5 Strategies to Address Obesity, Comply With Federal Requirements for Community Benefits

The Strategies to Overcome and Prevent Obesity Alliance has released five recommendations to help hospitals develop programs to prevent obesity in their communities.

Programs to address obesity are expected to become more important to non-profit hospitals as they work to address community health issues identified in their community health needs assessments. Created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, CHNAs require non-profit hospitals to identify and address health issues impacting their communities.

"The new federal community health benefit requirement presents a critical opportunity to address obesity at the local level, given the role nonprofit hospitals play in improving a community's health," said STOP Obesity Director Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, in a news release.

The strategies include:

1.    Redefine success. The loss of five to ten percent of body weight can be the sign of successful weight reduction interventions.
2.    Encourage innovation and best practices in obesity treatment. Identify and disseminate successful or promising practices for interventions.
3.    Address and reduce stigma as a barrier to improving health outcomes. Cultivate a positive environment by promoting awareness of the stigma people affected by obesity face. Promote interventions that provide support for sustained weight loss and go beyond recognizing the role of personal responsibility.
4.    Foster research agenda for obesity. Encourage research that addresses the obesity epidemic as a result of a complex interplay of biological, genetic, behavioral, cultural, environmental, social, policy and economic factors.
5.    Encourage physical activity for improved health. Encourage interventions and create environments and systems that support active living as well as moderate-vigorous physical activity to improve health, independent of weight loss.

More Articles on Community Benefit:

Charity Care Lags at Oregon's For-Profit Hospitals
Hospitals' Community Benefit Report Questioned
Report: Hospitals Pay 11.6% of Expenses to Benefit Community

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