Obesity Initiative

Addressing Obesity as a Disease 

For the past few decades, employers/purchasers have been challenged by effectively addressing obesity, a condition with serious health and economic consequences that is now being called an epidemic. Obesity contributes to rising rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other complications, but it is not diagnosed, treated and covered like other medical conditions.

The National Alliance has developed a multi-faceted approach to engage multiple stakeholders in addressing obesity. This initiative has a longer-term focus of producing meaningful impact in the health of our populations through education, policy, population/community health, and treatment. An online portal was developed to share resources and best practices. A helpful guidebook outlining a multi-stakeholder approach to address obesity as a disease was developed and used with a set of matching grants that brought together 10 coalitions from across the country to have half-day programs for employers, health plans, and providers to rethink obesity solutions in their markets.

Our Path Forward

With a renewed focus on the employer community, follow-up activities give employers access to more “real-world” information on the costs and benefits of coverage, so they can make more informed decisions for the health of their populations.

Our Collective Value Agenda:

Uniting and raising our voices together

  • Develop strategies that eliminate obesity stigma at the workplace
  • Encourage employers to work with PBMs and health plans to ensure coverage for evidence-based behavioral, pharmacological and surgical interventions
  • Promote obesity prevention and scientific, strategic treatment options
  • Focus on improving, health and establish supportive cultures that promote wellbeing
“For the past few decades, employers have struggled to combat obesity. Though it contributes to the rising rates of conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, it is not diagnosed, treated or covered like other medical conditions, in spite of being recognized as a disease by authoritative health organizations.”

John Miller, Executive Director, MidAtlantic Business Group on Health and Obesity Initiative Advisor