Tampa , FL – Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) President and CEO, Joseph Nadglowski, Jr., testified Wednesday before the Utah Health and Human Services Interim Committee on access to safe and effective obesity interventions. The hearing was co-chaired by Senator D. Chris Buttars and Representative Paul Ray.
Mr. Nadglowski detailed the severity of obesity and demonstrated the upward trend of this disease in the state of Utah. “Today, more than 20 percent of the residents of Utah have obesity and approximately 5 percent have severe obesity or 100 pounds over ideal body weight. This is a dramatic explosion considering that in 1991, fewer than 10 percent of the citizens of Utah had obesity. In less than 15 years, the number of citizens with obesity of Utah has doubled,” said Mr. Nadglowski.
Mr. Nadglowski also expressed the importance of expanding prevention efforts and improving access to safe and effective treatment options, such as medical nutrition therapy, physician supervised weight-loss and for appropriately selected candidates, bariatric surgery.
The committee also heard testimony from patient advocate Jeff Haaga, a Utah resident affected by morbid obesity. Mr. Haaga has been attempting to qualify for weight-loss surgery for more than a year now. He has been instrumental in bringing this issue to the forefront in the state of Utah and expressed his concerns with passion and poise during the hearing. In addition, post-bariatric patients Genevieve Winegar and Colleen Cook provided their personal stories of successfully treating their obesity through bariatric surgery and the differences the obesity intervention made in their quality of health and life.
All of those providing testimony Wednesday took part in a pivotal step and expressed a great demand for intervention related legislation to fight this disease on all fronts. Obesity is a serious health epidemic that targets one in four Americans. It is estimated that more than 93 million Americans have obesity, with that number predicted to climb to 120 million in the next five years.
About the OAC
The OAC is a nonprofit National charity dedicated to helping those affected by obesity. The OAC was formed to bring together individuals struggling with weight issues and provide educational resources and advocacy tools.