Letter from the President - Treat Obesity Seriously

Dear Colleagues,


With two out of three adults in the United States affected by obesity or overweight, The Obesity Society (TOS) is launching an effort to encourage the treatment of obesity as a serious health condition, like heart disease and cancer. The new campaign, Treat Obesity Seriously, aims to create a shift in the way many Americans look at the disease. Through the effort we’re working to educate policymakers on the need to recognize obesity as a serious condition and to facilitate policies that improve access to treatments and cost reimbursement. The campaign also provides clinicians with the tools to help diagnose obesity.

As you are aware, obesity is like most complex, chronic medical conditions. Successful treatment often requires the support and guidance of professionals. We strongly believe that recognizing obesity as a serious condition is an important step in acknowledging its many negative health consequences, which can help bring us closer to combating the epidemic.

TOS is looking to policymakers to improve access for obesity treatments so those affected can get the same necessary medical care and treatment coverage that’s available to those who suffer from other chronic diseases. Some members of Congress are already working to improve access to weight-loss counseling and new prescription drugs for chronic weight management through Medicare. Legislation is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks.

In addition, we’re working to support clinicians in their conversations with patients about Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference, and how high scores can negatively impact health. The new website, TreatObesitySeriously.org, includes tools and resources to help clinicians navigate often difficult conversations with overweight and obese patients about weight. Through the site, clinicians can sign up to receive the following tools my mail.

  • BMI prescription pad: Clinicians can record and share information with patients about BMI and waist circumference, two of the primary measures of obesity. The pad also includes information about obesity-related risks and provides links to find out more information about the disease.
  • Physician office poster, “Obesity is a serious disease”: As they wait to see the doctor, patients can learn more about obesity, such as related health conditions and the significant impact moderate weight loss, as little as 5 percent, can have on these conditions.
  • BMI wheel calculator: Technology is not necessary to determine BMI. This simple, circular paper tool allows for a quick calculation of BMI by matching height and weight.

We encourage you to check out the website and share information about the tools and resources with your friends and colleagues. In addition, you can help support the effort by sharing the website on your social media channels (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

We thank you in advance for your support. The greater your involvement, the stronger this effort will be in helping to improve the lives of those affected by obesity.

If you have any questions or comments about the campaign or website, please feel free to share them via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Harvey J. Grill, PhD

President of The Obesity Society

(Please note: External Links are provided as a courtesy. The Obesity Society is not responsible for the content on sites accessed through external links.)

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