Skip to main content

Introducing the Obesity Bill of Rights for the Nation

The National Consumers League and National Council on Aging worked with health leaders and obesity specialists to establish a set of rights so people with obesity will be screened, diagnosed, counseled and effectively treated for their overweight and obesity based on medical treatment guidelines.

Why Now?

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
anti-obesity medications.

The new Obesity 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

The Obesity Bill of Rights

The Obesity Bill of Rights envisions a future where more than 100 million adults in the US will lead healthier lives because they have these rights to receive patient-centered, quality obesity care:


The Right to Accurate, Clear, Trusted, and Accessible Information on obesity as a treatable chronic disease

Click here for more


The Right to Respect by all members of the integrated care team when screening, counseling, and providing treatment

Learn More


The Right to Make Treatment Decisions about one’s health goals and obesity care in consultation with the individual’s health providers

Learn More


The Right to Treatment from Qualified Health Providers, including counseling and ongoing care from health providers with expertise in obesity care

Learn More


The Right to Person-Centered Care that is personalized, respects the individual’s cultural beliefs, meets their specific health goals, and considers the person’s whole health and not just their weight status

Learn More


The Right to Accessible Obesity Treatment from Health Systems, so those with severe obesity receive care in settings that allow for privacy, using size- and weight-accessible equipment and diagnostic scans

Learn More


The Right for Older Adults to Receive Quality Obesity Care that comprises a respectful, comprehensive care approach consistent with their personalized medical needs

Learn More


The Right to Coverage for Treatment with access to the full range of treatment options for the person’s disease as prescribed by the individual’s health

Learn More

Development of The Obesity Bill of Rights

The movement for an Obesity Bill of Rights began with a July 2022 report, A New Patient-Centered Obesity Action Agenda, that called for codifying a set of rights that every person with obesity should have to get needed information and the best care.

But understanding what should be in the bill of rights required hearing from people living with obesity and the health professionals who serve them. That’s why NCL and NCOA hosted four town hall meetings in senior centers and churches in California, Delaware, Mississippi, and Oklahoma between June and August 2023. At these town halls, more than 250 older adults, community leaders, and local clinicians described a health care system that is inhospitable to delivering quality obesity care, and physicians described having limited time for counseling, not enough training in obesity management, and inadequate coverage and reimbursement for obesity care.

2023 Healthy Weight Town Hall Series

June 9 – Van Nuys, CA

ONEgeneration Senior Enrichment Center
Click Here for Summary

July 11 – Wilmington, DE

Wilmington Senior Center
Click Here for Summary

August 17 – Jackson, MS

New Horizon Church International
Click Here for Summary

August 22 – Oklahoma City, OK

The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative
Click Here for Summary

After turning this knowledge and the lived experiences of older adults into a first draft of the bill of rights, NCL and NCOA hosted a roundtable in October 2023 where leading obesity experts reviewed the preliminary document and made recommendations. NCL and NCOA then sought feedback from specialists in minority health, aging, and rural health, as well as health professionals and other stakeholders who provided additional guidance. The last step was to circulate the updated Obesity Bill of Rights to a wide group of stakeholder organizations, resulting in endorsements from numerous obesity, public health, and chronic disease organizations and medical societies.

Join the Right2ObesityCare Movement

The Obesity Bill of Rights is not just a document. It is a call to action for change throughout the healthcare system that will result in people with obesity getting respectful and nondiscriminatory care from medical professionals, and insurance that provides access to all treatments deemed appropriate by their health providers.

But making change happen requires pressure, which is why NCL and NCOA are spearheading Right2ObesityCare, a new grassroots movement of individual Americans, caregivers, health professionals, community leaders, employers, and a network of obesity and chronic disease organizations working together to drive the adoption of the Obesity Bill f Rights in all clinical settings.

Be Part of the Movement

Right2ObesityCare intends to transform obesity care, which means changing policy at the national and state levels. An immediate goal is to secure passage of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA), bipartisan legislation that will address inequality in obesity care for Medicare beneficiaries and reduce stigma and weight bias in the US.

Right2ObesityCare will also be the catalyst for national adoption of the Obesity Bill of Rights, starting by agreeing on what rights can be delivered now and developing a set of national “obesity goals” for full implementation of the bill of rights by December 31, 2029. Plans include hosting regional town halls, workshops, and advocacy forums across the country; scheduling meetings with federal and state legislators and regulators; and arming interested citizens and advocacy leaders with materials and tools to advocate for implementation of the Obesity Bill of Rights in their communities and workplaces. NCL and NCOA also will pursue development of a model law that stakeholders can use to incorporate the Obesity Bill of Rights into state law.

We invite you to join the movement and lend your voice to making quality obesity a right of all people. Here is the link to learn more:

Tell Congress to Expand Medicare to Cover Obesity Care

We also urge you to lend your voice to passage of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act by sending a letter to your Congressman and Senators. Here is the link to find out how:

Take a Stand at the State Level

In many states, lawmakers are considering legislation or regulations that would expand obesity care for state workers or adult residents and/or protect people with overweight or obesity from weight-based discrimination, bias and stigma. More information on how you can help is available from the Obesity Action Coalition. Here is the link to get involved:

We want to hear from you!

Share your story and/or give us ideas for ways the Obesity Bill of Rights can be a catalyst to improve quality obesity care.

Close Menu

About NCL

National Consumers League
1701 K Street, NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006

T: (202) 835-3323