Tampa, Fla. – On July 21st, The Massachusetts Coalition for Action on Obesity (MCAO) will welcome OAC President and CEO, Joe Nadglowski, to share insights on weight bias and its impact on people with obesity during COVID-19. Obesity is quickly becoming one of the top risk factors for severe complications from COVID-19. Unfortunately, research demonstrates that people with obesity often avoid important medical appointments due to systemic weight bias in the healthcare setting.

“Weight bias is a constant issue that people with obesity face on a daily basis in all areas of life. COVID-19 has exacerbated the impact of bias even more among people with obesity. Healthcare is an area where we see a high rate of bias toward patients with obesity. At a time when COVID-19 is increasing nationwide, we need to ensure that people with obesity who may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are treated with care, dignity and respect in the healthcare setting,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

Nationwide, obesity impacts more than 93 million Americans, and it affects more than 25 percent of Massachusetts residents with African Americans and Hispanics impacted the most at 35 percent and 31 percent respectively.

“We are very thankful to have the support of the OAC for this important event. It’s vitally important for us to raise awareness of these issues among our own community here in Massachusetts. As Chair of MCAO, I am proud to work with the OAC and strive for change in the treatment of obesity as a disease and the eradication of weight bias, especially in healthcare,” said Melinda Watman, BSN, MSN, CNM, MBA, Chair of the MCAO and National Board Member of the OAC.

The MCAO webinar also welcomes Angela Fitch, MD, Associate Director, Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center Faculty, Harvard Medical School, and Tom Hubbard, Vice President of Policy Research Network for Excellence in Health Innovation to discuss the severity of COVID-19’s impact on people with obesity and the avoidance of care for obesity-related conditions. To register for this free webinar, please visit https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Wx1BKRp4Sy28l10y1M3gYA.

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a more than 75,000 member-strong National nonprofit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support.