Obesity is a complex, chronic disease that affects almost 1 billion adults and children worldwide, including 93 million Americans. Despite the widespread view that obesity is a failure of personal will, obesity needs to be recognized as a complex disease that requires treatment with evidence-based interventions. Recognizing the complexity of obesity care and treatment, the STOP Obesity Alliance is proud to be a founding partner of the 9th Annual Obesity Care Week which takes place this year from February 27th through March 3rd.
Obesity Care Week 2023 (OWC2023) aims to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for people living with obesity and provides us the opportunity to create lasting change. It’s time to change the way we care for – and about – obesity! This year’s Obesity Care Week will focus on three main areas of impact:
- Raising awareness about what the disease of obesity is – and isn’t;
- Providing valuable, science-based resources on weight and health; and
- Creating a more positive and impactful relationship between a patient and their healthcare provider when obesity is discussed.
This annual public awareness event is supported by over 100 health organizations and leaders in 70 countries around the world. OCW2023 Champions and Partners stand together to acknowledge obesity as a complex, chronic, recurring disease. Despite extensive research and studies, stigma and misperceptions continue to negatively shape the way people with obesity are treated medically and socially. OCW2023 aims to strengthen the relationship between a patient and their healthcare provider by encouraging open, empathic, and evidence-based conversations about weight and health.
Obesity Care Week was founded in 2015 by the STOP Obesity Alliance and other founding partners: the Obesity Action Coalition, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the Obesity Medicine Association, and The Obesity Society. The global vision of Obesity Care Week is to have a society that understands, respects, and accepts the complexities of obesity and values science and clinical care.
OCW2023 will highlight important topics in obesity care and treatment, including weight bias, access to obesity care, and childhood obesity. The effective treatment of obesity has been limited by bias and discrimination for too long. Only one in two people with obesity report having a conversation about their weight with a healthcare provider. The stigmatization around weight and a lack of understanding from healthcare providers perpetuate the lack of obesity care available to patients. To better understand and share information about the nuances of obesity, the STOP Obesity Alliance has developed numerous Fast Fact sheets that consider different aspects of the disease and how it influences different populations. We hope that you will feel free to share these fact sheets during the week.
We encourage you to sign up for alerts to receive news and resources this week so you can take action for people living with obesity You can make a difference during OCW2023 by reposting content on social media, sharing OCW resources, and taking action to call for change.
Please follow Obesity Care Week on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and like, comment, and share OCW2023 content using #OCW2023 on your social media pages. Visit ObesityCareWeek.org to learn more.
We are grateful to the 25 STOP Obesity Alliance Members who are OCW Champions this year. The change required to adequately and appropriately treat obesity can only happen with your help!