Tampa, Florida, June 17, 2009 – Statement from Obesity Action Coalition President and CEO Joseph Nadglowski:

“As a Coalition of those affected, the OAC encourages discussion around this topic of obesity and disability, as it is not clearly defined and is not simple. The determination of obesity should be based on scientific and medical factual data and not fear of litigation. Every individual who is affected by obesity is not disabled, but this does not mean that obesity does not and cannot contribute to disability. We believe that obesity should be treated like any other disease or medical condition in regard to determining disability.

The OAC would also like the AMA to encourage its members to begin taking a proactive approach to discussing obesity with their patients. It is imperative that healthcare professionals have the ability to facilitate appropriate medical discussions with their patients concerning the patient’s weight without the fear of litigation from the patient as long as such discussions are conducted in a dignified and medically appropriate context. In addition, the OAC encourages individuals struggling with their weight to begin communicating with their physician regarding their weight/obesity.”

CONTACT: For more information, please contact James Zervios, OAC Director of Communications, at (800) 717‐3117 or jzervios@obesityaction.org.