Resources for Healthcare Professionals

TOPS Club, Inc. is a nonprofit, noncommercial weight-loss support organization. In an industry filled with quick fixes and fad diets, TOPS is an affordable and evidence-based program that encourages members to make small, steady lifestyle changes that provide lasting weight loss and better health.

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We are a network of thousands of weight-loss support groups (called chapters) in every U.S. state and Canadian province. TOPS is also on the forefront of obesity and metabolic research.

Resources for Your Patients and Clients

Proof It Works

Evidence-Based Weight Loss

Research finds TOPS helps members experience clinically significant weight loss—and helps them keep it off. Visit the following to learn more:

TOPS Supports Research

TOPS is on the forefront of obesity and metabolic research and has donated more than $9 million toward research at the TOPS Center for Obesity and Metabolic Research.  Learn more about our ongoing support of obesity research at TOPS Nutrition and Obesity Research Center.

TOPS Research Achievement Award: The Obesity Society

Each year, in cooperation with The Obesity Society, TOPS recognizes a scientist who has made major contributions to the field of obesity research at the annual ObesityWeek conference. At the 2022 event, TOPS Board of Directors member Karen Tinlin presented the TOPS Research Achievement Award to Dr. I. Sadaf Farooqi.

2022 Winner – Dr. I. Sadaf Farooqi

Dr. I. Sadaf Farooqi is a Clinician Scientist and Wellcome Principal Research Fellow at the Wellcome–MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom. Dr. Farooqi is distinguished for her discoveries in what exactly controls weight regulation in the human body. Along with colleagues, she discovered the first genes whose disruption causes severe obesity.

There’s something in the body called the leptin-melanocortin axis – and Dr. Farooqi’s work on the physiological consequences of disrupting this axis, has changed how scientists understand human eating behaviors – and established that the main driver of obesity is a failure of the central control of appetite. Dr. Farooqi has played a leading role nationally and internationally in the development of clinical guidelines and governmental policy, related to obesity.

“She is an articulate, brilliant and creative member of the obesity research community,” said George A. Bray, MD, from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in a letter nominating Farooqi for the TOPS award. “I have known Dr. Farooqi since the early 1990s, when her classic work on (a) leptin-deficient Pakistani family was published, and have admired her work ever since.”

Dr. Farooqi’s work in this arena has spanned more than two decades. She has been published extensively in leading journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Science, and Cell Metabolism.

Previous Winners

  • Steven R. Smith, MD, FTOS - 2021
  • John Speakman, Ph.D, FTOS - 2020
  • Dympa Gallagher, Ed.D.  2019
  • Michael Rosenbaum, M.D.  2018
  • Christos S. Mantzoros, M.D. – 2017
  • Roger D. Cone, Ph.D – 2016
  • Andrew S. Greenberg, M.D. – 2015
  • Michael Goran, Ph.D. – 2014
  • Stephen O'Rahilly, M.D. – 2013
  • Thomas A. Wadden, Ph.D. – 2012
  • Samuel Klein, M.D. – 2011
  • Michael D. Jensen, M.D. – 2010
  • David B. Allison, Ph.D. – 2009
  • Walter J. Pories, M.D. – 2008

TOPS New Investigator Research Award: Obesity Canada

TOPS presents a research award every other year at the Canadian Obesity Summit to a recipient selected by Obesity Canada (formerly Canadian Obesity Network). Additionally, in the off-year, TOPS donates two scholarships to Obesity Canada's new researcher boot camp.

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2019 Winner — Laurie Twells, Ph.D.

TOPS representative Don Whiting presented the TOPS New Investigator Research Award to Dr. Laurie Twells, an Associate Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, during the Obesity Canada Summit in Ottawa in April 2019.

Dr. Twells began conducting research on obesity in 2002 while working with the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research as a Research Associate. In 2002, newly published data published by Statistics Canada demonstrated the alarming increase in the prevalence of obesity and the concerning regional variations across Canada. In response, Dr. Twells was asked to organize a provincial forum on obesity and to invite experts in Canada to speak on: the temporal trends of obesity, the health burden associated with obesity, the potential causes and contributors to the problem and proposed solutions.  Almost 20 years ago, concerns that obesity would impact individual’s health, the health system and society were just emerging. This work experience and exposure to the complexities of obesity as a health issue, led Dr. Twells to do doctoral work in this area, completing her PhD in 2008.

Dr. Twells started a tenure track position at Memorial University in 2008 and over the last ten years has conducted research in a number of obesity-related areas. These include: the epidemiology of childhood and adult obesity, the prevention of childhood obesity, the impact of obesity on coronary heart disease, and bariatric surgery as a treatment for complex obesity in adults. Currently Dr. Twells is conducting studies on maternal asthma and childhood obesity, the impact of exercise on fertility in individuals affected by obesity and identifying criteria in order to prioritize patients for bariatric surgery using a discrete choice experiment. Since the start of her academic position, Dr. Twells has published 55 papers, of which the majority are on obesity-related topics, and given over 60 presentations.

Previous Winners

  • Mary A. Forhan, Ph.D. – 2017
  • Jennifer L. Kuk, Ph.D. – 2015
  • Dr. Valerie Taylor, M.D., Ph.D. – 2013

Endorsements from Healthcare Professionals

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TOPS is a wonderful organization and helps with the support that individuals need to make positive lifestyle changes. -Holly W., RN, CDE, Florida

As a dietitian, I am so grateful for TOPS. I know the programs have helped many people achieve physical goals as well as improved quality of life and new positive relationships. -Amy E., MPH, RD, LD, Birmingham, Alabama