We brought together a faculty of internationally recognised experts in different areas of obesity treatment to develop the SCOPE E-Learning course.
In addition to the Core Learning Path, we offer numerous supplementary modules completely free of charge. These modules expand on specific issues related to obesity, and can be accessed by simply signing up to SCOPE. This page lists all supplementary modules currently available and the languages they are available in.
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The 5As of Obesity Management
Dr Arya Sharma
The 5As of obesity management are a set of practical tools to guide primary care practitioners in obesity counseling and management. Learn how to Ask, Assess, Advise, Agree and Assist to bring your patients with obesity to a positive health outcome. World Obesity is proud to have partnered with our member organisation the Canadian Obesity Network to develop this module.
An Etiological Approach to Obesity Management
Dr Arya Sharma
This module offers a practical and innovative way of framing the assessment of obesity, explaining the importance of focusing on the “why” instead of the “what” and how to approach behaviours associated with obesity in an etiological way. The relationship between metabolism and obesity is presented, and discussed in terms of its relevance to patient evaluations. Dr Sharma provides three key questions to address in a consultation with a patient who has obesity, and describes “the 4 Ms”, a mnemonic device for devising effective obesity treatment plans.
Binge Eating Disorder
Dr Denise Wilfley and Dr Ellen Fitzsimmons-Craft
This module provides an overview of binge eating disorder, including its symptoms, prevalence, and associations with obesity. The presenter also explains how health care providers can screen patients for binge eating disorder and refer them to appropriate treatments.
Body Weight and Body Composition in Menopause
Dr George Panotopoulos
Menopause is associated with changes in body composition: a decline in bone mineral content, a decrease in collagen synthesis, a loss of lean body mass and an increase in total and abdominal fat mass. This module explores these changes in detail and discusses the efficacy of specific actions, i.e. dietary changes, exercise and hormonal treatment.
Decision Making for Bariatric Surgery
Prof Nick Finer
This module explores the question of when bariatric surgery should be offered to a patient and what issues (including risks, alternatives and family views) should be taken into account. These topics are illustrated via a case presentation of a man with obesity and type 2 diabetes, and recent scientific evidence.
Diagnostic Pathways in Obesity Clinics
Prof Nick Finer
This module discusses the key elements of the diagnostic pathway which will help clinicians optimise the treatment of patients with obesity. In addition to exploring the causes, drivers and complications of obesity, clinical case studies are used to demonstrate the importance of questioning, history taking and medical investigations. A must for healthcare professionals working in obesity clinics, this module aims to enhance and improve the process of diagnosis in order to select the most appropriate management plan for patients.
Facilitating Behaviour Change
Prof Alain Golay
This module discusses the most difficult part of therapeutic patient education – behaviour change. Motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioural approaches contribute greatly here and allow both the preparation and support of patients during this progressive “step by step” change. An examination of the stages of change ensues, supplemented by techniques that are appropriate for the practitioner to employ during each phase.
Intellectual Disability and Obesity
Jayne Lehmann and Prof Gary Wittert
People with an intellectual disability face a number of challenges that increase their risk of being overweight or having obesity. This module explores the reasons for this and how to break down the barriers to decrease this risk and create practical strategies to help them to optimise health outcomes.
Lipids, the Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity
Dr Anthony Wierzbicki
This module explores how lipid parameters relate to obesity and how they should be managed. The metabolic syndrome is defined and examined as a risk factor for several non-communicable diseases. Interventions to improve lipid parameters in patients with obesity are presented.
Male-Specific Complications of Obesity
Prof Gary Wittert
This module discusses the complications of obesity that are specific to men. The focus is on endocrine, reproductive and urological conditions. The implications for these conditions and their interaction with other risk factors for cardiovascular and metabolic disorders are also discussed.
Managing the Complicated Patient
Dr Abd Tahrani, Sally Abbot and Dr Rachel Strachan
The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of the role of the multidisciplinary team (MDT) in the management of patients with obesity. In this module, three members of the MDT (clinician, dietitian and psychologist) present four real-life cases managed at their centre. The module presents the patients' referral information and the views of each member of the MDT.
These cases highlight the importance of MDT management and that successful outcomes in complex cases can be achieved with the right support, patient involvement in the decision making and the right MDT structure extending from before to after bariatric surgery.
Obesity and Bone
Prof Michał Holecki
This module describes the complex relationship between obesity and bones, including the effect of body weight on bone tissue, the local mechanisms of osteoblast and adipocyte differentiation, and the hormonal activity of adipose tissue as it relates to bone.
Obesity and Breathlessness
Prof John Wilding
Breathlessness is a symptom affecting many patients with obesity. In some cases there is no other identifiable cause for their symptoms. Other studies have found that asthma is sometimes misdiagnosed as the cause of breathlessness in patients who have obesity. This module explores the link between obesity and breathlessness, the effects of obesity on respiratory function, obesity and asthma, obesity and heart failure and obesity hypoventilation syndrome.
Obesity and Cancer
Prof Martin Wiseman
This module, developed in partnership with World Cancer Research Fund International, describes the evidence linking obesity to preventable cancers, and explores the biology underpinning these links. It presents the impact of obesity on cancer after diagnosis, and the relationship between weight loss and recurrence and mortality in cancer survivors.
Obesity and COVID-19
Dr Donna Ryan
Two pandemics - COVID-19 and obesity - are on a collision course. Individuals with obesity face a higher risk for adverse outcomes of COVID-19, and home quarantining measures have also exacerbated factors that predispose to obesity. In this module, Dr Donna Ryan discusses the links between obesity and COVID-19 and the underlying biologic mechanisms of this association, and outlines management strategies to provide effective treatment to patients with obesity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Obesity and Ethnicity
Dr Shahrad Taheri
Health professionals need an understanding of the variations in obesity amongst different ethnic groups and the possible reasons for this in order to provide the best care. This module explores how obesity measures should be interpreted in the context of ethnicity, the latest trends in obesity figures amongst minority ethnic groups, variations in perception of weight between cultures and variations in genetic predisposition to obesity. Finally, this module identifies the gaps in our knowledge regarding the diets, nutrition and health status of migrant groups where little research is available.
Obesity and Mental Health (Part 1)
Dr Samantha Scholtz
This course focuses on the interaction of obesity and mental health, focusing on the high prevalence of common mental disorders in people living with obesity and the high levels of obesity in patients who live with serious mental illness. People with serious mental illness die 15-20 years younger than their counterparts due to metabolic illnesses, often as a consequence of obesity. We present neural and psychological responses to food, the gut-brain axis, microbiome and epigenetic factors involved in the development of overweight and overeating. The role of anti-psychotic medication in causing weight gain and mitigating steps that clinicians might take to prevent or help weight gain is explored as is the role of psychological support to those with obesity.
Obesity and Mental Health (Part 2)
Dr Samantha Scholtz and Dr Denise Ratcliffe
This course focuses understanding the psychologist’s or psychiatrist’s role in a multi-disciplinary approach to management of obesity, in the understanding that obesity is an illness which affects and is affected by mental health. The evidence from a move away from a gatekeeper role is considered, and the psychological factors which might increase either physical or psychological risk from bariatric surgery is explored, clarifying how these might be reduced or mitigated by intelligent psychological involvement, integrated working across services and appropriate liaison and onward referral to specialist mental health services where indicated. Eating disorders, alcohol use disorder and suicide and self harm post operatively are explored in more detail. The evidence base for psychological interventions to support good outcomes after bariatric surgery is presented.
Obesity and PCOS
Dr Thomas Barber
This module discusses the diagnostic criteria of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and the association of this condition with obesity. You will learn the central role of insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinaemia in PCOS with the implications for clinical management. The role of visceral fat as a contributor to insulin resistance in PCOS is covered along with the role of metformin in treatment. The question of whether the presence of PCOS may make it harder for women to lose weight will be tackled.
Obesity and Prediabetes
Prof Nick Finer
This module introduces the relationship between obesity and prediabetes, including a discussion of fat distribution, inflammation and insulin resistance. Health risks of prediabetes are presented, and the benefits of weight loss are discussed.
Obesity and Pregnancy
Dr Sarah Price
This module discusses the impact of obesity on the female reproductive cycle. The effects of obesity on fertility, conception and assisted reproduction are covered. The module also examines the influence of obesity on the pregnant mother, including health risks, delivery complications and maternal mortality, and explores the effects of maternal obesity on the foetus and child. It concludes by presenting three case presentations to highlight some of the key issues surrounding obesity and pregnancy, including a discussion on pregnancy after bariatric surgery.
This module was updated in October 2020.
Obesity in the Elderly
Prof Gary Wittert
This module shines a light on the implications of obesity in the elderly (over 65 years of age). It addresses the effects of ageing and body composition on the diagnosis of obesity and the consequences of obesity in the elderly as they relate to mortality-risk, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Best practices in obesity management are also discussed exploring the impact of diet, physical activity, surgical interventions and pharmacotherapy on the elderly.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
Prof Krzysztof Narkiewicz and Dr Jacek Wolf
This module presents the epidemiology of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The relationship between obesity and OSA is explored, as are OSA symptoms, diagnostic techniques and treatments. This module was updated in July 2019.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and Hypertension
Prof Krzysztof Narkiewicz and Dr Jacek Wolf
This module reviews the evidence for a link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and hypertension. The prevalence and contributors of hypertension in patients with obesity are explored, as is the relationship between OSA and stroke. The complex mechanisms behind these interactions and OSA management are also discussed. This module was updated in September 2019.
Overcoming Perceived Barriers in Primary Care
Dr Charles Capper
This module highlights some of the most commonly cited barriers to managing patients with obesity in a primary care setting. Dr Capper presents a variety of tools to overcome these barriers and outlines numerous effective obesity treatments to initiate in primary care.
Patient-Centred Physical Activity
Dr Deborah Bade Horn
This video module, presented by leading American obesity expert Dr Deborah Horn, demonstrates how to perform and teach a total body program to help you initiate physical activity in populations with obesity. Exercises use a resistance tube, physiology ball and stretch-strap, covering all the important muscle groups.
Primary Care Weight Management: Shaping the Conversation
Dr Rachel Pryke
This module gives an overview of how to structure weight management discussions, including establishing positive conversations and avoiding common pitfalls if weight is a sensitive topic. It explores how well-meaning comments may come across quite differently to patients and summarises which treatment options are suitable for different circumstances. The module is suitable for all primary care clinicians.
Reducing Sedentary Behaviour
Dr Stuart Biddle
Recent advances show that it is very important that we address the issue of too much sitting (sedentary behaviour) in addition to increasing physical activity. This module provides guidance for understanding and changing both physical activity and sedentary behaviour in individuals who have obesity by using the behavioural epidemiology framework that targets measurement, health outcomes, correlates and interventions.
Telemedicine in Obesity Care
Dr Agbo Urudinachi
The use of telemedicine - broadly defined as the delivery of health care services at a distance using electronic means - has increased significantly in prevalence due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated distancing measures. This module, authored by Dr Agbo Urudinachi, provides an introduction to telemedicine with specific reference to its use in obesity care and practice. The author discusses the main benefits and challenges telemedicine presents to patients, practitioners and health systems.
The Treatment of Diabetes in Obesity
Prof Alexander Kokkinos
This course highlights the causal association between obesity and diabetes and proceeds to explore the methods of treating the latter while also addressing the former condition. Lifestyle measures are presented in detail, stressing the need for the employment of hypocaloric diets and increased physical activity. The pharmaceutical classes for the treatment of type 2 diabetes are then described, with an emphasis on those that lead to weight loss or are weight neutral. The cardioprotective and renoprotective properties of some of these drugs are also stressed. Medications approved for the treatment of obesity are then discussed, with a focus on their glycemic effect. The course concludes with a presentation of the role of metabolic surgery in the treatment of type 2 diabetes in patients with obesity, and a discussion of the recent guidelines proposed by the 2nd Diabetes Surgery Summit.
Understanding Patient Perspectives on Obesity
Dr Rachel Pryke
This module provides personal viewpoints from both patients and healthcare professionals describing their feelings around fighting obesity and around professional support. It considers the challenges in fighting obesity and the reasons why maintaining weight loss can be difficult for many patients.
Weight Bias: A Hidden Harm - Part 1
Dr Rebecca Puhl
This module provides an overview of the nature and extent of weight bias experienced by youth and adults, with specific attention to consequences of weight bias for health. Dr Puhl provides a summary of evidence highlighting links between weight bias and psychological wellbeing, eating behaviours and other physical health outcomes.
Weight Bias: A Hidden Harm - Part 2
Dr Rebecca Puhl
This module provides a summary of the ways in which weight bias can affect healthcare delivery and compromise care for patients with obesity. Dr Puhl outlines five strategies to reduce weight bias and improve supportive care in clinical practice for patients with obesity. She also highlights the importance of addressing weight bias in broader health communication beyond the medical office setting.
When is Surgical Treatment for Obesity Appropriate?
Dr Arya Sharma
In this module, Dr Arya Sharma outlines the key considerations when deciding whether surgery is appropriate for a patient with obesity. The module explores why repeated failed weight loss attempts may ultimately lead to worsening obesity, and why bariatric surgery does not remove the need for patients to engage in lifestyle change.
Working with Individuals to Change Eating Habits
Dr Clare Grace
This module focuses on how health professionals can best guide their patients to develop a deeper understanding of their eating habits, to make and sustain evidence based dietary changes relevant to health improvement and weight management, and for patients to experience this process in a non-judgemental and supportive way.