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Obesity Care Week 2023 (#OCW2023) is here!
From Feb. 27 to March 3, 2023, Obesity Care Week is an annual public awareness effort to end weight bias, as well as raise awareness, educate and advocate for a better world for people living with obesity. Also, World Obesity Day is March 4, 2023.
Our Salud America! Latino health equity team at UT Health San Antonio is happy to serve as an OCW2023 Champion to support this awareness week.
“Unlike most other diseases, obesity is one that continues to be stigmatized and those impacted struggle to receive any care in many cases, let alone adequate care,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio and a leading health disparities researcher. “OCW2023 aims to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for people living with obesity and provides us the opportunity to create lasting change.”
Salud America! research has found that U.S. Latinos face health inequities in many areas—from poverty and social support to access to affordable housing and transit—that contribute to higher rates of obesity.
Latino adults have higher obesity rates than their white peers (47% and 37.9%), as do Latino children (20.7% and 11.7%). This, in turn, leads to disparities in diabetes and risk for COVID-19 and other health conditions. Addressing the root causes, such as reducing poverty and improving access to healthy food, can help address obesity.
The Goal of Obesity Care Week
Obesity Care Week has three focal points:
- Raising awareness about what the disease of obesity is – and isn’t.
- Providing valuable, science-based resources on weight and health.
- Creating a more positive and impactful relationship between a patient and their healthcare provider.
Obesity Care Week is led by Obesity Action Coalition, The Obesity Society, the STOP Obesity Alliance, the Obesity Medicine Association, and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
The Obesity Action Coalition also has launched Stop Weight Bias, a national campaign to end weight bias and push equality forward. Sadly, surveys show that 90% of people felt that weight bias exists in today’s society, and 41.7% had experienced stigma because of their weight.
Learn more about ways to reduce childhood obesity and reframing childhood obesity through a cultural lens.
How Can You Create Healthy Environments for People in Your Community?
Download the Salud America! Health Equity Report Card.
The Report Card will help you explore local data visualizations on access to food, grocery stores, and other health equity issues.
See how your community compares to other counties and states across the nation.
Email your Health Equity Report Card to community leaders, share it on social media, and use it to make the case to address childhood obesity and adult obesity!
Editor’s Note: Image credit to the Obesity Action Coalition.