OCW2022: Looking Ahead Ten Years in Obesity Care

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.” Yogi Berra had that right. So it’s good to start into OCW2022 by clearly looking ahead at the future for obesity care with six distinguished leaders from diverse backgrounds. In a wide-ranging discussion for OCW2022, they are looking forward to advances in science, policy, and a culture of care that will make the lives of people with obesity better every day.

The full video of this panel debuts today on ObesityCareWeek.org, but here we offer you a taste of the highlights.

A Hope for Good Routine Care

Ethan Lazarus is an obesity medicine physician and president of the Obesity Medicine Association. He expressed the simple hope that good obesity care will be routine in medical practice. Because right now, it is not.

“To think about where we’ll be with obesity ten years from now, I like to think about where we were ten years ago – and the strides we’ve made. Ten years ago, I’d been in practice for about a decade. But I was studying for the first ever board examination given by the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

“I started researching the topic of weight bias in preparation for that exam. It was a real eye opener. Ten years into this field, I had never heard those two words together. I didn’t know anything about it. Ten years later, I still feel weight bias is a term that most healthcare providers have not heard.

“My dream is that ten years from now weight bias will be a subject routinely taught in medical schools everywhere. So providers can understand that this is not a disease of personal responsibility. If we can get over this hump, providers can actually engage with patients in good discussions about this disease and the full range of effective approaches to treat it.”

A True Continuum of Care

Teresa LaMasters is both a bariatric surgeon and a board certified obesity medicine physician. She is also president-elect of ASMBS. In ten years, she expects to see a true continuum of care in obesity that makes better use of all the therapeutic tools we have.

“Board certification in obesity medicine really opened my eyes to the physiology of obesity and the bridge between medicine and surgery. I think the next ten years brings us a much deeper understanding of the physiology. So my vision is for a true continuum of care – comprehensive care for the whole person with this disease.”


Patty Nece is an attorney and also chair of the Obesity Action Coalition. She has lived with obesity from the earliest days of her life. Her vision is that ten years from now she can walk into a medical setting with confidence that she will not get a demeaning lecture or dismissive treatment. She sees a model in the care for other diseases.

“My friend had breast cancer. Her care team made decisions jointly with her. They discussed all the options with her – the pros and cons. I want to see that in obesity care – instead of ‘here, follow this diet and you’ll lose weight. And if not, then you’re not a good person.’”

Coming Together

The science to support better obesity care is clearly advancing. On the human side of things, progress is honestly more uneven. People are starting to realize that shaming and blaming people makes their health worse, not better. But getting over that hump of implicit weight bias is quite a hurdle.

Looking ahead ten years from OCW2022, these six leaders in obesity care and advocacy give us confidence we can clear that hurdle. Click here to watch the full panel discussion.

Obesity Care Week graphics and resources available at obesitycareweek.org

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February 28, 2022

5 Responses to “OCW2022: Looking Ahead Ten Years in Obesity Care”

  1. February 28, 2022 at 7:09 am, Cathy Arsenault said:

    Beautifully said by all and my dreams as well. We can achieve these goals. The challenge is to remain diligent, focused, positive and to continue to fight as warriors. Obesity in 2022 is still misunderstood in medicine by many. Education HAS to be taught in medical school so the options of bias are removed with science based facts and compassion.

  2. February 28, 2022 at 7:33 am, Allen Browne said:

    And :
    1) mothers will not be berated in the grocery store line for what they are buying for their children
    2) Parents will not told to “do the right thing” and to get their children to “do the right thing”
    3) Children will be judged by who they are rather than how they look
    4)parents will be judged ny who they are rather than how their children look
    5) The disease of obesity in children will be recognized and treated as a disease


    Allen F. Browne, M.D., DABOM, FAAP, FACS

  3. February 28, 2022 at 8:43 am, Mary-Jo said:

    Excellent and truly amazing to read each one of these remarks from experts. Ted, you have been such an integral part of all things obesity moving forward, FINALLY! The OAC, too!! I only can add, if I may, that every person with obesity must now feel confident when you go to your HCP, to DEMAND proper help, because so much more is known and available. Of course, there’s still a long road ahead, but, wow, when I look back on 20 years ago and now, at least treatment will get better. Now, having said that, I’m still bummed about prevention, the environment, public health approaches.

    • February 28, 2022 at 8:44 am, Ted said:

      Thank you Mary-Jo. It’s a privilege to call you a friend.

  4. February 28, 2022 at 12:52 pm, Linda Gigliotti said:

    Amen! Well said!