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Noom Endorses the First Obesity Bill of Rights: A Step Towards Better Obesity Care

by | Jan 31, 2024 | Last updated Jan 31, 2024

Obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States, affecting over 100 million adults, or 42 percent of the population. However, only 10 percent of those individuals receive help from medical professionals. The National Consumers League (NCL) and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) have recognized the urgent need to redefine quality obesity care as a right for every American and have released the first-ever Obesity Bill of Rights, which aims to empower individuals to demand respectful, timely, and effective obesity care based on medical treatment guidelines. We at Noom have recognized obesity as a chronic disease since our founding. We are proud to endorse this initiative so that others can join us in our fight to help people everywhere lead better, healthier lives. 

“It has been clear for decades that better advocacy and more preventative measures need to be in place for people living with the disease of obesity,” said Noom’s Chief of Medicine Linda Anegawa, MD, FACP, Dipl. ABOM. “The Obesity Bill of Rights will help drive transformational change throughout the industry and further amplify the work that Noom has been laser-focused on for the past 15 years.”

A Healthcare System in Need of Transformation

For too long, adults with obesity have faced a healthcare system that often works against them and are often met with stigmatization and bias. Clinicians often feel helpless as well, struggling with administrative burdens and having received minimal guidance and training on the treatment of obesity as a disease. In addition, the lack of adequate reimbursement for obesity care services creates additional strain. This can all lead to patients with obesity often feeling invisible or unheard when seeking care and underscore the need for a transformative change in how obesity care is delivered.

The Obesity Bill of Rights: A Path to Change

The Obesity Bill of Rights is a crucial step toward addressing the disparities in obesity care. Informed by the experiences and insights of patients with obesity and leading experts, including obesity medicine physicians, dietitians, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, health educators, and mental health professionals, the Obesity Bill of Rights defines the basic rights of respectful, timely, and effective treatment. 

Noom proudly endorses the Obesity Bill of Rights, recognizing its potential to bring about transformative change in obesity care. The initiative represents a critical step toward ensuring that individuals with obesity are treated with the dignity and equity they deserve in their healthcare journeys through eight practical and reasonable promises:

  1. The Right to Accurate, Clear, Trusted, and Accessible Information on obesity as a treatable chronic disease
  2. The Right to Respect by all members of the integrated care team when screening, counseling, and providing treatment
  3. The Right to Make Treatment Decisions about one’s health goals and obesity care in consultation with the individual’s clinicians
  4. The Right to Treatment from Qualified Health Providers, including counseling and ongoing care from clinicians with expertise in obesity care
  5. The Right to Person-Centered Care that is personalized, respects the individual’s cultural beliefs, meets their specific health goals, and considers the person’s whole health and not just their weight status
  6. The Right to Accessible Obesity Treatment from Health Systems, so those with severe obesity receive care in settings that allow for privacy, using size- and weight-accessible equipment and diagnostic scans
  7. The Right for Older Adults to Receive Quality Obesity Care that comprises a respectful, comprehensive care approach consistent with their personalized medical needs
  8. The Right to Coverage for Treatment with access to the full range of treatment options for the person’s disease as prescribed by the individual’s clinician

We encourage healthcare professionals, insurers, and employers to join this national movement and contribute their expertise to create a healthcare system that empowers and supports those with obesity. Together, we can make quality obesity care a fundamental right for every American.

Read the Obesity Bill of Rights here and follow the National Consumers League’s action steps to take a stand for expanding obesity care at every level of government.