The Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance is made up of a diverse group of business, consumer, government, advocacy, and health organizations dedicated to reversing the obesity epidemic in the United States. Drawing on the strengths of the collaborative, STOP conducts research, makes policy recommendations, and develops hands-on tools for providers, advocacy groups, policymakers, and consumers. As STOP celebrates 10 years of making major strides in addressing obesity, we will continue to drive innovative practical strategies in obesity prevention, care, and treatment.
Our country is beset by an epidemic of obesity. This critical issue is not only associated with reduced quality of life, the major causes of death in the U.S., and poorer mental health outcomes, it also has a profound negative impact on our economy. Estimates of health care costs for obesity-related illnesses range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the annual nationwide costs of obesity-related absenteeism are between $3.38 billion and $6.38 billion.
We will continue to lead and encourage innovation around treatment, intervention, and disease management through development and dissemination of best practices on the treatment and prevention of obesity. In addition to identifying and encouraging promising innovation, STOP will work to lead a broad base of stakeholders in establishing best practices for the care of individuals with overweight and obesity.
Strengthen Systems of Care
We will promote the highest standard of care for patients with obesity by acknowledging and addressing factors that diminish quality of care, including inadequate provider training in obesity care, potential discomfort of weight-based discussions, and limited reimbursement for obesity-related prevention and treatment services.
Convene Diverse Stakeholders
We will strive to continue our role in facilitating open dialogues between diverse groups of stakeholders. From the beginning, STOP has brought together a broad alliance of individuals and organizations to form a far-reaching system of researchers, clinicians, policymakers, advocates, and professionals.
Define an Innovative Research Agenda
We will engage in an interdisciplinary research agenda based on the premise that obesity is the product of a complex interplay of biologic, genetic, behavioral, cultural, environmental, social, policy, and economic factors. STOP research will be cross-cutting, examining clinical practices, evidence-based strategies, health services and policy as they relate to obesity, and measurements of quality in obesity care.
Promote Strategies to Increase Physical Activity
We will continue to encourage interventions and environments that support physical activity to improve health, independent of weight or weight loss, resulting in a healthier population. The Alliance will lend energetic support to strategies that promote active living and reduce periods of inactivity in order to increase positive health outcomes.
Reduce Stigma to Improve Health Outcomes
We will continue to cultivate a positive environment by promoting awareness and open discussion among health professionals, opinion leaders, role models, and the public regarding the harmful impact of stigmatizing people with overweight and obesity. The work of STOP and its members will go beyond the role of personal responsibility to promote compassionate, unbiased care.
Dr. William Dietz
William Dietz, MD, PhD, serves as Director of the STOP Obesity Alliance and Chair of the Redstone Center, providing his wealth of obesity expertise to enhance and develop the Alliance's research, writing and initiatives. Dr. Dietz is a nationally recognized expert in nutrition, physical activity, and obesity with years of government and academic experience.
Dr. Scott Kahan
Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, serves as Medical Director for the STOP Obesity Alliance, providing counsel and oversight for the Alliance's ongoing research, writing and initiatives. Dr. Kahan is a physician trained in both clinical medicine and public health. He is board-certified in Preventive Medicine, and his clinical practice specializes in weight management and obesity medicine.
Research Project Director
Cristy Gallagher, MPAff, serves as Research Project Director for the STOP Obesity Alliance, where she manages and coordinates research projects on obesity. Cristy has 20 years of experience working in Washington, DC, on health, human services, and education policy.
Nichole Jannah, MPH, serves as a Research Associate for the STOP Obesity Alliance, providing support for ongoing research-based initiatives to identify cultural and systemic barriers to effective prevention and treatment for obesity and related health conditions while promoting essential cross-sector changes that improve individual and population health.
Convened experts to assess the state of provider training and education on obesity
Began work to develop a consensus-based standard of care for adult obesity
Partnered with National Quality Forum to initiate development of quality measures for obesity
Launched Why Weight? Guide website with additional resources for providers
Convened roundtables with FDA to discuss obesity drug approval
Designed and conducted obesity patient risk survey
Released research report on gender and wage gaps attributable to obesity