The Obesity Society Elects Officers

New Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer Hold Degrees in Nutrition Science

Silver Spring, Maryland, UNITED STATES

Silver Spring, MD, Dec. 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Two long-time members of The Obesity Society (TOS) have joined the organization’s Executive Committee. Catherine “Cathy” Kotz, PhD, FTOS, of Minneapolis, Minn., is the Society’s new vice president and Leah Whigham, PhD, FTOS, of El Paso, Texas, will serve as secretary/treasurer, the Society announced today.

“It feels good to be in this role,” Kotz said of her new position as vice president. Kotz is professor and director of graduate studies at the University of Minnesota, Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology. She is also acting associate director of research at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center in Minneapolis.

Kotz said she decided to participate in the Society’s election because she has been a 26-year member of the scientific nonprofit. She added that she is aware of TOS’ strengths and challenges. “I feel that my long history with TOS puts me in a perfect position to help address those challenges and help the organization continue to improve.”

Before becoming vice president, Kotz served on numerous Society committees, including Public Affairs, Nominating, Planning, Finance and Publications. She has also served on council and as a spokesperson for the organization. Kotz said her aim during her time of service will be the continuation of a strong, scientific program by working with all TOS research experts and committees.

Whigham has also served on several committees during her 18-years of membership with TOS. Before being elected to secretary/treasurer, Whigham served on the Society’s Finance Committee and chaired the Audit Committee. She also has been a member of the TOS Advocacy Committee. Other prior roles have included being elected to the Nominating Committee and Council and serving as the Council liaison to the Clinical Committee, Clinical Management of Obesity Section, Ethics Committee, Education Committee and Health Services Research Section.

Whigham said she plans to help TOS maintain a strong financial base, grow its ability to offer support to members, in particular early career members, and increase awareness nationally and globally in the complexities of obesity and the importance of objective, evidence-based approaches in addressing those intricacies.

“The Executive Committee consists of a diverse group of talented, creative leaders dedicated to the advancement of the field of obesity,” said Whigham, executive director of the Paso del Norte Institute of Healthy Living and associated professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso. “It’s an honor to serve with them.”


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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 physicians and other clinicians, scientists, 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 and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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