Message from the President - June 26, 2013

TOS eNews


Dear Colleagues,


As The Obesity Society President, I am elated by the decision of the AMA to designate obesity as a disease. The wave of news and conversation that this decision has prompted is truly remarkable. Indeed, it is impossible for the average American to have missed out on this conversation, as it has been widespread and continues to reverberate on TV, radio, online, and in social media.


Despite some commentators taking contrary perspectives, the overall impression I get from what I’ve witnessed is that there is broad support for the AMA’s position on obesity. The most notable impacts of this decision are likely to be seen in the empowerment of primary care physicians to begin the conversation about obesity with their patients and, relatedly, of insurers to broaden coverage of obesity treatments.


As you know, TOS adopted the view of obesity as disease some time ago. Recently, and prior to the AMA decision, TOS worked in conjunction with our Corporate Advisory Council to launch a campaign called Treat Obesity Seriously with two primary goals in mind: (1) to empower primary care physicians to begin conversations with their patients about obesity and obesity treatments, and; (2) to educate policymakers on the need to recognize obesity as a serious health condition.


The physician-patient conversations we seek to facilitate as part of the campaign are critical to treating obesity seriously, as they will generate patient awareness of the serious impact of obesity on human health and inform patients about the importance and range of treatment options available beginning with behavior modification.


TOS is extremely pleased that the launch of our Treat Obesity Seriously campaign, the introduction of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act, and the AMA’s decision occurred simultaneously, thereby likely increasing the impact on public perception and action prompting people to talk about the serious impact of obesity on human health and the need to treat obesity seriously.


TOS will continue to communicate with policymakers, care providers, and increasingly with the media to provide accurate information about obesity and its serious impact on human health. This is an exciting time for our organization, as obesity is receiving a dramatic upsurge in attention - attention that is arguably deserved.




Harvey J. Grill, PhD

President, 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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