It’s the start of a new decade. 2020 is here, and now with more than 70,000 members in our Community, the OAC is stronger than ever!
We hope our supporters feel the same momentum we do to continue challenging real and serious issues in obesity. These issues include pervasive weight bias, discrimination, and the inability of many patients to get healthcare because of limitations due to having obesity. We’ve accomplished great things with advocates just like you in the past 14 years, but there is still so much left to do.
Looking to the Year Ahead
There is a lot in store for the OAC this year and many upcoming opportunities for you to engage with the organization in a meaningful way. However, before we start, we ask that you join us in revisiting the OAC’s Beliefs and Demands. Our Beliefs and Demands make up the heart of our mission and guide what we do to make the world a better place for people with obesity.
This video gives you a short glimpse, with the complete version following below.
- Obesity is a complex, chronic disease that requires serious action, access to science-based treatment and comprehensive obesity care to improve quality of health and life
- Obesity is not a matter of personal choice, and while there is an element of personal responsibility involved in any individual’s health journey, there are many factors that lead to obesity that are not within the control of the individual
- Individuals with obesity should be treated with dignity and respect and should not face any type of bias or discrimination based on their size and/or health status
- The focus of an individual’s weight management journey should be to improve their health and quality of life for both short-term and long-term benefit
- Prevention and treatment are not the same. While prevention is important, we should not neglect the equal importance of obesity treatment and management in an individual’s journey to improved health
- Individuals should feel comfortable initiating the conversation about their weight with their healthcare provider, and in turn, providers should be able to have a helpful and respectful dialogue with their patients regarding their weight and health
- Treating obesity is a personal decision that is best left up to the individual and their healthcare provider to decide the best course of action
- There is not a “one size fits all” approach to treatment or care, as treatments do not work the same on each individual, and some individuals may require a comprehensive obesity care approach comprised of more than one treatment
- In evidence-based treatments that are proven safe and effective by sound data, such as behavior modification, community-based programs, access to nutritional and/or mental health counseling, commercial programs, medical obesity management, pharmacotherapy and bariatric surgery
- Obesity should be a covered benefit in health insurance, and be both accessible and affordable, for any individual seeking improved health through weight-loss
- When it comes to seeking treatment and/or care for obesity, individuals should be afforded with the same rights and access to care as other recognized disease states
- Individuals should have access to obesity treatments even if a previous treatment has been attempted
- The public should become more educated about obesity and its causes and treatments so that better understanding can be developed about obesity as a complex disease
- Efforts should be increased to help families and children seek appropriate care in addressing obesity and their health, and advocate for more resources to help children and families seek-out a qualified program and/or obesity care provider
- Research in the advancement of obesity science is crucial, in addition to new treatments to help those who struggle with their weight
- Recognition of obesity as a life-long, chronic, multi-factorial disease
- To be treated with dignity and respect no matter physical size or treatment path
- The elimination of weight bias in our society and laws to protect individuals with obesity from facing discrimination in all areas of life, such as employment, education and more
- Widespread insurance coverage of chronic weight management as a standard and affordable benefit for the prevention and treatment of obesity, in the same manner as any other chronic disease
- Access to treatment without any unfounded hurdles or requirements to receive care
- Healthcare Providers have the proper training and tools to have a productive and respectful conversation about weight with their patients
- Elected officials and policy makers pay attention to obesity as a serious disease requiring serious action
- Action be taken at the local, state and federal levels, as well as in our healthcare system, to effect positive and immediate change in obesity policy
- Expansion of education about obesity as a chronic disease, along with the ability to reach those who need to develop a better understanding
- Employers ensure that weight management to treat obesity is available as a standard benefit on their health insurance and that only incentives, not penalties, be enacted for their employees to encourage action as it relates to their health
- More investment in research initiatives and the involvement of individuals with obesity in research initiatives
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