News Release

Nutrition expert named new President of The Obesity Society

Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, Governing Board, Nominations Board Members elected

Business Announcement

The Obesity Society

Elizabeth Parks, PhD, FTOS, is the new president of The Obesity Society

image: Elizabeth Parks, PhD, FTOS view more 

Credit: The Obesity Society

Elizabeth Parks, PhD, FTOS, known for her discoveries on how obesity alters the metabolism of food, has been elected as the new president of The Obesity Society (TOS), the organization announced today. 

“This is a very exciting time for TOS, as the landscape of obesity treatment is expanding quickly, and the public is gaining a better understanding of the challenges of this disease and the benefits of its treatment,” said Parks, professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, within the Medical School at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Parks also serves as associate director of the Clinical Translational Science Unit associated with the NextGen Precision Health Initiative. “We are clinicians, scientists, students, advocates and educators with a common purpose—to aid patients and families affected by obesity as they seek to improve health.”

Under Parks’ leadership, the overall 2023 theme for the Society will be Connections. Parks explained that this theme means many things, including launch of the new, online, monthly Grand Rounds series featuring obesity experts discussing cutting-edge topics; revving up the member portal to link members online; advancing the organization’s new diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives; and building upon recent connections with other professional societies with interests in obesity. 

As for the Society’s annual meeting ObesityWeek® 2023, Parks said, “the theme of connections will feel very real as we convene for our in-person meeting in Dallas, Texas, October 14-17, 2023. Connections between our disciplines will be evident in cross-track symposia, mentoring activities, and program highlights designed to discuss and advance the newest science in this field.”

Before being elected as president, Parks served as vice president of TOS and on many committees supporting the organization. Alison Field, ScD, FTOS, is the new vice president. Field is professor of epidemiology and associate dean for Faculty Affairs at the Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, R.I.

Diana Thomas, PhD, FTOS, is the Society’s new Secretary/Treasurer. Thomas is a professor of discipline at the United States Military Academy at West Point. She holds joint research appointments at the Columbia University New York Obesity Research Center and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La.

Two new members were elected to the Society’s Governing Board.  

Ania Jastreboff, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics (endocrinology) at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., is the new Clinical Research representative on the Society’s Governing Board. Michelle Cardel, PhD, MS, RD, FTOS, of WW International, Inc. and the University of Florida, Gainesville, was elected as the Population/Epidemiology/Community member to the Governing Board.  

Penny Gordon-Larsen, PhD, FTOS, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Nana Gletsu-Miller, PhD, Indiana University, Bloomington; and Steven R. Smith, MD, FTOS, AdventHealth Research Institute, Orlando, Fla. were all elected to the Society’s Nominations Board.  

The officers and nominations board members started their new roles on Jan. 1, 2023.    

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The Obesity Society (TOS) is the leading organization of scientists and health professionals devoted to understanding and reversing the epidemic of obesity and its adverse health, economic and societal effects. Combining the perspective of researchers, clinicians, policymakers and patients, TOS promotes innovative research, education and evidence-based clinical care to improve the health and well-being of all people with obesity. For more information, visit  

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