FYI from the NHLBI Index

May 2012: Vol. 13, Issue 1
Constituents' Corner

TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Welcomes Fellow NHLBI-PIOs to Reach Out through its 170,000 Members in Every U.S. State and Canadian Province

TOPS Club Inc., a nonprofit weight-loss organization that has helped millions of people in the United States and Canada to lose weight and develop healthy lifestyles over the last 60+ years, is pleased to share news of its involvement in several recent studies of obesity and its co-morbidities and welcomes fellow NHLBI-PIO members to reach out through its 170,000 membership base in every state and Canadian province.

TOPS has been actively involved in the clinical study of obesity and metabolic research since 1966 and has contributed more than $8 million to the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in support of these efforts. The TOPS Obesity and Metabolic Research Center was established at MCW in 1994 and has contributed to milestones of obesity research that have resulted in significant progress including:

  • The paper entitled “Biology of Regional Body Fat Distribution: Relationship to non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus”. Findings in this study led to the terms “apple shaped” vs. “pear shaped.”
  • Identification of a gene that plays a significant role in determining blood levels of HDL cholesterol, commonly referred to as “good” cholesterol.
  • Over 500 TOPS families participated as research volunteers in those studies, making it one of the largest family studies conducted in the United States.

Findings have been published in more than 200 of the most reputable scientific papers, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and Nature Genetics. In 2011, Dr. Nia Mitchell published a scientific study in Obesity magazine directly assessing the effectiveness of TOPS and found that people who joined TOPS and followed the program for three years were able to lose weight and successfully keep it off.

Because TOPS members and their families are so directly affected by the obesity epidemic and the co-morbidities associated with it, articles on these subjects are frequently included in TOPS News magazine, which is published nine times per year and distributed to more than 170,000 homes and healthcare facilities in North America. TOPS is proud to have been a partner with the NHLBI-PIO group since it was formed, and invites other PIO members to submit articles of interest to the TOPS News magazine by calling 414-482-4620 ext. 41 or by email to TOPS is also interested in other types of outreach and partnership opportunities that promote education and healthy lifestyles. For more information, visit link

Submitted by Barbara Cady, President, TOPS Club Inc.

We invite you to use this space that we reserve for you to share your successes and opinions. You may submit your ideas and articles for future issues of the FYI from the NHLBI to

Modified 5/10/12
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Last Updated May 2012

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