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ASMBS Foundation rebrands to ‘TREO’ to better reflect mission to end obesity

Updated: May 3, 2023

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric (ASMBS) Foundation has rebranded to TREO Foundation (Treatment, Research and Education to end Obesity) to better describe its mission, scope of activities, and a renewed commitment to increasing the scientific and public understanding of obesity and expanding access to evidence-based treatments. The rebranding comes as the obesity rate in the US stands at 42.4%, an all-time high, with no signs of slowing. By 2030, half the adult population is on track to have obesity and nearly one in four will have severe obesity. In its 25 years, the foundation has raised over $2 million to support critical research, advocacy, and education on severe obesity and metabolic and bariatric surgery.

“Clearly new strategies and approaches are needed to turn back an epidemic that is only getting worse and affecting the health of more than 100 million Americans,” Carl Pesta, President, TREO Foundation. “The TREO Foundation has an important role to play in bringing much-needed attention and funding to obesity research and education that leads to greater utilisation of the most effective treatments, including metabolic and bariatric surgery.”

Only about 200,000 people get bariatric surgery in any given year, which is only about 1% of the surgically eligible population. Another 1% to 3% turn to anti-obesity medications. Obesity, which weakens the body’s immune system, causes chronic inflammation and increases the risk for other diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, certain cancers and most recently, severe outcomes from COVID-19.

TREO Foundation is launching a new website that describes current and future scientific research, and awareness, and advocacy activities including the Walk from Obesity, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The foundation will also hold its annual LEAD Awards Gala on June 28 at the ASMBS 39th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas to recognize leaders in the field of metabolic and bariatric surgery for excellence in clinical care, nutrition, innovation and lifetime achievement.

TREO Foundation has provided financial support for the ASMBS Certified Bariatric Nurse (CBN) Program and ASMBS Nutrition Guidelines and most recently, the ASMBS Survey on Obesity in America II, which found millions of Americans are considering bariatric surgery for the first time ever amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The foundation has also provided a number of research grants for studies exploring the effect of obesity and metabolic and bariatric surgery on diseases including COVID-19, bone health, heart disease, asthma and diabetes, among other areas.

“We’re committed to continuously improving the care and treatment of people suffering from obesity and working with our partners and donors to ensure greater understanding, access, and availability of proven and transformative treatments,” said Michael Votta, Executive Director, TREO Foundation.

The mission of TREO Foundation is to raise funds for conducting research and education, increasing public and scientific awareness and understanding, and improving access to quality care and treatment of obesity and severe obesity. The TREO Foundation shares the vision of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) to improve the public health and well-being by lessening the burden of the disease of obesity and related diseases throughout the world. For more information, visit


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