TOS Announces Presidential Medal of Distinction Awardees

SILVER SPRING, Md., Nov. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Obesity Society (TOS) today announced the three recipients of the 2020 Presidential Medal of Distinction, each of whom "has contributed significantly to our understanding of obesity," according to TOS President Lee Kaplan, MD, PhD, FTOS. The three awardees are Roxane Gay, Ted Kyle and Rudolph Leibel.

Gay is a New York Times bestselling author and essayist whose books include Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. She was honored "for giving voice to the challenges, frustration, self-prejudice and relentlessness of obesity through her powerful and insightful writing." Kyle is the founder and editor of ConscienHealth((TM)), an influential and widely read newsletter that highlights important issues related to obesity and health. He was honored "for being a true conscience to all who study, prevent, treat or have obesity, each day helping separate fact from opinion and evidence from preconception." Leibel, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine and Christopher J. Murphy Professor of Diabetes Research at Columbia University, has long been a scientific and clinical leader in endocrinology and obesity. He was honored for his studies leading to the discovery of leptin and for "identifying key characteristics of the physiological regulation of body weight and fat mass, thus enabling discovery, understanding and therapeutic targeting of the molecular circuitry underlying obesity."

Established in 2014, TOS Presidential Medals are awarded each year by The Obesity Society to individuals who have made a major contribution to the understanding, prevention or treatment of obesity. Kaplan noted that "each of this year's recipients have had a significant beneficial impact on our understanding of obesity, including its causes, mechanisms, health impact and effects on the lives of those who live with it. Individually and together, they have helped catalyze the advances needed to reverse the epidemic of obesity and its many complications."

The awardees will be honored during the Presidential Plenary Session of the 38th Annual Meeting of The Obesity Society at ObesityWeek®, the largest annual gathering of scientists and clinicians whose work is dedicated to reducing the prevalence, severity and impact of obesity. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year's conference was converted to an online, interactive program, ObesityWeek® Interactive, which is taking place Nov. 2-6, 2020 at The newly organized Presidential Plenary Session will also feature 10 talks by leading experts that reviewed emerging issues in obesity research, policy and patient care. Recorded proceedings of the conference will be available to all registrants through Dec. 31, 2020.

Media representatives interested in covering ObesityWeek® Interactive need to register. Registration is free with a media registration code. To obtain a media code, email TOS Director of Communications Kristin Collins at

For more information, visit and explore the Interactive Schedule under the Program tab.

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

Kristin D. Collins
Director of Communications
The Obesity Society
240-485-1950 or 301-708-8418

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SOURCE The Obesity Society