Obesity epidemic on the rise TROA 2017 bill offers more funding and better treatment options
April 6, 2017
Robyn Gordon, The Obesity Society: TOScommunications@obesity.org
Washington, D.C. – The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2017 was introduced today in both the Senate and House with bi-partisan support. The Obesity Society acknowledges the support and perseverance of Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Tom Carper (D-DE) and Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI) in their ongoing efforts to ensure passage of this important piece of legislation.
The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act is a critical step in addressing the obesity epidemic in the United States by providing more funding and better treatment options for healthcare professionals including intervention, counseling, and drug treatment. This Act will also provide valuable assistance for seniors battling obesity by covering medications through Medicare part D designed for weight loss management. “This commonsense fix to Medicare Part D is an important step in helping seniors treat and reduce obesity as well as the chronic conditions caused as a result of this disease,” said Congressman Paulsen. “Access to these drugs will reduce health care costs across the board, improve seniors’ quality of life, and help curb the obesity crisis.”
In the United States, over 90 million individuals – 35% of adults and 17% of children – have obesity. Obesity in America has steadily risen since 1960 and is one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. As a leading cause of U.S. mortality, morbidity, disability, healthcare utilization and healthcare costs – reaching $200 billion per year – obesity is a pervasive, chronic disease in need of new strategies for medical treatment and prevention. “Obesity accounts for nearly 10 percent of all annual medical spending in the United States. Unless we do something to address the obesity epidemic, the costs and harm to public health will only continue to rise,” said Representative Kind. “The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2017 is a critical step to improving health outcomes for our aging population, as well as reining in out-of-control health care spending.”
As obesity continues to rise, ranking among major global health problems, it’s urgent that the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act be enacted. Obesity needs to be approached as a disease with comprehensive, multi-pronged treatment. “As a doctor, I’ve seen obesity’s effect on a person’s physical and mental wellness,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We must work together to make effective treatment of obesity a priority. This bipartisan legislation will lower health costs and give patients access to proper tools for better health.”
“Passing this Act sends a powerful message to the America public that Washington understands what’s at stake and is willing to invest in our health.” – The Obesity Society President Dr. Allen S. Levine
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About The Obesity Society
The Obesity Society (TOS) is the leading professional society dedicated to better understanding, preventing and treating obesity. Through research, education and advocacy, TOS is committed to improving the lives of those affected by the disease. For more information visit: www.Obesity.org.