Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) BlogBy: James Zervios
Category: James Zervios
Thank you for taking the time to visit the OAC Blog. Allow me to take a moment and introduce the OAC further.
Who we are… During a meeting of legislators, a congressperson asked the question – “Who represents patients who are affected by obesity?” It was then that a legislator pointed out a serious need – a group whose only focus is on those affected by obesity. With this, the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) was born with the goal of building a national coalition of those who are living with and/or affected by obesity.
The OAC is an IRS registered non profit education and advocacy organization dedicated to serving the individuals most affected by obesity – patients! It is not only the OAC’s goal to represent patients, but to also provide balanced and comprehensive obesity educational materials and encourage and teach active advocacy participation.
What we do… Education: The OAC provides a variety of educational patient-friendly materials for those affected by obesity, morbid obesity and childhood obesity. Located under the ”Resources” section of the OAC Web site, visitors can find useful brochures discussing obesity, its treatments, insurance topics and much more. In addition, they also have access to ”OAC News” - the OAC’s quarterly educational publication, the Obesity Action Alert - the OAC’s E-newsletter, support group tools and much more. All of the OAC’s materials are available FREE-OF-CHARGE. To view all of the OAC’s resources and to order materials, please click here.
Advocacy: As obesity is a complex disease, patients often experience a wide variety of other health conditions (co-morbidities), which include diabetes, heart disease, cancer, sleep apnea and many more. Adding to the challenge, patients are often denied access to much needed medical treatment (such as medically managed weight-loss or bariatric surgery) as some payors and employers still do not recognize obesity and morbid obesity as a disease.
The OAC encourages patients to become advocates for change. To assist patients in accomplishing this change, the OAC provides many advocacy-related resources for patients to utilize. Located under the ”Advocacy” section of the OAC Web site, visitors have the ability to view national and state level issues that may affect them, OAC Public Policy Statements, Facts and Figures on obesity and much more.
Those wanting to become effective advocates also have access to the OAC’s guide on advocating, titled Your Voice Makes A Difference. A Guide On How You Can Help Fellow Patients Affected By Obesity.
Together, education and advocacy are an incredible combination of tools that can help change the obesity community and proactively promote access to safe and effective treatment options for those affected by obesity and morbid obesity.
I look forward to being a proactive and productive member of the WLS Lifestyle Blog community.