Authored by the STOP Obesity Alliance Research Team at The GeorgeWashington University School of Public Health and Health Services Department of Health Policy
"Nearly two-thirds of the population is overweight or obese, and if the current trajectory continues, 50 percent of the population will be obese by 2030. Primary care providers and community health centers (CHC) are at the frontlines of this epidemic. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) seeks to curb rising health care expenditures through an emphasis on preventive care and treating chronic diseases and conditions, such as obesity and diabetes. Primary care providers and CHCs can expect to be increasingly relied on to provide weight-related medical care. To better understand the challenges and propose solutions to this shift, the The Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance and The George Washington University’s Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy conducted a literature review of a variety of CHC programs across the country. They also co-sponsored a symposium at the National Association of Community Health Centers’ (NACHC) annual Policy and Issues Forum in March 2011, which convened a range of stakeholders to discuss and explore the preparedness of the primary care and CHC workforce to effectively prevent and treat obesity. The following is a brief summary of our findings and key recommendations for improving obesity management in CHC and primary care settings."