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EDITORIAL
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6

Obesity management: Where are we? practice, research, publication and application


Co-chief Editor, JOMR

Date of Web Publication30-Dec-2013

Correspondence Address:
Ramen Goel
Co-chief Editor, JOMR

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2347-9906.123828

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How to cite this article:
Goel R. Obesity management: Where are we? practice, research, publication and application. J Obes Metab Res 2014;1:6

How to cite this URL:
Goel R. Obesity management: Where are we? practice, research, publication and application. J Obes Metab Res [serial online] 2014 [cited 2018 Nov 20];1:6. Available from: http://www.jomrjournal.org/text.asp?2014/1/1/6/123828

Obesity, being a life-style disease, provides a unique opportunity for understanding relative roles of patient management and research. Obesity is probably the least understood medical entity as aetiopathogenic pathways are hardly known and relative contribution of patient's behaviour is also not well-understood. Lack of well-researched causative mechanism manifests in absence of any significant pharmaceutical products for a rapidly expanding epidemic. Rightfully so, obesity is managed by a wide spectrum of practitioners extending from gym trainers, nutritionists, physicians, surgeons, alternative medicine and even by successful patients. This results in plethora of claims and outcome assessments, which are usually neither verifiable nor comparable.

This confused state of affairs can be seen as much an opportunity for publishing a clinical journal as a challenge. All India Association for Advanced Research in Obesity (AIAARO) has mandated the editors to provide all qualified obesity practitioners a platform and help publish their well-documented work, outcomes and research only through a peer-review process. Though challenging, the editorial board has worked hard to come out with the first issue. Most of the articles are by invitation in the first issue, but subsequently articles and research publications are welcome, based on the format of Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Research (JOMR).

Obesity and metabolic practitioners managing patients are in a unique position to share their experiences either as a case report or outcome base data analysis. This is possible by meticulous data keeping and its analysis subsequently. It is strange that though various sub-specialists claim excellent outcomes in weight management, the results are hardly reflected in the literature. This may be due to practitioner's inertia, lack of time or journal's lack of interest. JOMR editorial assistants in a unique arrangement can help the members of AIAARO write a paper before it is sent for an independent peer review process.

Research in obesity is primarily focussed on prevalence, assessment of effectiveness of obvious treatment options (which may not always be the best solution) and contribution of hyper adiposity towards various metabolic conditions. Despite extensive research, clinical management of obesity has not changed much in last 30-50 years, while obesity gained epidemic proportions, impairing health and shortening lifespan, increasing health care costs and reducing productivity. A sense of urgency has to be brought in for early solutions without overlooking long-term mechanistic research solutions. Obesity research efforts may be channelised into 3 timelines:

  • Short term: Concerted efforts to identify mechanisms of action of treatment modalities which have believed to shown effective control across specialities including roles of bariatric surgery, metformin, glucagon-like peptide-1, natural products such as ginger, green tea etc., This may probably provide early solutions
  • Medium term: Research focus on identification of possible factors of sudden surge in obesity world-wide
  • Long-term: Expand the present research attempts and include other non-focused areas like AD-36 virus etc.


JOMR, a representative publication of various practitioners of obesity and metabolic care, is ideally positioned to help publish these studies.

Publication of experiences and data is not only important for others but also for the author. It is like looking at a mirror and most of the time feedbacks from well-informed readers help give direction to further research or improvement in practice. Since overall publications from India especially in obesity and metabolic diseases are miniscule, access to a quality peer reviewed journal may provide the desired impetus to share and learn.

The most important aspect of research is its applicability to society. The time lag between established research and its application occasionally results in its irrelevance, as society is also not in a static state. Journals like JOMR can act like flagships for its association members to create scientific outlook among themselves and society at large. This will result in critical analysis of each step or action in practice and will help avoid non-scientific or illogical application of knowledge.

I understand that what we are expecting is a tall order, but this disease and its impact is staring us in the face seeking solutions, which have eluded us. Scientific community has to rise the occasion failing which history will judge us harshly. Let us all get together not for the first step but for a 100 m dash to deliver.




 

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