On Feb. 3, Robert Huster, MD, FACOG, a member of the Obesity Medicine Association’s advocacy committee, visited with congressional health care staff in the offices of two key Republican legislators from the Missouri delegation. The purpose of Dr. Huster’s trip to Capitol Hill was to thank Representative Sam Graves (R-MO) and Representative Jason Smith (R-MO) for their past support of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act and encourage them both to co-sponsor the bill again this year. The 2017 Treat and Reduce Obesity Act will be reintroduced in the 115th Congress by Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI).
Dr. Huster also educated congressional staff about another initiative that Mr. Paulsen and Mr. Kind are spearheading — a resolution to proclaim the week of Oct. 29-Nov. 4 as National Obesity Care Week. The vision of National Obesity Care Week is to promote societal understanding, respect, and acceptance of the complexities of obesity and the value of science-based care.
During these meetings, Dr. Huster discussed his own struggle with obesity and how he works in his clinic every week to help other people address their obesity through intensive behavioral therapy. We are pleased to report that after Dr. Huster’s visits, staff with both Representatives Graves and Smith indicated that they will likely support both the 2017 Treat and Reduce Obesity Act and National Obesity Care Week resolution this Congress.