Obesity Action Coalition Calls on Insurers and Employers to Increase Access to Childhood Obesity Treatments based on Recent United States Preventative Task Force Recommendations

For Immediate Release
January 18, 2010

For More Information:
James Zervios
Director of Communications
(800) 717-3117
jzervios@obesityaction.org

Tampa, Fla. –In light of the recent recommendation of the United States Preventative Task Force (USPTF), the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is calling for all employers and insurers to add health insurance coverage of the recommended childhood obesity treatments.

The recommendations of the USPTF highlight the fact that treating childhood obesity in moderate to intensive programs helps children affected by obesity to lose weight. Such interventions often require one to two healthcare provider visits a month for six months or more, but do result in weight-loss. The OAC strongly believes such weight-loss makes children affected by obesity less likely to experience obesity-related health conditions, like Type 2 Diabetes and remove them from being the target of weight-stigma.

Despite growing evidence on the complexity of obesity and its impact on health and society, most health insurance coverage offered in the U.S. specifically excludes coverage of healthcare services related to addressing weight and/or obesity in both adults and children.

“The U.S. Preventative Task Force recommendations are an important step in sending a message to insurers and the public that we must both prevent and treat obesity. The fact that the vast majority of parent’s do not have the ability to seek help for their children’s obesity in programs like the Task Force recommends, because their insurance excludes it, has always been a major gap in efforts to address obesity. It is time for that gap to close in both children and adults,” said Joseph Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

Obesity is a serious health epidemic affecting more than one in three adults and nearly the same amount of children. Most adults and children do not realize they are affected by weight until they are diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, such as diabetes or hypertension. The OAC has launched a National Awareness campaign, titled Your Weight Matters, to help raise awareness of weight and its effects on health. For more information on the campaign, please visit www.yourweightmatters.org.

About the OAC
The OAC is a National nonprofit charity dedicated to helping individuals affected by obesity. The OAC was formed to bring together individuals struggling with weight issues and provide educational resources and advocacy tools.



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