Taking #OACAction unites us, humanizes obesity and spreads awarenessAs it stands, people with obesity face a myriad of barriers which affect their quality of life and overall well-being. Quite frankly, though obesity was classified as a disease by the American Medical Association (AMA) in 2013, it’s not recognized in the same light as other chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and others. This affects the way obesity is perceived and regarded in multiple spaces – from healthcare and policy/legislation to media representation and everyday treatment. Taking action can help change that.

#OACAction Unites Us

Taking action unites us and let's us know we're not alone
action takers gather together in Washington, DC to support the passage of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA).

For the reasons mentioned above, obesity can feel like an isolating disease. The overwhelming presence of stigma can discourage individuals from not only seeking help and support, but finding effective strategies for improving their health. Living with obesity often produces feelings of loneliness, depression, shame and guilt. But no matter an individual’s health status or what the scale shows, every human being is deserving of community. Obesity DOES NOT and SHOULD NOT disqualify anyone from finding support they want/need.

When we take action, we let others with obesity know we’re on their side. It spreads the message that there are people out there who care about obesity, understand its complexities and want to remove barriers for people affected by it. Seeing #OACAction pop-up on a social media news feed can be an instant bit of motivation. Action lets others know they’re not alone, and people are fighting for them to have a voice and feel empowered.

#OACAction Humanizes the Disease of Obesity

Action humanizes the disease of obesity
An OAC Community member takes action by asking others to look beyond someone’s weight

Oftentimes when people think about obesity, they focus on a number on the scale or the size/shape of someone’s body. Rarely do people think about the millions of faces behind this disease who struggle with obesity on a day-to-day basis. Rarely do people reflect on what their individual experiences must be like or the hoops they have to jump through.

We’ll talk about this more during Anytime Actions Week taking place August 27 – 31, but one of the most powerful and effective ways to take action is to share your story. Story-sharing puts meaning behind obesity data which constantly floods news reports. It promotes the idea that obesity is more than numbers on a lab report or a BMI measurement. Sharing your experiences puts faces, fears, tears and setbacks/successes behind statistics. Most of all, it helps change the perception of obesity as a chronic, complex disease – and we need those perceptions to change if we want to improve the lives of people affected by it. Taking action by sharing your story can achieve this.

#OACAction Spreads Awareness to Others

Action spreads awareness about OAC, obesity and the issues we care about
OAC President/CEO Joe Nadglowski talks about weight bias at the 17′ Obesity Solutions Roundtable

To see a better world for people with obesity, OAC must continue to expand its reach. More people need to know about the value in OAC’s Community and its mission, vision, beliefs and demands. When someone takes action, they bring OAC’s important work to light. They also bring awareness as well as understanding to obesity as an issue we need to care more about as a society. After all, more than 93 million people in the U.S. along are affected by obesity. However, actions of any kind and size bring us one step closer to the world we envision through the vehicle of awareness.

Stay Tuned for Anytime Actions Week: August 27 – 31!

Are you ready to jump-in and take action? Don’t forget to join us for Anytime Actions Week, taking place August 27 – 31! During this week, we’ll equip you with specific tools and resources you can use to take action as we encourage all OAC supporters to make a difference. Stay tuned to information about Anytime Actions Week by following OAC on social media, visiting the OAC Community ENGAGE Platform and checking your OAC Community member email throughout this week and next!