Advocacy organizations recently launched a campaign promoting an “Obesity Bill of Rights.” The declaration speaks to the rights of individuals with obesity to be treated respectfully and to receive patient-centered, high-quality healthcare. For example, the advocacy groups call for the right to accessible obesity treatment that allows for privacy and uses equipment that fits patients’ bodies. That could translate to blood pressure cuffs of an appropriate size, larger gowns and drapes, or even larger chairs in clinic waiting rooms, to name a few. While the movement was hailed by many as a step toward more compassion in the healthcare system, others remain skeptical of the timing and the seemingly obvious political and financial drivers behind the Obesity Bill of Rights, according to USA Today. The Right 2 Obesity Care site advocates for policy changes to secure Medicare coverage and patient assistance programs for anti-obesity medications. Some of the organizations supporting the campaign reportedly are backed by drug companies that make weight loss drugs as well as others that have a commercial interest in weight management services.
Backers are familiar names: Awareness campaigns often have legislative action in mind so the Right 2 Obesity Care group isn’t unique in that respect. Organizations involved in the effort include the National Black Nurses Association, the Lupus Foundation, the National Hispanic Health Foundation, the Obesity Medicine Society, and dozens of others.
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