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Obese Measure

Physicians Group Creates Obesity Treatment Resources

By Jonathan Springston, Editor, Relias Media

The American College of Physicians (ACP) announced it is taking a renewed approach to treating obesity with better education, expanded advocacy, and more partnerships.

On education, ACP plans to provide updated recommendations and guidelines “to help diffuse and dispel levels of misinformation and forms of bias.” On advocacy, ACP wants to tackle the root causes of obesity and other health problems, including food insecurity and the lack of access to nutritious food. On partnerships, ACP says it will convene its Council of Subspecialty Societies for a summit on obesity later this year.

“ACP advocates for improving high-value and comprehensive healthcare for all members of society in ways that move us closer to health equity. This includes addressing disparities in health and healthcare and social determinants of health to improve patient care and promote health equity,” the group explained when announcing its plan. “ACP advocates to address food and nutrition insecurity so that all persons have access to nutritious and healthful foods, to strengthen the federal food insecurity response, and empower physicians and other medical professionals to better address those social drivers of health occurring beyond the office doors.”

Last year, the CDC reported 35% or more of adults are obese in 19 states and two U.S. territories. (ACP estimates 42% of the entire U.S. population is obese.) Despite this public health emergency, there can be bias and stigma about obesity, which can prevent such patients from seeking care and/or physicians from providing proper care.

Nevertheless, it appears as though a broader movement toward improvement in this area is forming. For example, in January, the American Academy of Pediatrics released 13 key action statements and 11 consensus recommendations regarding evaluation and treatment of obesity in children and adolescents.

Beyond the walls of medical facilities, schools are acting. For instance, a group of researchers reported adding nutrition education and physical activity requirements to afterschool programming could enhance gains in some health behaviors and weight management.

For more on this and related subjects, be sure to read the latest issues of Hospital Case Management, Integrative Medicine Alert, Internal Medicine Alert, Medical Ethics Advisor, and Primary Care Reports.