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 Next Steps

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.

Featured Resources

Obesity Portal

Obesity Portal

Educating everyone on the new research highlighting obesity as a disease.

Access Portal

Obesity Action Brief

Misunderstood and Undermanaged Workforce Disease

The importance of enhancing benefits to support medical care

Access Action Brief

Obesity Action Brief 2

Bariatric Surgery

A fresh look at benefit design considerations.

Access Action Brief

Featured Coalitions in Action

GPBCH_logo_title_tagline_blue-01.jpgObesity and diabetes prevention and management are top priorities for the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health (GPBCH). Previous efforts have included promoting the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), convening regional stakeholders to discuss obesity data, and developing employer benefits Action Briefs on obesity drugs and bariatric surgery. Through an Obesity and Diabetes Action Collaborative, 12 GPBCH employer members are now working together to identify and implement best practices; findings will be shared with GPBCH and National Alliance members.  Learn more.
St_Louis.jpgThe number of diabetes and prediabetes cases in the US has reached epic proportions. Recognizing that employers play a significant role in driving community health and wellbeing, St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition (BHC) members have identified diabetes as an area of focus for their collaborative efforts. Working together, local employers will establish and execute an action plan to prevent, better manage, and reverse type 2 diabetes among employees and their family members. By leveraging this collective impact, we can #DefeatDiabetesSTL. Learn more.

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