Obesity Care Week 2021
Recognizing that obesity is a complex, chronic disease affecting more than 2 billion people globally, the STOP Obesity Alliance is a founding partner of the 7th annual Obesity Care Week (OCW), which takes place this year from February 28th – March 6th, 2021.
More than ever, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of treating chronic diseases such as obesity. The growing prevalence of obesity and severe obesity worldwide makes the global population more susceptible to high mortality from infectious disease pandemics. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has put those with obesity at high risk of severe illness, we need to ensure that accessible and effective obesity treatment is available to all who need it. It is also essential that COVID-19 vaccines be accessible to those with obesity. Despite speculation to the contrary, clinical experience has shown that the COVID-19 vaccine is just as effective for people with obesity as it is for people at a healthy weight.
Originally founded in 2015, Obesity Care Week has a global vision for a society that understands, respects and accepts the complexities of obesity and values obesity research and care. The STOP Obesity Alliance, with our other founding partners – the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), the Obesity Medicine Association (OMA), and The Obesity Society (TOS) – believe that together, we can make this a better world for people living with obesity.
Each day of OCW highlights an issue impacting people with obesity. The first theme of the week highlights weight bias, which is a common but harmful form of discrimination that many people with obesity face. Next, attention will turn to obesity prevention and treatment, which can save lives and improve health for those with and without obesity. However, treatment is not equally accessible to everyone, which emphasizes the importance of access to care.
World Obesity Day, on March 4th, is celebrated during OCW. The mission of World Obesity Day is to increase awareness of obesity, encourage advocacy, improve policies affecting obesity, and provide a platform for people around the world to share their experiences. STOP supports this global effort that aims to change the way we care about obesity.
The final days of the week are devoted to childhood obesity and “I Care Day.” Pediatric obesity deserves its own focus, because of the effects that obesity has on children and adolescents. “I Care Day” is an opportunity for advocates, policymakers, health care professionals, those with obesity, and their friends and families to share why they care about obesity and how they are working together to make a difference.
To address and educate others about important obesity topics like these, the STOP Obesity Alliance has developed fifteen fact sheets on a diverse range of subjects. We hope you will share them on social media or on your websites to help educate others. Feel free to print and share them in provider’s offices and wellness centers.
We encourage you to sign-up for OCW2021 alerts and stay up-to-date with the latest news and information on how to help change the world for people living with obesity during Obesity Care Week. We’re grateful for the 25 STOP Obesity Alliance members who are OCW champions this year.