Tomorrow, March 4, Is World Obesity Day

A couple of relevant things are going on at the present time. One is described by a contender for longest headline ever — “The 6th Annual Obesity Care Week (OCW) Takes Aim At Important Issues Impacting People With Obesity And Celebrates World Obesity Day.” We are already in the midst of Obesity Care Week, which started February 28. Its point is awareness cultivation, with the goal of…

[…] changing the way we care about obesity by creating a society that understands, respects and accepts the complexities of obesity and values science-based care.

Obesity Care Week wants to get people excited about widespread access to respectful, comprehensive, and appropriate care.

Worldwide, it is said that some 650 million people are affected by obesity. For a stunning example, the Pakistan Health Research Council has discovered that more than 50% of that country’s population is obese. That’s half the people! If projections are accurate, by 2030 — in another 10 years — that will include five million children in Pakistan alone.

One thing that really needs work is the idea that obesity is some kind of “lifestyle choice.” Okay, maybe for a very small segment of the obese population, it is. But five million Pakistani kids did not make that choice. It was somehow made for, and imposed upon, them. Among other issues, the problems everywhere include access to care, weight bias, and agreement on the best obesity treatment.

Currently in the U.S, the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act is before Congress, where it has 180 supporters.

The critical legislation will provide the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) with authority to enhance the current Medicare benefit for intensive behavioral counseling by allowing additional types of qualified healthcare providers to offer these services. The Act also allows the agency to expand Medicare Part D coverage to include FDA-approved prescription drugs for chronic weight management.

The part about behavior counseling sounds great; the part about chronic weight management drugs, not so much. Realistically, in the face of threats to reduce or eliminate Medicare, and a frightening viral pandemic, the odds of success for the bill are not good.

Stories, resources, and more

WorldObesity.org, headquartered in London, invites and urges people to visit their website and obtain tools for preparedness to fight the good fight. They offer templates for social media applications, infographics, reports, and posters. The group collects and shares people’s individual stories, and directions to image banks of photos of obese people that are not stigmatizing, pejorative, or stereotypical, for journalists to use.

The project they suggest participating in this year is “Send Us Your O” for the World Obesity Federation Image Bank, and here is the call to action:

It’s a quick and easy thing you can do alone, or in a group. All of your photos will be compiled for use on our website and social media channels to demonstrate the global support that World Obesity Day has.

We would especially love to see you and your colleagues supporting World Obesity Day with any local landmarks in the background so that we can build a real global feel to the images we share.

Please email us your images at WOD@worldobesity.org.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “More than 50 percent population in Pakistan is obese: study,” TheNews.com, 03/01/20
Source: “The 6th Annual Obesity Care Week (OCW) Takes Aim At Important Issues Impacting People With Obesity And Celebrates World Obesity Day,” IdahoStateJournal.com, 02/28/20
Image by Taro the Shiba Inu/(CC BY 2.0)

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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

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The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:

Presentations

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

Food & Health Resources