When the International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk (ICCR) was launched in 2005, a key objective identified by the multidisciplinary group of experts gathered together under the umbrella of the Chair was the development of a comprehensive educational program on the causes and consequences of abdominal obesity. This led to the creation of our educational website which is now visited by scientists, clinicians, graduate students and health professionals from more than 100 countries. This website is a great success and is considered as the most comprehensive website on the topic. Another important objective of the ICCR was to hold regular meetings for its board members. Several meetings have been organized since 2005 and they have contributed to enrich our website with interviews, slide sets, and other educational material. We have also launched an e-journal, the CMReJournal, which is also a useful fully downloadable educational resource for the visitors of our website. We have also created subcommittees on specific topics which we felt deserved further attention such as a subcommittee on waist circumference, which led to a publication on the waist circumference measurement (Obes Rev 2008; 9:312-325). Another subcommittee has explored some global risk assessment algorithms available and has studied to what extent the cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk of what has been called the metabolic syndrome is captured by these algorithms. A committee on hydration and CVD risk has also been created considering the accumulation of evidence that sugar-containing beverages promote the passive overconsumption of calories, leading to obesity, type 2 diabetes and CVD. Thus, we feel that the ICCR plays a significant role worldwide on issues relevant to abdominal obesity and its clinical management. The ICCR is not meant to replace or to compete with professional and scientific organisations but rather to conduct activities on an issue (abdominal obesity) that is not fully addressed by other groups or societies. Furthermore, our multidisciplinary approach is a key element of our activities.
After five years of operation, we feel that this issue of abdominal obesity has raised so much interest that the time has come to launch another educational project: The First International Conference on Abdominal Obesity. The meeting will be organized in Hong Kong from January 28-30, 2010 and will address numerous topics relevant to abdominal obesity: assessment of global cardiometabolic risk, pathophysiology of abdominal obesity and related complications, global risk assessment algorithms, drivers of CVD risk in type 2 diabetes with perspectives from the various clinical disciplines, management of abdominal obesity and physical activity/exercise and healthy eating. We have a fantastic faculty and speakers have been asked to discuss most recent findings with consideration given to practical clinical implications for patients’ assessment and management. Following the announcement of the meeting this fall and call for abstracts, we have received more than 300 abstracts for presentation. We already know that, from a participation standpoint, this first international meeting will be a success. Such level of enthusiasm clearly shows that there was a need to hold such an international conference. Therefore, preparations are already underway to hold the next international congress in early 2011.
The ICCR is therefore entering the new decade with new challenging and exciting projects. We also want to substantially expand the content of our website dedicated to the lay public and the coming months should bring new material and educational projects. Finally, as this is the time of the year, we would like to wish you all love, happiness and healthy waistlines for 2010!
We hope to see many of you in Hong Kong at the end the month!