Lee Kaplan, MD, PhD,
Director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center and
ACTION study steering committee member
MedicalResearch.com: 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?