The 40th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), held at the San Diego Convention Center from June 9th to 13th, 2024, is the largest gathering of surgeons and integrated health professionals in metabolic and bariatric surgery. This year’s theme, “The MBS (Metabolic Bariatric Surgery) Butterfly Effect: A Patient’s Transformation and the Impact on Multiple Organ Systems,” highlighted how bariatric surgery extends beyond weight loss to impact multiple organ systems. 

Attendees were presented with the latest data on the substantial benefits of surgery, empowering them to become catalysts for change by disseminating this knowledge to patients, colleagues, insurers, and others worldwide. As an organization committed to helping those affected by obesity, staying updated with the latest scientific research for obesity treatment is crucial. During our time there, we met with key partners and educated attendees about our advocacy efforts and the bias and stigma faced by people with obesity.

Key Findings 

The meeting presented numerous sessions and studies, including a notable examination of the effectiveness and durability of common obesity treatments. According to new research, metabolic and bariatric (weight-loss) surgery continues to offer the most significant and sustainable long-term treatment for obesity. Still, this option remains underutilized for various factors, according to Dr. Marina Kurian, a bariatric surgeon who co-authored the study.

“Surgery needs to play a bigger role in obesity treatment and be considered earlier in the disease process. It is no longer a treatment of last resort and should not be withheld until more severe disease develops. There is no medical reason for this.” said study co-author and bariatric surgeon Marina Kurian, MD, in a release.

For more information about Bariatric Surgery, check out our Understanding Your Obesity Treatment Options Brochure and our Health Talk: Everything You Need to Know Before and After Bariatric Surgery.


Advocacy and Education

In addition to learning from industry experts, the ASMBS Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for our organization to teach others about the OAC’s mission, values and goals with the bariatric community. Each year, we look forward to sharing OAC educational materials, highlighting our work in advocacy and connecting with individuals looking to be more involved.

At the OAC booth, we were visited by a group of high school students from underrepresented communities in San Diego who were participating in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs. James Zervios, Vice President and COO and Shelly Vicari, OAC Senior Program Manager, spoke to them about obesity bias, and it was rewarding to see their understanding grow. They left with materials, and several expressed interest in joining the OAC Community.



Celebrating Contributions

From left to right: Cassie Story, RD; James Zervios, OAC Vice President and COO; Sarah Muntel, RD, FASMBS-IH; Shelly Vicari, OAC Senior Program Manager; Nina Crowley, PhD, RD, OAC Board Member; Heather Mackie, MS, RDN, LD


Several outstanding individuals were honored for their contributions to the field of bariatrics, including Sarah Muntel, RD, FASMB-IH, and Heather Mackie, MS, RDN, LD, both long-time contributors to Weight Matters Magazine and speakers at our Your Weight Matters National Conference.

The 40th Annual ASMBS Meeting was a powerful reminder of the transformative impact of metabolic bariatric surgery. Something many of our OAC Community can personally speak to. We are honored to attend these events as part of our continued educational efforts, which help us further our mission to elevate and empower those affected by obesity through education, advocacy and support.