All persons with overweight and obesity have the right to receive counseling and treatment from health providers with expertise in obesity care.
Just as there are specialists trained in caring for people with diabetes, osteoarthritis and other chronic diseases, a growing number of health professionals have received training that qualifies them to understand how to address the root cause of obesity and how best to use obesity medicines in both clinical and community settings.
Taking advantage of this positive development, adults with obesity have the right to:
- Ask and receive full information from their health provider about that professional’s knowledge, experience and credentials in obesity care.
- Know if the practice includes a dietitian and/or health educator trained to counsel people with excess weight on appropriate obesity-related care and eating disorders.
- Be informed of the medical and related services available at the facility.
- Be referred to and have insurance coverage for a specialist in obesity medicine to provide comprehensive obesity care.
- Be referred to and have insurance coverage for a diverse range of credentialed health professionals (including dietitians, nurses, and health educators) to deliver intensive behavioral therapy (IBT) in a variety of locations. IBT involves counseling patients on nutrition, physical activity and behavior change and is an important yet underutilized component of obesity care because it is often restricted to primary care physician offices.
- Have access to telemedicine to receive care from obesity trained physicians and health providers, especially in rural and medically underserved areas.