Taking Direct Action

National Obesity Care Week: 5 Reasons to Take Action

2018 NOCW InfographicWe’re just one month away from National Obesity Care Week. It’s October 7-16 this year. But now is the time to make your plans and pledge to take action. Here’s why.

1. Weight Bias Is Blocking Progress

Weight stigma starts early and hits hard. It has devastating effects on health and quality of life at every age. But on top of that, it leads to false assumptions about the root causes of obesity. It leads to policies that are grounded more in bias than in facts and science. Stigma, bias, and false assumptions have had us spinning our wheels while obesity rates have grown relentlessly for four decades.

2. Healthcare Providers Need Support for Providing Care

Until now, most primary care providers have received very little training and support for delivering effective obesity care. Referrals to skilled providers are rare. Action now must start to close this gap.

3. People with Obesity Need Supportive Healthcare Providers

The combination of stigma, limited training, and poor access to care means that many people with obesity think it’s all their fault. And thus, they think they must solve it on their own. Through sheer force of will. For most that’s about as effective as asking a person to lower their own blood pressure.

4. People with Obesity Need Access to Care

Even when people clear the hurdles of stigma and find a skilled obesity care provider, they often find another barrier. Many health plans put up financial barriers to care. It might be absurdly high co-pays. Or maybe the health plan refuses to pay for any obesity care. This is ridiculous. Because untreated obesity progresses to cause complications like joint disease, heart disease, diabetes, and more. The bills mount up. Everyone – including health plans – loses.

Access to care for obesity should be the same as it is for treating any other chronic disease.

5. Policymakers Must Invest in Obesity Research, Education, Prevention, and Treatment

Research, education, prevention, and treatment for obesity requires a sensible investment. The cost of neglecting this problem is mounting. Obesity rates are growing because we don’t yet know enough to prevent the disease. Untreated obesity is creating an epidemic of chronic diseases. Without an adequate investment, we will never reverse these devastating trends.

But together we can work toward a future with adequate science-based care for obesity.

So click here and make your pledge now to take action during National Obesity Care Week.

Taking Direct Action, photograph © Andy Morffew / flickr

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September 7, 2018

2 Responses to “National Obesity Care Week: 5 Reasons to Take Action”

  1. September 07, 2018 at 9:33 am, Allen Browne said:

    Ted,

    You hit this one out of the park – the infographic is great. The 5 reasons are great.

    Thanks.

    Allen

  2. September 07, 2018 at 10:17 am, Ted said:

    Thanks, Allen!