To kick off Women’s Health Month, OAC’s own Director of Policy Strategy and Alliances Tracy Zvenyach, PhD, MS, RN, and Immediate-past Chair Patty Nece, JD, participated in Exploring Obesity’s Impact on Women and Policy’s Role in Improving Outcomes, an insightful panel discussion hosted by Society for Women’s Health Research. The discussion focused on understanding and addressing the unique challenges faced by women affected by obesity while also spotlighting the essential role that policy interventions could play in promoting better outcomes.

Obesity affects more than 130 million people in the United States. Women are disproportionately affected by obesity due to factors like hormonal fluctuations, societal pressures and cultural norms. Unfortunately, this means that women are more prone to health risks associated with obesity. And because of racial and economic disparities, women from marginalized communities are at an even higher risk.

State and federal policies have the potential to improve the lives of women with obesity by enacting systemic change that addresses the root causes of obesity while promoting equitable access to healthcare. Policy change could ensure that science-based obesity care treatment options like FDA-approved obesity medications, metabolic and bariatric surgery, nutrition counseling and intensive behavioral therapy (IBT) are covered by health insurance.

So, let’s amplify women’s voices and advocate for equality, not just during Women’s Health Month but beyond. By collaborating with policymakers, healthcare providers, advocacy groups and one another, we can create a healthier, more equitable future for all.

Watch the panel discussion.

Check out these resources on obesity and women’s health: