Obesity Care Week 2024

Obesity Care Week 2024

February 29, 2024

February 2024 Letter from the Director

Obesity Care Week 2024 is just days away, taking place from March 4th through March 8th. Obesity Care Week 2024 (OCW24) will launch its campaign on World Obesity Day and will encourage conversations to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for people living with obesity.

Obesity Care Week was founded in 2015 by the STOP Obesity Alliance in partnership with 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 foster a society that understands, respects, and accepts the complexities of obesity and values science and clinical care. 

Obesity Care Week draws attention to the complex nature of obesity as a deeply stigmatized chronic disease. Despite the prevalence of obesity, which impacts more than 2 in 5 adults in the United States, stigma is extremely prevalent and people with obesity struggle to receive adequate care.

OCW24 will promote 5 Principles of Obesity:

  1. It is undeniable that obesity is a chronic disease.

Obesity is a chronic, progressive, and relapsing disease that raises an individual's risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and more. Obesity is commonly identified by using body mass index (BMI) as a screening tool, but a healthcare provider should confirm the diagnosis based on a comprehensive medical assessment.

  1. Obesity is driven by powerful underlying biology, not choice.

Obesity is driven by a complicated interplay between multiple factors, including biology, environment, social, and behavioral factors. Obesity is not a personal failing or personal choice.

  1. The many health effects of excess weight can start early.

It is important to address overweight and obesity early on with a combination of behavioral and medical interventions to prevent and reduce the comorbidities associated with obesity. It is also imperative to raise awareness of childhood obesity, which is rising in prevalence in the US. Children with obesity are five times more likely to have obesity as adults.

  1. Obesity is treatable.

Treating obesity with both lifestyle and medical interventions is an essential part of comprehensive obesity care. Combating obesity with a range of treatments achieves long-term weight loss and health benefits.

  1. Weight bias, stigma, and discrimination are harmful.

People living with obesity face significant stigma in several areas of life, including their access to medical care. This stigma can be internalized by those with obesity and can lead to worse mental health outcomes.

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 OCW2024 by reposting content on social media, sharing OCW resources, and taking action to call for change.

Please follow Obesity Care Week on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and like, comment, and share OCW content using #ObesityCareWeek 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 changes required to prevent and treat obesity can only happen with your help!

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