Obesity has been a crisis in the U.S. for decades and unfortunately it continues to impact millions of Americans. According to CDC data, approximately 42.4% of adults in the U.S. are obese, which has resulted in an estimated $147 billion in medical costs. There is also an alarming connection between obesity and COVID-19. People with obesity contracting COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized and placed in intensive care than those who are not obese.
The Endocrine Society has engaged in many efforts over the years related to obesity education, prevention, treatment, and research, including policy-related activities to inform policy makers about obesity. We have advocated for funding for research, Medicare coverage for obesity treatment, and for support for prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
The Endocrine Society has engaged in many efforts over the years related to obesity education, prevention, treatment, and research, including policy-related activities to inform policy makers about obesity.
As Congress begins to develop its legislative agenda for 2021, we believe this is a critical opportunity for the Society to share our expertise on this important topic. In March, the Society will publish an Obesity Playbook to educate Members of Congress and their staff on the issue of obesity. This playbook, which the Society plans to release during Obesity Awareness Week, will contain a variety of resources for legislators and staff on this topic. This will include national and state-by-state facts and figures about obesity and its cost to show the extent of the problem across the country; information about the state of the science on obesity; and details about the impact of COVID-19 on people with obesity.
The playbook will also include policy options and recent legislative proposals to address obesity. We will also provide a list of obesity experts who are members of the Society. We also plan to host a virtual briefing for congressional staff on obesity later this year. We believe that this education initiative will result in members of Congress being better informed to make policy decisions on obesity and support future legislative proposals by the Society.