Treat Obesity Seriously

About the Campaign

Treat Obesity Seriously is a campaign created by The Obesity Society to encourage the treatment of obesity as a serious disease, like heart disease and cancer. The effort is intended to provide clinicians with tools to prevent, diagnose and treat obesity. TOS has created free materials for clinicians to integrate into their practices. The materials, as described in detail below, are intended to help health care providers facilitate conversations with their patients about obesity. It’s easy to request the materials – just fill out the electronic request form on the Treat Obesity Seriously website (scroll to the bottom of the page). They include:

  • 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.


Pledge to Treat Obesity Seriously

One of the best ways for everyone to support the campaign is by signing the pledge to treat obesity seriously. Each signature supports TOS’s efforts to educate care providers, policymakers and the public on the need to recognize obesity as a serious disease. A signature can also help facilitate the passage of policies at both the state and federal levels that improve coverage of and access to obesity treatments.

Signatories can also help spread the word about the pledge and the campaign to their friends and colleagues. As part of the campaign, we have developed a number of social media images including a cover photo, profile picture and three social share images. These resources are available for download here (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Why was the campaign created?

Today, two out of three adults in the United States are affected by obesity or excess weight. It is widely accepted that obesity puts individuals at risk for more than 30 health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Obesity costs our health care system nearly $200 billion annually. However, evidence increasingly shows that it is harder for some people to take effective steps on their own to lose weight.

As one of the most complex, chronic medical conditions, successful treatment of obesity often requires the support and guidance of professionals. Unfortunately, the way many people look at obesity in the U.S. is limiting the treatment approach, which often means lower standards of care, inconsistent communication of treatment options, and disjointed care coordination.

TOS developed the campaign to help shift the dialogue from blame to solution, and work with clinicians and policymakers to take steps to help those affected. Treat Obesity Seriously would not have been possible without the support of our Corporate Healthcare Advisory Council, which includes evidence-based industry organizations that share our commitment to treating obesity seriously.