What an 'obesity bill of rights' means for medical care amid the rise of weight loss drugs

Among the rise in popularity of weight-loss drugs, an "obesity bill of rights" has been published and endorsed by nearly 40 national obesity, and chronic disease organizations, with the aim to have providers incorporate the standards into medical practice.

Led by the National Consumers League and National Council on Aging, the eight rights were created in collaboration with leading obesity and medical specialists. 

They include the right to…: 

  1. Accurate, clear, trusted, and accessible information on the chronic condition.

  2. Be respected by all members of a care team throughout treatment.

  3. Make treatment decisions that include the patient's own health goals and other health providers.

  4. Quality treatment from providers, not just limited to medical care, but also including counseling and other experts.

  5. Personalized care that honors the patient's background, culture, goals and beliefs.

  6. Accessible obesity treatment in environments that protect privacy and provide weight-accessible equipment and diagnostic scans.

  7. Respect, even for older adults who wish to receive obesity care.

  8. Coverage for treatment and access to a variety of treatment options.

The impetus?

"For too long, adults with obesity have encountered a health care system that is working against them," Sally Greenberg, CEO of the National Consumers League, stated in a news release. "They have been stigmatized, discriminated against, not treated with respect by their health providers, and have faced significant hurdles and burdensome requirements to receive obesity care."

The 37 groups signing on in support of the "Obesity Bill of Rights" will next seek national and state-level action in hopes of further enshrining these rights into medical law and policy.

The groups aim to work toward full implementation of the Obesity Bill of Rights by Dec. 31, 2029.

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