The National Consumers League and National Council on Aging are working with health leaders and obesity specialists to establish a set of rights that can empower people with obesity to receive effective treatment.
Obesity is a treatable chronic disease, just like diabetes and heart disease. Yet despite significant advances in the science of obesity and effective treatment options, only 10% of people with obesity get help
from medical professionals and as few as 2% are treated with new
A Bill of Rights will ensure that Americans living with obesity have the same respect, attention, and medical care for their disease as those
with other chronic conditions.
Untreated Obesity Affects Everyone
U.S. adults have obesity
Chronic diseases are worsened by living with obesity
Annual medical costs for obesity
Premature deaths per year
Countdown to the Bill of Rights
With the town halls as a guidepost, NCL and NCOA are now undertaking a thoughtful, research-driven process to finalize and release the Obesity Bill of Rights to the medical community and the public in January 2024.
Intended to incorporate the expertise and best thinking of leading experts in public health, chronic disease, and obesity, the process involves these steps:
3. Preliminary Draft
4. Expert Panel
5. Issue Bill of Rights
The purpose of the first-ever the Obesity Bill of Rights is to give the public the power to fight for better care for Americans with obesity.
There are many ways to get involved as an individual to educate, support, and advocate for individuals affected by obesity:
Start with Your Own Obesity Care Coverage
One of the best ways to advocate for better obesity care is to review your health insurance plan. The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) has detailed information on what to look for and what to do if your plan restricts or excludes obesity treatment. Don’t throw up your hands because there are steps you can take.
Here is the link for more details: https://www.obesityaction.org/action-center/how-to-review-your-health-insurance
Tell Congress to Expand Medicare to Cover Obesity Care
It is hard to believe but right now, Medicare does not cover all obesity treatments, which makes quality care unaffordable for many older adults. Bipartisan legislation called the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA) is being considered in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to address inequality in obesity care for Medicare beneficiaries and to reduce stigma and weight bias in the US. You can lend your voice to passage of this legislation by sending a letter to your Congressman and Senators.
Here is the link to find out how: https://act.ncoa.org/a/troa