Obesity Action Coalition National Board and Staff

Advocating for the Cause of Respect and Care

With nearly two dozen of the brightest people in obesity care and advocacy, we just spent the weekend sorting out opportunities that lie ahead for the Obesity Action Coalition. OAC Chair Amber Huett-Garcia summarized what motivates her to commit her energies to this cause for respect and care:

The OAC gets better every year. The intelligent, passionate, and courageous folks we get into one room is remarkable. Our national board and staff make me a better person, a more effective professional, and a more dedicated advocate. In what can feel like a world of power over progress we smash the hell out of that narrative and get it done. We are moving the needle on access, bias, education, and so much more. Onward – seeking radical change for people affected by obesity.

So what is this cause and why is it important? We frequently encounter people asking, “What exactly are you advocating for?”

In just two words, it’s respect and care.

In most other health concerns, respect for the humanity and dignity of the people affected comes first. We celebrate and support the courage of people confronting a chronic disease like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. In obesity, that’s simply not the case. Health care providers, health plans, health systems, and even friends and family often offer more blame and disparagement than support and encouragement.

In this condition, for which the risk is mostly inherited, most people falsely assume obesity is something that people choose. They think people can reverse it if they commit themselves to do so. But the truth is that this condition is more difficult to manage than most other chronic diseases. Arya Sharma tells us that cancer is more curable in most cases than obesity.

Part of the reason that obesity is so hard to manage is the denial of access to evidence-based care options. Granted, the options for evidence-based care are far from perfect. But with good care, people can dramatically improve their health.

If someone has severe obesity, many ignorant professionals, friends, and family will discourage them from seeking care such as bypass surgery. Surgery for cancer or chemotherapy is no less daunting. But friends and professionals would never discourage it if needed.

This is the cause for which OAC stands: respect and care for people living with obesity.

If you or someone you care for is affected by obesity, join the OAC and mark you calendar to come to New Orleans for YWM2017, August 10-13.

Obesity Action Coalition National Board and Staff, photograph courtesy of Amber Huett-Garcia

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January 9, 2017

5 Responses to “Advocating for the Cause of Respect and Care”

  1. January 09, 2017 at 6:53 pm, Jaime Fivecoat said:

    Well said Ted.


    • January 10, 2017 at 4:40 am, Ted said:

      Thanks, Jaime. And thanks for making this dream become reality by leading OAC in its early days.

  2. January 10, 2017 at 10:04 am, Allen Browne said:

    “Respect and care” makes sense. Care cuts costs and respect and care improves productivity. Sounds like a winning formula.

  3. January 10, 2017 at 11:26 pm, Angie Golden said:

    Thank you for this amazing blog!!! You always have wonderful things to say but this is why I have an obesity practice and you put in in the words I often have trouble expressing as elegantly as you do.

    • January 11, 2017 at 4:31 am, Ted said:

      Thanks, Angie. Your work is so very important to all of us.