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National Obesity Care Week

35+ healthcare organizations team up to tackle obesity

It's advertised on food labels, magazine covers and TV commercials.

It seems everyday popular culture provides some kind of reminder to eat healthier, exercise more and ultimately lose a few pounds.

But what about the people who need to lose 30 or even 50 pounds -the people who may have already been diagnosed with obesity?

More than 35 healthcare organizations are teaming up to launch National Obesity Care Week (NOCW) to educate healthcare professionals on obesity as a serious medical condition and to make sure people with obesity get the care and treatment they need. NOCW, which kicks off Nov. 2, will coincide with ObesityWeek 2015, an international conference focused on the science and treatment of obesity.

Public awareness campaigns in the past like First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move, for example, have focused on preventing obesity and ways to encourage healthy habits in children so they grow up to be healthy adults.

NOCW, founded by The Obesity Society, is taking some of the emphasis usually placed on preventing the disease, and aiming it not only at the patient but also the healthcare professionals who treat these patients, as well as policymakers. With the help of their advocates, the campaign will educate them on treatment options for people with obesity, whether it's diet and exercise changes, medication or bariatric surgery.

"Effective obesity treatment is complex and entails addressing the biological, behavioral, social, cultural, and economic systems around the person that influence diet and physical activity and may make it difficult to lose weight," explained Bruce Lee, MD, Director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center at Johns Hopkins. "National Obesity Care Week brings together a wide variety of experts and organizations to help people address all of these systems," Lee said in an interview with ADVANCE on the Center's involvement in the campaign.

One of the reasons behind NOCW is to address the provider's discomfort in discussing an obesity diagnosis with their patients.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs and Research reports nearly one-half of people affected by obesity say they have not been advised by a doctor about maintaining a healthy weight.

SEE ALSO: Obesity Treatment in Primary Care

"Many individuals living with obesity may avoid seeking medical care because they feel alienated and uncomfortable. Finding a doctor who is engaging, compassionate and committed to working with patients to develop a comprehensive weight-loss plan can be life changing," said Michelle Vicari, patient advocate and Obesity Action Coalition board member in a press statement released to ADVANCE.

Linda Anegawa, MD, founder of an obesity-focused specialty care practice in Kailua, Hawaii, stressed this kind of patient-provider engagement with her students at the University of Hawaii during her obesity clerkship.

"I give my students a toolbox of 'talking points' that makes obesity not so much an issue of blame or shame, but a medical diagnosis with serious consequences if left untreated," explained Anegawa, who is double-board certified in obesity medicine. "The conversation with patients can be quite simple and not difficult at all, when approached in this fashion."

NOCW won't be focusing on physicians like Anegawa or Lee who already have an active approach to treating patients with obesity. The target audience of NOCW will be primary care physicians who Francesca Dea, executive director of The Obesity Society, explained may not yet have the guidance or resources to treat their patients dealing with obesity.

Held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, ObesityWeek begins Nov. 2 and offers a variety of different bariatric procedure courses with nutrition experts and discussions on improving patient outcomes. The conference wraps up on Nov. 7.

The information and resources exchanged throughout the week-long events will then be shared with thousands of doctors online and with the help of NOCW's campaign supporters. (http://www.obesitycareweek.org/)

Chelsea Lacey-Mabe is a staff writer at ADVANCE. Contact: clacey-mabe@advanceweb.com

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It is distressing to see how we've failed to educate our youth about the dangers of obesity and many other food and lifestyle choices that impact their liver health.

Many individuals grow up with the mentality that their bodies are invincible. In reality, their body and especially their liver, needs them to know how to protect it from liver related diseases through the use of alcohol, drugs, unhealthy food and lifestyle choices.

Providing the rationale for changing behaviors is missing. Preventative education starting at an early age, is essential to bringing liver related diseases under control.

Unfortunately, because the liver is a non-complaining organ most Americans are unaware of the liver and the miracles it performs 24/7. They are clueless about the devastating impact their unhealthy food and lifestyle choices can have on this life sustaining organ. Liver related illnesses including: obesity, fatty liver, diabetes, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, strokes and even heart attacks are preventable. They all begin on day one with what we feed your children.

The liver has zillions of liver cells serving as the body's micro-chips, converting food into hundreds of essential body functions including producing energy, immune factors, digestive juices (bile), clotting factors, excretion of toxins (alcohol, drugs, pollutants), control of cholesterol and hundreds more. Liver cells are the employees in your personal chemical refinery.

Making healthy food and lifestyle choices with the limited use of fats, sugar, alcohol, plus daily exercise will help keep liver cells healthy and your body in good shape. Healthcare providers, Nurses and PA's need to be encouraged to check the status of adolescents to identify potential problems.Prevention begins on day one.

If any of this information has been helpful to you, please share it with family, friends, and especially teachers. For more information visit Liverlady.com


Thelma King Thiel,  RN - writerNovember 02, 2015
Sislver Spring, MD




     

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