This guide is a unique tool for health care providers that offers guidance and suggestions on how to initiate conversations with adult patients about weight and health. The tool is designed to help providers build a safe and trusting environment with patients to facilitate open, productive conversations about weight.
STOP Director, Dr. Bill Dietz, recently published an article in Health Affairs. Along with a group of co-authors with expertise in research, clinical care, health policy, and public health, Dr. Dietz offered a new model for addressing the obesity epidemic, one that reaches beyond clinical intervention to include community systems as well. The paper proposes a modern framework, integrated in its approach to address both the prevention and treatment of obesity and its related chronic diseases. Accompanying the article is a figure which illustrates this proposed framework.
Over the course of 2015, STOP Obesity Alliance added several new members, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Egg Nutrition Center, Healthy Weight Partnership, Dr. Monique Turner, TogoRun, and the World Obesity Federation. Now more than ever, our Alliance includes a range of organizations that represent voices crucial to addressing the obesity epidemic.
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View this new on-line guide created that offers practical advice for parents struggling with how to discuss weight and health with their children.
STOP Obesity Alliance Issues Recommendations to Ensure Health Reform Successfully Addresses Obesity Epidemic
The two most recent Surgeons General of the United States, David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., FAAFP, FACPM, FACP and Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, today led the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance in urging policymakers to take direct action in health reform to address obesity and the chronic diseases associated with it.
“We’ve reached the tipping point on obesity in the United States,” said Dr. Richard H. Carmona, 17th U.S. Surgeon General, Health and Wellness Chairperson of the STOP Obesity Alliance and President of Canyon Ranch Institute. “Obesity now impacts every aspect of our lives, including the future of our health care system. Health reform that directly addresses obesity will save lives, save money, and improve the health and well-being of every American.”
“When I served as Surgeon General, obesity was a problem of epidemic proportions,” said Dr. David Satcher, 16th U.S. Surgeon General, who released the 2001 Surgeon General’s Call to Action To Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity. “Today, we are in a state of emergency when it comes to obesity. The issues underpinning obesity are too complex and widespread for any one institution to effectively address it alone. Until we collaborate to address obesity through meaningful, population-based policies and programs, our nation will continue to be crippled by obesity and the chronic diseases it causes.”
The STOP Obesity Alliance released four targeted recommendations designed to improve the dialogue and interventions around obesity. The following elements should be included in health reform:
“Obesity significantly increases the risk of having more than 20 different chronic diseases that cause tremendous suffering and early death throughout our nation,” said Carmona. “Health leaders and scientists, including Surgeon General Satcher and myself, as well as people from all sectors of society, are urging Congress to act now to include prevention and treatment of obesity in health reform.”
Dr. Satcher is Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and Center of Excellence on Health Disparities and Poussaint-Satcher-Cosby Chair in Mental Health at the Morehouse School of Medicine. Surgeon General Satcher served from 1998 to 2002 and Surgeon General Carmona served from 2002 to 2006.
Rising obesity rates across the nation have led to worsening health outcomes and increasing inequities in health1 — 72 million American adults are now considered to be overweight or obese2. Additionally, economists have identified obesity as a major driver of health care utilization and spending, and contributor to escalating health care costs. In fact, a recent study published in the journal, Health Affairs found that obesity accounts for 9.1 percent of annual health care spending in the United States, nearly $150 billion dollars a year.3
“Clearly, America cannot successfully reform the health system without addressing obesity,” said Christine Ferguson, director of the STOP Obesity Alliance. “While the situation is grave, the goal is attainable. The STOP Obesity Alliance recommendations provide a needed focus and a successful plan for health reform.”
About the STOP Obesity Alliance
The Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance is a collaboration of consumer, provider, government, labor, business, health insurers, and quality-of-care organizations united to drive innovative and practical strategies that combat obesity. The STOP Obesity Alliance is directed by Research Professor Christine C. Ferguson, J.D., of The George Washington University’s Department of Health Policy and former Health Commissioner for the State of Massachusetts. Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, 17th U.S. Surgeon General and President of the non-profit Canyon Ranch Institute, serves as Health and Wellness Chairperson of the Alliance. The Alliance Steering Committee is comprised of the following public and private sector organizations: American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Medical Group Association, Canyon Ranch Institute, CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO), DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance, National Business Group on Health, National Quality Forum, Partnership for Prevention, Reality Coalition, Service Employees International Union, The Obesity Society and Trust for America’s Health. The STOP Obesity Alliance receives funding from its sponsors, sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC., founding sponsor, and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., supporting sponsor.
1 Trust for America’s Health. (2009). F as in fat: how obesity policies are failing America. Washington, D.C.: Jeffrey Levi et al.
2 Ogden C.L., Carroll M.D., McDowell M.A., Flegal K.M. (2007). Obesity among adults in the United States— no change since 2003–2004. NCHS data brief no 1. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.
3 Finkelstein E.A., Trogdon J.G., Cohen J.W., Dietz W. (2009) Annual medical spending attributable to obesity: payer- and service-specific estimates. Health Affairs, 28, w822-w831.