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November 17, 2017

Senate Passes National Obesity Care Week Resolution

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On Nov. 8, the United States Senate passed the Carper/Capito National Obesity Care Week resolution in support of designating the week of Oct. 30 through Nov. 4, 2017, as “National Obesity Care Week.” By dedicating this week specifically to improving obesity care, we can continue to elevate societal awareness of the disease of obesity and the evidence-based treatments available.

The Senate-passed resolution reads:

“Be it resolved that the Senate 1) supports the designation of ‘National Obesity Care Week’; and 2) encourages all people in the United States to create a foundation of open communication to break barriers of misunderstanding and stigma regarding obesity and to improve the lives of all individuals affected by obesity and their families.” Read the full resolution here.

The passage of the National Obesity Care Week resolution is a milestone in our continued efforts to increase recognition of obesity as a disease and advance the treatment of obesity in health care. The resolution itself contains critical language to help shift the conversation about obesity away from blame and shame and toward the recognition of the seriousness and complexity of the disease, with statements like “obesity is a complex disease influenced by various physiological, environmental, and genetic factors,” and “health care professionals, policymakers, patients, and families should regard obesity with the same level of seriousness with which other chronic diseases are regarded.” The resolution discusses how bias and stigma against obesity create barriers to effective care, and how 5-10% weight loss can drastically improve health and reduce obesity-related health risks.

But while the passage of this resolution in the Senate is a win, there is still work to be done. We need your voice to support the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act — a bill that would “provide Medicare beneficiaries with meaningful tools to reduce obesity by improving access to weight-loss counseling and new prescription medications for chronic weight management.” Specifically, the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act would enable additional types of health care providers outside of the primary care setting to provide intensive behavioral counseling for obesity and expand coverage of FDA-approved anti-obesity medications under Medicare Part D.

Use the Obesity Care Advocacy Network’s automated message generator to contact your legislators and urge them to support the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act today.