Face to Face Rethinking

Exploring the Human Dimension of Obesity

A diverse group of folks with unusual expertise gathered in Charlotte last night with a small audience of about a hundred people. They brought questions and curiosity about the chronic disease of obesity. They also brought lifetimes of experience with this disease – either in themselves or through loved ones. It was an evening for exploring the human dimension of obesity.

A Love Story

The event opened with Butch and Dana Rosser telling the story of their love and life together. Woven into their story is the challenge of dealing with the chronic disease of obesity that Butch Rosser, a renowned and skilled surgeon, has lived with since the earliest days of his childhood. Says Rosser:

“ I had these pudgy cheeks everyone loved to pinch. That was when I knew my body was different.”

In Dana, he found a soulmate – someone who came to know and love the person he is, through and through. With that love, came a deep and genuine desire for him to be his happiest and healthiest self. They tell their story better than we could ever tell it here and we encourage you to take the time to hear them out.

But what they quite literally set the stage for was an exploration of the human dimension of a complex, chronic disease – obesity – that most often turns into a caricature or a joke in popular culture.

Why Do We Do This?

What followed was a dialogue with a collection of some of the smartest professionals who devote their careers in healthcare to understanding obesity and caring for the people who seek help for it. Lou Aronne, Fatima Cody Stanford, John Buse, Phil Schauer, Jennifer McCauley, and Angie Golden shared their experiences. These were both personal and professional. It wasn’t highly technical – it was human.

Along with a few other professionals and people with the lived experience of obesity, ConscienHealth’s Ted Kyle was invited to share his own insight and motivations for dealing with this subject. In less than a minute. He said:

“I’m known as Big Teddy to my grandson, but I’m also a pharmacist and advocate for people living with obesity – and for a better understanding of obesity. Because obesity is a slow burn, a chronic disease that harms a person’s health in small bits over time. But the misunderstanding of obesity brings bias and stigma that does harm here and now. Every day. This has got to change.”

Hopefully some of the people who turned out for this walked away with some better insight into what they’re struggling with. We hope the content will come to a wider audience because people are hungry for better information.

We’re grateful for sponsorship from Novo Nordisk, which made this event possible, even though the subject of their products for obesity care was carefully kept out of the conversation. It was an evening well spent.

To learn more about the human dimension of obesity through the eyes of Butch and Dana Rosser, click here.

Face to Face Rethinking, photograph courtesy of Philip Schauer via Twitter

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September 14, 2022

3 Responses to “Exploring the Human Dimension of Obesity”

  1. September 14, 2022 at 10:06 am, Debera Gau said:

    I love everything about this!

  2. September 14, 2022 at 10:46 am, Allen Browne said:

    Great post!

    Rosser’s documentary is great!

    Where is the whole program available?


    • September 14, 2022 at 1:06 pm, Ted said:

      The program will be available on the Mediflix website where the Rosser documentary is posted, as soon as they can edit it into a format that will be easy for people to access online.