Developing and supporting research-based initiatives to improve obesity care and prevention

STOP analyzes and publishes data related to coverage and the costs of obesity, including direct medical and employer-borne costs, but also those related to stigma and bias that impact quality of care. Click the topics below to explore this content.


Coverage for Obesity Care

Coverage for Obesity Prevention and Treatment Services:
Analysis of Medicaid and State Employee Health Insurance Programs

"This study examined changes in coverage for adult obesity treatment services in Medicaid and state employee health insurance programs between 2009 and 2017..."

Read the Coverage for Obesity Care publication

Read the 2020/2021 Report


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Assessing Provider Knowledge and Attitudes

Developing a Comprehensive Benefit for Outcomes-based Obesity Treatment in Adults 

The DocStyles web-based survey instrument, developed and administered by Porter Novelli, contains 144 questions designed to provide insight into health care professionals’ (HCPs) attitudes and counseling behaviors on a variety of health issues. Beginning in 2015, STOP purchased space to include a handful of obesity-specific questions to assess HCPs’ beliefs, practices, and knowledge regarding effective treatment modalities and current clinical guidelines for obesity management.

The 2016 survey assessed health care professionals’ (HCPs’) knowledge of evidence-based guidelines for nonsurgical treatment of obesity. The results indicate that most providers lack knowledge and understanding of recommended obesity treatments, such as behavioral counseling and pharmacotherapy. Providers cite lack of time, lack of reimbursement, and lack of knowledge as major barriers to treating patients with obesity. The research was published in the journal Obesity in March of 2018.

The 2015 survey found that despite the high prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults, provision of intensive behavioral counseling, pharmacotherapy, and bariatric surgery remains low. STOP researchers published two articles with results from the 2015 survey.

Visit: "Current Knowledge of Obesity Treatment Guidelines by Health Care Professionals"

Download: "Current attitudes and practices of obesity counselling by health care providers" (PDF)

Download: "Current practices of obesity pharmacotherapy, bariatric surgery referral and coding for counselling by healthcare professionals"(PDF)



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Integrated Framework for Care

An Integrated Framework for the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity and its Related Chronic Diseases

STOP Director, Dr. Bill Dietz, published an article in Health Affairs in 2015, along with a group of co-authors with expertise in research, clinical care, health policy, and public health. The article offered a new model for addressing the obesity epidemic, one that reaches beyond clinical intervention to include community systems as well. The paper proposes a modern framework, integrated in its approach to address both the prevention and treatment of obesity and its related chronic diseases. Accompanying the article is a figure which illustrates this proposed framework.

Download: "An Integrated Framework For The Prevention And Treatment Of Obesity And Its Related Chronic Diseases" (PDF)