resource explaining the different approaches to clinical obesity treatment.

Requests for interviews with ASBP members can be made directly to Rachel Nevers at rachel@asbp.org or 303.770.2526.

CONTACT: Rachel Nevers, Communication Coordinator, American Society of Bariatric Physicians office: 303.770.2526x109 mobile: 720.427.3284 email: rachel@asbp.org

Source:American Society of Bariatric Physicians