The Obesity Society and other steering committee members of the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance, along with David Satcher MD, PhD and Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, (the two most recent Surgeons General) are developing recommendations in urging policymakers to act on the inclusion of obesity and its associated chronic diseases as the largest and most urgent driving factor in healthcare reform.
According to Robert Kushner, MD, President of The Obesity Society, obesity is the largest single driver of our increasing healthcare costs. Currently, more than one-third of U.S. adults and 16 percent of our children are estimated to be overweight or obese. Furthermore, the medical costs of obesity are estimated at more than $147 billion per year.
The Obesity Society supports the four targeted recommendations for effective healthcare reform issued by STOP:
- Standardized and effective clinical interventions, flowing from evidence-based guidelines, such as those approved by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) that include acknowledging the health benefits of five to ten percent sustained weight loss.
- Enhanced use of clinical preventive services to monitor health status and help prevent weight gain.
- Evidence-based community programs and policies that encourage and support healthy lifestyles.
- Coordinated research efforts to build the evidence for all three of the above elements, continuously improving quality of care, bolstering our understanding of what does and does not work in various settings, and helping to translate the scientific research into practice recommendations for real-world clinical settings and communities.
Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/publications/AAG/pdf/obesity.pdf
Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, NHLBI, http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/ob_home.htm