Tampa, Fla. – Today, Monday, March 4, marks the beginning of the 10th annual Obesity Care Week, a five-day public awareness campaign aiming to change the way we care by creating a society that understands, respects and accepts the complexities of the disease of obesity and prioritizes accessible, science-based treatment.

With more than 130 million adult Americans affected by obesity and more than 650 million worldwide, it is more important than ever to continue raising awareness, educating and advocating for a better world for people living with the disease. Obesity Care Week also aims to garner support for the five principles of obesity: 1. It is undeniable that obesity is a chronic disease; 2. Obesity is driven by powerful underlying biology, not choice; 3. The many health effects of excess weight can start early; 4. Obesity is treatable; and 5. Weight bias, stigma and discrimination are harmful.

“Obesity Care Week gives us the opportunity to shift the way society views obesity and treats the disease,” said Kristal Hartman, Board Chair of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC). “Our scientific understanding of obesity is growing, so it’s time for everyone to recognize obesity as a complex, chronic disease that merits treatment like other illnesses and diseases.” 

Obesity Care Week focuses on raising awareness about what the disease of obesity is – and isn’t–, by providing valuable, science-based resources on weight and health. The campaign offers individuals with obesity, healthcare professionals, decision-makers and the public practical tools designed to improve the way you receive or provide obesity care. 

“In conjunction with this year’s Obesity Care Week activities, the OAC and our more than 60 advocates are proud to return to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, to advocate for the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act. We are also thankful for the support of our more than 80,000 members nationwide who are virtually joining our efforts. If passed by Congress, this important legislation would provide valuable obesity management services to the Medicare population,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

Obesity Care Week Champions and Partners stand together to acknowledge obesity as a complex, chronic, recurring disease. Despite extensive research and studies, stigma and misperceptions continue to negatively shape the way people with obesity are treated medically and within society. 

Obesity Care Week would not be possible without the support of our official Partners: Platinum – Eli Lilly; Bronze: Novo Nordisk; Patron – Amgen; Supporter – American Association of Clinical Endocrinology, Boehringer Ingelheim, Boston Scientific, Currax Pharmaceuticals, Emerald Lake Safety and Rhythm Pharmaceuticals. 

It’s time to change the way we care about obesity! Learn more at ObesityCareWeek.org. For questions, email info@obesitycareweek.org.

The mission of Obesity Care Week is to advance a science-based understanding of obesity and widespread access to respectful, comprehensive and appropriate care.