Research Roundup: What We Learned at ObesityWeek 2015 – Part 1

ObesityWeek is an event that brings the leading experts in the field of obesity together to share their innovations and breakthroughs in their work. This educational experience provides an opportunity to ignite numerous conversations and ideas about the disease of obesity, and many discoveries are shared throughout the week-long conference.

We learned quite a bit during our time at the event, and we’ve rounded up some of our most interesting finds from ObesityWeek 2015 to share with you. Here’s what we discovered:








Weight bias and stigma isn’t just about keeping everyone’s thoughts and emotions in check. It’s about ensuring that the health and well-being of all individuals affected by obesity is being addressed accordingly, and that individuals affected by the disease of obesity don’t feel they have to keep quiet about their health concerns with their doctors.

Weight bias and stigma trickles into health insurance coverage as well, and new research presented this year at ObesityWeek indicates that while much progress has been made, there is still much more to be done in the fight against weight bias.

While We Know Fat-shaming is Wrong, Social Acceptance for Individuals Affected by Obesity is on the Decline.

We recognize that obesity-focused shaming and blaming is wrong, but the social acceptance for individuals affected by obesity still lives on according to new research by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and the Obesity Action Coalition.

From 2013 to 2015, more than 73,000 adults within the United States completed a series of anonymous, voluntary online surveys assessing their views about individuals affected by the disease of obesity, fat phobia and more. Survey findings suggest that the public increasingly recognizes that obesity is more complicated than a simple problem of personal responsibility; however, this awareness has not translated into improved social acceptance of people with obesity, which instead declined in settings such as the workplace, education and other areas of life.

“While we were pleased to see that the ‘blame game’ for obesity is declining, we now know that there is still much work to be done in combating weight bias,” said OAC President/CEO Joe Nadglowski.

CLICK HERE to read the press release about the study.

For Every Four Patients, Three of Them are Not Covered for Obesity Treatments by Their Health Insurance.

OAC Chairman of the National Board of Directors Ted Kyle presented research findings that show roughly three-quarters of consumers report their health plans are not covering obesity care. Mr. Kyle told the Endocrinology Advisor:

“These findings are a wake-up call because without coverage for evidence-based obesity treatment, people are delaying medical care until they have complications that are quite resistant and costly to treat: advanced type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and degenerative joint disease, just to name a few. So, it’s not a question of whether health plans will pay for the medical costs of obesity. Right now, we are paying for treating it in a very advanced form, with all of its complications.”

CLICK HERE to read the press release about the study.

Many People who have Obesity-related Conditions still Consider Themselves to be Healthy.

While 65 percent of adults in the United States are recommended for weight-loss treatments, initial data from a survey conducted by Awareness, Care & Treatment in Obesity Management (ACTION), the first nationwide U.S. study to investigate barriers to obesity management, found that respondents had a general lack of understanding of obesity as a disease and its impact on the body. The majority of people with obesity (75 percent) indicated that they perceive themselves as “healthy,” even though nearly three-quarters of these same respondents had obesity-related conditions.

“People with obesity often struggle to manage their weight successfully and obtain the help they need to maintain weight-loss and improve their health,” said OAC President/CEO Joe Nadglowski, who participated in the study. “The findings from the ACTION study indicate that the challenges many people with obesity face may stem from their misconception that obesity is a lifestyle issue that can be overcome simply by eating less and exercising more, instead of a complex disease that requires a comprehensive care approach.”

CLICK HERE to read the press release about the study.

Want to learn more about weight bias and stigma? CLICK HERE to read more on the OAC’s Web site about weight stigma and its role in the fight against obesity.

Missed the rest of our research roundup? Visit the links below to read more about what we learned during ObesityWeek 2015:

Part 2: Bariatric Surgery

Part 3: Healthy Habits & Behaviors

Part 4: Obesity and Science

One Comment for this Post
  • paul
    November 18, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Thanks for the insight, will like too to contribute to control obesity basically follow a healthy eating plan. Make healthy food choices, keep your calorie needs and your family’s calorie needs in mind, and focus on the balance of energy in and energy out. Focus on portion size. Watch the portion sizes in fast food and other restaurants. The portions served often are enough for two or three people. Children’s portion sizes should be smaller than those for adults. Cutting back on portion size will help you balance energy in and energy out. Be active. Make personal and family time active. Find activities that everyone will enjoy. For example, go for a brisk walk, bike or roller blade, or train together for a walk or run.Reduce screen time. Limit the use of TVs, computers, DVDs, and video games because they limit time for physical activity. Health experts recommend 2 hours or less a day of screen time that’s not work or homework related. Keep track of your weight, body mass index, and waist circumference. Also, keep track of your children’s growth.

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