Tampa, Fla. – More than 370 individuals from 32 states throughout the nation attended the Obesity Action Coalition’s 2nd Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention, Rise to the Challenge, in Phoenix earlier this month. Education, advocacy and support, the core principles of the OAC’s mission, were fully represented during this year’s Convention, tagged “YWM2013” across social media.
The hundreds in attendance were treated to three days of evidence-based information on a variety of topics, such as food addiction, weight bias, self-perception and many more. Led by thought-leaders in the healthcare field, each educational session was presented by one of 37 distinguished experts dedicated to helping individuals gain a better understanding of how their weight impacts their health. In addition to the world-class education, YWM2013 offered attendees a busy Exhibit Hall with 30 exhibitors all showcasing products and services geared toward those affected by excess weight and obesity.
“The education at this year’s Convention was truly unbelievable. As a speaker, I was able to see first-hand how this Convention changed lives. It brought individuals to a new level of awareness. It broke down topics that are often avoided; however, frequently questioned by those affected by the disease of obesity. What makes Convention so special is that it creates a safe and welcoming environment that is free from judgment. In doing so, it allows individuals to feel comfortable and absorb all that Convention has to offer. Being a part of YWM2013 was simply an amazing experience,” said Robert Kushner, MD, Convention Program Agenda Co-Chair.
The OAC is thankful for all those who volunteered their time in both planning YWM2013 and helping onsite. Countless hours were dedicated to ensuring all attendees received an experience like nothing else out there in the way of education and support.
“Last year’s Inaugural Convention in Dallas was amazing. Being in my home state of Texas, it felt surreal to see so many individuals all in one place wanting to learn more about their weight. I honestly thought it was going to be difficult to top the Inaugural Convention; however, YWM2013 did just that – and more. YWM2013 connected people, and when I say ‘connected,’ I am not just talking about attendee-to-attendee. It gave us, the OAC Board of Directors, staff and others, the opportunity to engage with the attendees, learn more about them and their needs, and most of all – help them rise to their own personal challenges,” said Lloyd Stegemann, MD, FASMBS, Convention Program Agenda Co-Chair.
The tremendous success of YWM2013 would not have been possible without the generous support of this year’s sponsors. The OAC would like to thank the 2013 National Sponsors for their generous support: Platinum – Eisai; Gold – Allergan and Vivus, Inc.; Silver – Covidien; Bronze – AmeriWell Bariatrics, Bari Life Bariatric Supplements, Bariatric Advantage, Celebrate Vitamins, Ethicon Endo-Surgery, and Geisinger.
The OAC is excited to announce that the 3rd Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention will take place in Orlando, Fla., at the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World, September 25-28, 2014. Information on next year’s Convention will be located at www.YWMConvention.com.
The OAC is a National nonprofit charity dedicated to helping individuals affected by obesity. The OAC was formed to bring together individuals struggling with weight issues and provide educational resources and advocacy tools.