North American Obesity Organizations Recognize World Obesity Day

SILVER SPRING, Md., March 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Obesity Society (TOS), Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) in the United States and Obesity Canada are among the six organizations joining together today to mark the inaugural observance of World Obesity Day, a global and unified effort to focus attention on obesity as a multi-factorial and chronic disease.

The Obesity Society Logo. (PRNewsFoto/The Obesity Society) (PRNewsfoto/The Obesity Society)

"The Obesity Society is proud to have played a key role in the establishment of March 4th as World Obesity Day along with several other peer organizations in the obesity community. The establishment of a unified World Obesity Day is an important advancement in helping to increase public and governmental awareness of this serious, yet often misunderstood, chronic disease," said TOS President Lee M. Kaplan, MD, PhD, FTOS.

The Obesity Society will hold a live Twitter Chat on "The Roots of Obesity" at 2 p.m. (EST) on March 4, 2020, as part of its observance of World Obesity Day. This chat will focus on the biological contributors to obesity and the implications for treatment and prevention. People are encouraged to use the hashtag #RootsOfObesityChat to join the conversation.

The purpose of World Obesity Day is to increase knowledge and understanding of obesity as a disease and to serve as a call to action from all levels including local, national and international groups to improve the prevention and treatment of obesity. In addition, the campaign is designed to help decrease the stigma for people with obesity and to provide them with information to begin informed discussions with their health care providers.

"Individuals living with obesity need to recognize that they are not alone in managing this chronic disease," said Ian Patton, PhD, director of advocacy and public engagement for Obesity Canada. "Addressing the complex roots of obesity and demonstrating that we are united will be empowering for all of us."

People with obesity are constantly shamed and blamed for their disease. This is because many people, including physicians, policymakers and others do not understand that obesity is a chronic disease. They see it as a simple lack of willpower, laziness or a refusal to "eat less and move more." But like all chronic diseases, the root causes of obesity run much deeper. They can be genetic, psychological, sociocultural, economic and environmental. Experts say it is time to break the cycle of shame and blame and reevaluate the approach for addressing this complex, chronic disease that affects 650 million people worldwide.

"In order to combat the chronic disease of obesity we are determined to furnish wide-reaching and robust education and resources for health care professionals to deliver clinically-vetted treatment plan options that can be tailored to the need of each patient and deliver the access to specialized health care providers patients so desperately need," said Executive Director of the Obesity Medicine Association Claudia Randall.

The campaign features a website WorldObesityDay.org with the theme "The Roots of Obesity Run Deep." The website contains information such as a list of events taking place across the globe on March 4, 2020, and resources for how individuals can support the different activities. In addition, in the United States, TOS, OAC, OMA and other participating organizations are recognizing March 1– 7, 2020 as Obesity Care Week (OCW). For more information, visit www.obesitycareweek.org.

Event organizers also plan to send a declaration to the World Health Organization calling attention for the need of unified efforts in addressing obesity as a chronic disease. People can visit the OCW website to encourage Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar II to support the declaration.

"World Obesity Day and OCW2020 provides us with an opportunity to put obesity on the globe's center stage and highlight the issues impacting people with this disease. Here in the United States, one of the most pivotal things we are addressing is the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act. If passed, this would provide Medicare beneficiaries with access to obesity management services," said OAC President and CEO Joe Nadglowski.

For more information, visit WorldObesityDay.org.  

About The Obesity Society
The Obesity Society (TOS) is the leading organization of scientists and health professionals devoted to understanding and reversing the epidemic of obesity and its adverse health, economic and societal effects. Combining the perspective of researchers, clinicians, policymakers and patients, TOS promotes innovative research, education, and evidence-based clinical care to improve the health and well-being of all people with obesity. For more information, visit www.obesity.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About the Obesity Action Coalition
The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a more than 75,000 member-strong national non-profit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support. For more information, visit www.obesityaction.org.

About the Obesity Medicine Association
The Obesity Medicine Association is the largest organization of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other healthcare providers dedicated to preventing, treating, and reversing the disease of obesity. Members of OMA believe treating obesity requires a scientific and individualized clinical approach comprised of nutrition, physical activity, behavior, and medication. When personalized, this comprehensive approach helps patients achieve their weight and health goals. Visit obesitymedicine.org to learn more.

About Obesity Canada
Obesity Canada-Obésité Canada is Canada's largest charity focusing on the promotion of evidence-based approaches for obesity prevention, treatment and policy. Our mission is to improve the lives of Canadians through obesity research, education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.obesitycanada.ca

CONTACT: 
Kristin D. Collins
Director of Communications
The Obesity Society
240-485-1950
kcollins@obesity.org 

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SOURCE The Obesity Society

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