WASHINGTON, DC — To kick off Obesity Care Week 2024, more than 60 advocates with the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) will gather on Capitol Hill to meet with more than 70 legislators to express the importance of expanding access to obesity care by urging legislators to co-sponsor the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA). Obesity Care Week, March 4-8, 2024, is a public awareness initiative aimed at creating a society that understands, respects and accepts the complexities of obesity and values science and clinically-based care.

TROA is a bipartisan bill that will give Medicare-eligible Americans greater access to obesity healthcare services, treatments and providers. The bill was reintroduced into the 118th Congress by Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Representatives Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) and Gwen Moore (D-WI). Currently, this bill has Congressional support from 83 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives and 20 in the Senate.

Congress must take immediate steps to prioritize obesity treatment. More than 42% of U.S. adults aged 60 and older live with obesity, and nearly 6% live with severe obesity. Diseases associated with obesity, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, are the leading causes of preventable death in the U.S. TROA would reduce the prevalence of these obesity-related conditions by giving Medicare patients and their healthcare providers more tools on their journey to improved health.

“This Obesity Care Week, we’re bringing attention to our most challenging hurdle — accessing affordable, quality, comprehensive obesity care. Passing TROA would be a major step in the right direction, as most insurance coverage is modeled to match Medicare coverage,” said OAC Board Chair Kristal Hartman. “It is time to change the way society cares for and about obesity because we deserve the same dignity and respect as people with other diseases.”

OAC is a proud Founding Champion of Obesity Care Week. OAC has worked to expand access to comprehensive obesity care and to stop weight bias since its founding in 2005 and has fought for the passing of TROA for more than 11 years. Learn more about TROA and urge your representatives to prioritize obesity care at obesityaction.org/troa. Learn more about Obesity Care Week at obesitycareweek.org.

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a more than 80,000-member-strong National nonprofit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support.