Obesity impacts one in three Americans. It is estimated that more than 93 million Americans are affected by obesity, with that number predicted to rise to 120 million in the next five years. Within this population, it is estimated that 8-10 million Americans are affected by severe obesity – a disease characterized by an individual being 100 pounds or more over their ideal body weight.
As any individual affected by obesity knows, obesity is a complex chronic disease. It is not simply a condition caused by overeating. Individuals affected often experience a wide variety of other obesity-related conditions including diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea and cancer, which are serious medical risks. Adding to the challenge, individuals affected are often denied access to needed medical treatment (medical weight management and/or bariatric surgery) as some payors (insurance companies, etc.) and employers do not recognize obesity as a disease.
The OAC encourages individuals affected by obesity to educate themselves about obesity, its complications and treatments. We believe that educated individuals are best able to make decisions about their healthcare, and therefore are able to be healthier and happier.
We also encourage patients to support one another. There is no one better to share the social, emotional, physical and medical impact of obesity than someone who has been personally affected.
And finally, in addition to educating themselves and supporting others, the OAC encourages individuals to become advocates for change. You can impact how others view obesity and influence decision makers. Help us to eliminate the weight bias associated with this disease and make sure that obesity is treated as a disease, allowing for increased access to safe and effective medical treatment.
The OAC is an IRS registered 501(c)3 National non-profit organization dedicated to giving a voice to those affected by obesity. The OAC was formed to build a nationwide coalition of those affected to become active advocates and spread the important message of the need for obesity education. To increase obesity education, the OAC offers a wide variety of free educational resources on obesity, severe obesity and childhood obesity, in addition to consequences and treatments of these conditions. The OAC also conducts advocacy efforts throughout the U.S. on both the National and state levels, and encourages individuals to become proactive advocates.
To achieve our mission, the OAC will:
- Increase public education on obesity
- Advocate for access to safe treatment
- Strive to eliminate the negative stigma associated with obesity
- Promote research in new and effective treatments
- Empower individuals affected by obesity to take action