The STOP Obesity Alliance is proud to be a founding partner of the 8th annual Obesity Care Week, which starts today and runs through Friday, March 5th.
An estimated 93 million Americans are currently affected by the disease of obesity. Despite extensive research, stigma and misperceptions continue to prevent the effective treatment of the disease. One in two people with obesity report that they have never had a conversation about their weight with a healthcare professional, and only 4 in 10 patients report that they have been counseled about their weight by a healthcare professional. Reasons that this conversation between healthcare providers and their patients do not occur include provider-based weight bias, discomfort with opening the conversation, and a lack of knowledge regarding the impact of obesity on health. As we have learned over the past two years, obesity is a risk factor for complications and hospitalization from COVID-19, providing all the more reason to ensure the accessibility of effective obesity treatment.
Obesity Care Week (OCW) is a public awareness event supported by over 100 health organizations and leaders in 80 countries around the world. OCW Champions and Partners stand together to acknowledge obesity as a complex, chronic, recurring disease. We are grateful to the over 20 STOP Obesity Alliance members who are OCW champions this year, many whom have been a part of OCW since the beginning.
Founded in 2015, OCW has a global vision for a society that understands, respects and accepts the complexities of obesity and values science and clinically-based 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 a better world for people living with obesity.
OCW2022 will elevate the discussion on five key issue areas related to obesity: recognition of obesity as a disease; combatting weight bias and stigma; expanding access to care; treating obesity with science-based treatments; and expanding proven prevention programs. To address and educate others about important obesity topics, the STOP Obesity Alliance has developed our Fast Fact sheets on a diverse range of subjects. Obesity Care Week is a great time to share them on social media or on your websites to help educate others.
World Obesity Day, on March 4, is also celebrated during OCW. The mission of World Obesity Day is to increase awareness of the root causes of obesity and encourage advocacy for change at the local, national, and global levels. Please join me for a Twitter chat to celebrate World Obesity Day on March 4th at 1:00 pm ET using the hashtag #WorldObesityDay and #TOSchat.
We also encourage you to sign-up for OCW2022 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 OCW. Please follow Obesity Care Week on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and like, comment, and share OCW2022 content using #OCW2022 on your social media pages!
The change required to adequately and appropriately treat obesity can only happen with your help. The time to act is now, visit ObesityCareWeek.org to learn more and get involved!