Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its annual obesity statistics. The new data shows that the prevalence of obesity in a state is strongly correlated with its levels of income and wealth, level of education and access to food. However, most notably in the report was a change in tone and content around two issues: weight bias and access to care. Not only did the CDC encourage the use of people-first language, but it also acknowledged the urgent need to make obesity prevention and treatment accessible to all Americans.
CDC acknowledged the real-world impact of bias and stigma, saying:
“When we provide stigma-free support to adults living with obesity, we can save lives and reduce severe outcomes of disease.”
CDC also issued a bold statement on treatment, saying:
“This report illustrates the urgent need for making obesity prevention and treatment accessible to all Americans in every state and every community,”
and later said:
“Obesity is a disease for which treatment options exist, including proven weight management programs, medications and bariatric surgery”
This is a major win for all obesity advocates! OAC works tirelessly to fight for the rights of those affected by obesity, and the CDC’s report shows our messaging around the need for people with obesity to be treated with dignity and respect as well as have access to care is being heard. We hope that this translates into a greater understanding of obesity, the reduction of weight bias and access to treatment for all those who wish it.