Author Interviews, Weight Research / 07.11.2016 with: Lee Kaplan, MD, PhD, Director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center and ACTION study steering committee member What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Today, nearly 100 million people in the U.S. have obesity. Despite the fact that many healthcare providers and others recognize obesity as a disease that can have a significant impact on health, many people with obesity do not have access to effective care for this disorder. As a result, obesity remains substantially under-diagnosed, under-addressed and under-treated. Since multiple parties could have a role in overcoming this barrier to effective obesity care, we sought to determine and compare the perspectives and experience of three important groups – health care providers, employers, and people with obesity themselves – about obesity and its care. As the first national study looking simultaneously at these complementary perspectives, ACTION sought to help answer several important questions:
  • Given that obesity is occurring at epidemic rates, why is it not being treated? What are the barriers to effective care?
  • How could public and professional attitudes contribute?
  • To what degree do limitations of resources or knowledge about the disease contribute?