Why Weight? A Guide to Discussing Obesity & Health With Your Patients

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.

An Integrated Framework For The Prevention And Treatment Of Obesity And Its Related Chronic Diseases

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.

Weighing In is a STOP Obesity Alliance Blog

STOP Obesity Alliance December E-Newsletter

Dear Reader,

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.

Click here to read more.



"Weigh In: Talking to Your Children About Weight and Health"

View this new on-line guide created that offers practical advice for parents struggling with how to discuss weight and health with their children.

GW Research Paper Title
STOP Obesity Alliance Side-by-Side Comparison and Analysis of Obesity-Related Provisions in Health Reform Proposals

This year’s focus on health reform offers an opportunity to address the prevalence of obesity in America.  Recognizing that obesity is a significant contributor to the nation’s health care challenges, the STOP Obesity Alliance believes that health reform should tackle obesity head-on.  The George Washington University research team for the STOP Obesity Alliance conducted a side-by-side comparison to assess what the current, proposed health reform legislation does to address obesity and to identify key ways in which the legislation could improve.

Click here to read the most up to date side-by-side analysis. 

This ongoing analysis helped inform health reform policy recommendations released by the Alliance in September that centered on the following areas:

  • – Standardized and effective clinical interventions
  • – Enhanced use of clinical preventive services
  • – Effective, evidence-based community programs and policies
  • – Coordinated research efforts

STOP Obesity Alliance Side-by-Side Analysis of Obesity-Related Provisions in Health Reform Proposals

This year’s focus on health reform offers an opportunity to address the prevalence of obesity in America.  Recognizing that obesity is a significant contributor to the nation’s health care challenges, the STOP Obesity Alliance believes that health reform should tackle obesity head-on.  The George Washington University research team for the STOP Obesity Alliance conducted a side-by-side analysis to assess what the current, proposed health reform legislation does to address obesity and to identify key ways in which the legislation could improve. 

This analysis helped inform health reform policy recommendations released by the Alliance in September that center on the following areas:

  • – Standardized and effective clinical interventions
  • – Enhanced use of clinical preventive services
  • – Effective, evidence-based community programs and policies
  • – Coordinated research efforts

Click here to read the side-by-side comparison.  This document will be updated periodically as the current proposals progress through the approval process.


Not All Are Created Equal: Differences in Obesity Attitudes Between Men and Women

Women's Health Issues

By Christine Ferguson, J.D., Sarah Kornblet, J.D., M.P.H., and Anna Muldoon

Women’s Health Issues Sept/Oct 2009 – Invited Commentary

Obesity has been getting a lot of attention these days. As the relationship between obesity and diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers has become clearer, the economic and social imperative to aggressively attack obesity has intensified.  Obese individuals face multiple forms of prejudice and discrimination because of their weight.  Although there is a negative bias toward obese people in general, several studies have examined gender differences in perceived stigma and quality of life among obese patients, with most studies finding women experiencing significantly more negative social and psychological effects from obesity.

Please click here to download the full text of the commentary.


Obesity and Health Care Reform

By Morgan Downey, JD

Obesity is a major public health problem and is growing in prevalence and severity. Projections indicate continued growth with strong gender, race and ethnic differences.  Morbid obesity is also increasing significantly.  Many obstacles have persisted which have impeded effective public policies to address the issue.  Health care reform presents unparalleled opportunities to change the approaches to obesity in a way to positively improve individual and public health.  Simple solutions will not be adequate; rather, a complete integration of evidence-based interventions into the nation’s health care system is required.  Costs will be significant, yet the costs of inaction will be greater.  Recommendations are offered for the integration of obesity prevention and intervention measures.

Click here to read the full paper.


Review of Obesity Related Legislation & Federal Programs

“Review of Obesity Related Legislation & Federal Programs” is a research report created by the George Washington University research team for the STOP Obesity Alliance that provides an overview of federally funded programs created with obesity prevention as the main objective, as well as relevant proposed federal legislation submitted in the 110th and 111th Congressional sessions. The federal programs overview is divided between children and adults, and further subdivided into categories of nutrition, physical activity, and other, depending on the aim of the program. Appendix A is a detailed table outlining more specific information about the programs and legislation put forth in the research report.

Click here to read the research report.

Click here to view Appendix A.


Re-Visioning Success: How Stigma, Perceptions of Treatment, and Definitions of Success Impact Obesity and Weight Management in America
A Research Report for the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance
By Anjali Jain, M.D., Christy Ferguson, J.D., D. Richard Mauery, M.S., M.P.H., Fouad Pervez, M.P.H., Mark Gooding, B.A.
November 2, 2007

Affecting nearly two-thirds of adults, overweight and obesity is one of the most significant public health threats facing America. This research for the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance* authored by the Department of Health Policy at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services examines what may contribute to the disconnect between the scientific data demonstrating the harmful health and economic effects of overweight and obesity and the insufficient action to change the public and private sector systems that form barriers against effective weight management.

The report focuses on three interconnected dimensions of this issue that, with greater understanding and awareness, could lead to action with profound effects on the obesity epidemic in America: 1) how success is defined; 2) the perception that treatment is futile; and 3) the stigma against people who are overweight or obese.

While science proves the seriousness of overweight and obesity and its link to deadly conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, there is no consensus today among patients, providers and researchers on what constitutes successful weight loss. As described in this paper, overweight and obese people and their health care providers often have unrealistic weight-loss goals and very few succeed in achieving them. Promoting a more realistic approach that is based on improving health outcomes could be critical to changing obesity’s hold on our society.

Another major barrier in the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity is the perception or assumption that nothing works. When the effort required to treat overweight and obesity by the patient and physician is assessed alongside the results of what both professionals and consumers view as only modest amounts of weight loss, treatments seem hardly worth the effort. This sense of futility can be overcome by focusing on sustainable and realistic step-wise results.

Stigma against people with overweight and obesity is another pervasive trend and a reality for the lives of people with overweight and obesity. Research shows that as obesity increases in prevalence, so does stigma against the overweight and obese. Unquestionably, the role and responsibility of the individual is critical to successful weight loss and without it, lessening obesity will be unachievable. An emphasis on personal responsibility alone has not been enough to curb the epidemic. This paper is designed to highlight other factors within our health care system and health policies that shape the environment for individual action and could encourage addressing obesity.

The gap between society’s ability and success in responding to obesity and obesity’s known serious economic and health consequences is wide. Whether rooted in the belief that overweight and obesity is a matter of personal responsibility or that treatments are ineffective, this paper looks at factors contributing to the disconnect and proposes possibilities for bridging it as a way of improving health and productivity in America.
The above copy is the executive summary.

For full report click here.