Advocacy is defined as the act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea or policy. Advocacy comes in many forms. The OAC is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to giving a voice to individuals with obesity through education, advocacy and support. The OAC was formed to build a nationwide coalition of individuals to become active advocates and spread the important message of the need for obesity awareness.
- Many individuals are not aware that they are affected by obesity until they are diagnosed with an obesity-related condition, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and more.
- Healthcare professionals often avoid the conversation of weight with their patients as they fear patient-backlash.
- There are more than 70 medical conditions associated with the disease of obesity.
- Today’s fast-paced environment has led to the adoption of unhealthy behaviors. Behavior, in the case of obesity, relates to food choices, physical activity and efforts to maintain your health.
- The OAC has made hundreds of public policy statements on both the state and federal level to increase access to care for those affected by obesity.
- The OAC has visited the White House multiple times throughout its existence to meet with various administrations to discuss obesity.
- The OAC has met with the FDA on many occasions to advocate for expanded treatment methods.
- In 2008, the OAC held a national obesity awareness event, titled Walk from Obesity – Walk on the Capitol, on the national mall in Washington, DC. Thousands in attendance proudly walked to raise awareness of obesity and the need for increased access to care.
- The OAC has worked with state-based leaders throughout the U.S. to ensure access to care is not limited or eliminated in their state.
- The OAC is a Coalition of individuals affected by obesity. To date, we have more than 59,000 members throughout the United States.
- The voice of those affected is often unheard and unrecognized. The OAC Community helps these voices join together and speak loudly.