February 2020 #obsm chat blog: Uniting the message: World Obesity Day and Obesity Care Week
By Michelle Vicari (@eggface) and Patty Nece (@PattyNece), Chair and Vice Chair of the Obesity Action Coalition (@obesityaction)
For many years now, patient-based organizations like the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), heath care professionals and their associations, academic institutions, and other individuals have sought to provide science-based information about the disease of obesity and its many complexities; worked to create access to affordable and comprehensive treatments; and fought weight-based bias and discrimination. While there are indications a more sophisticated understanding of obesity is taking hold and that some forms of weight bias are going down, we need to speak with a unified voice to make more progress.
On March 4, 2020 − for the very first time – we’re uniting voices of advocates across the globe for World Obesity Day. Using the hashtag #ItsTime, advocates will be tweeting and posting to celebrate our efforts and to further raise obesity awareness and understanding, and highlighting the damage weight-based bias causes. The organizations involved include OAC, the World Obesity Federation(WOF), The Obesity Society(TOS), Obesity Canada, the Obesity Medicine Association(OMA), The European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), and the European Coalition for People living with Obesity (ECPO).
Throughout the first week in March, we will also be celebrating Obesity Care Week (OCW). Founded in 2015, OCW has a global vision for a society that understands, respects and accepts the complexities of obesity and values science and clinically based care. OCW aims to change the way society cares about obesity by:
• Providing science and clinically-based education on obesity
• Advocating for access to affordable and comprehensive care
Each day will have a particular focus:
Sunday March 1: Launch
Monday March 2: Weight Bias
Tuesday March 3: Obesity Treatment
Wednesday March 4: World Obesity Day
Thursday March 5: Access to Care
Friday March 6: Childhood Obesity
Saturday March 7: “I Care.” Day
More than 50 organizations from around the world have pledged to be Obesity Care Week Champions. Learn more at obesitycareweek.org, where you can sign up for e-mail alerts or become an Obesity Care Week Champion yourself!
World Obesity Day and OCW will provide many opportunities for you to get involved and spread the word. Follow @Obsmchat, @ObesityAction, and @ObesityCareWeek to learn more as the week nears.
During this month’s #obsm tweet chat, we’ll discuss the following questions:
1. What is your relationship to obesity? Are you personally affected by obesity? Have family members been affected? Are you a healthcare provider to those affected?
2. Monday, March 2nd of Obesity Care Week will focus on Weight Bias. Have you experienced bias or stigma related to your weight? What are ways we can help end weight bias?
3. Have you had issues accessing care or treatment for obesity for yourself, a loved one or a patient?
4. How can we increase the public's understanding of the complexities surrounding obesity?
5. What's your favorite Obesity Care Week Topic? Let's share ideas of ways we can raise awareness during the week.