GAINESVILLE, Fla., Oct. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Representatives from more than 20 major health and medical organizations -- from family physicians, heart specialists and endocrinologists to orthopaedic and bariatric surgeons – convened for a summit in Chicago to begin discussions about how health professionals can better collaborate on providing care to individuals affected by obesity.
The inaugural "National Summit for the Provision and Coordination of Care of an Obese Population" was hosted by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and attended by representatives from groups including American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, The Obesity Society, American College of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), American College of Physicians, and American Academy of Family Physicians. Representatives from health insurers Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield and OptumHealth also attended. The summit was held late last month.
"We can't solve the obesity crisis in a day and we can't solve it alone," said John M. Morton, MD, MPH, chairman of the summit and ASMBS president-elect. "That's why an unprecedented number of medical societies, patient advocates and payors have come together to identify ways to better collaborate on the prevention and treatment of obesity. Obesity is our leading public health problem and we need all hands on deck to deal with it. In addition to preventing obesity, it is critical that we treat patients for obesity to improve their current health and decrease obesity-related complications of care. There's so much more we can do together on behalf of our patients. This first summit is a start."
Summit attendees discussed current guidelines on obesity prevention and treatment, opportunities for collaboration between medical specialties, and the need to develop a continuum of care for obesity, among other topics.
"In many ways, we're all treating the same disease, yet there is a tendency to operate in silos," said Michael Parks, MD, Associate Attending Orthopedic Surgeon, Hospital for Special Surgery, who represented the AAOS at the summit. "We have to come together to intervene sooner and more effectively in the disease process."
Obesity is one of the country's greatest public health and economic threats. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of adults in the U.S. have obesity. Individuals with obesity have a 50 to 100 percent increased risk of premature death compared to healthy weight individuals, as well as an increased risk of developing scores of obesity-related diseases and conditions including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, joint problems and certain cancers. The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 and medical costs for people with obesity were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.
National Summit for the Provision and Coordination of Care of an Obese Population Attendees:
American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; American Academy of Family Physicians; American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; American Academy of Physician Assistants; American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists; American Association of Nurse Practitioners; American College of Occupation and Environmental Medicine; American College of Physicians; American Diabetes Association; American Heart Association; American Society for Reproductive Medicine; American Society for Hypertension; American Society for Bariatric Physicians; National Lipid Association; Endocrine Society; The Obesity Society; American College of Gastroenterology; American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy; American Society of Plastic Surgeons; American College of Surgeons; American College of Sports Medicine; Obesity Action Coalition; American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
About the ASMBS
The ASMBS is the largest organization for bariatric surgeons in the nation. It is a non-profit organization that works to advance the art and science of bariatric surgery and is committed to educating medical professionals and the lay public about bariatric surgery as an option for the treatment of morbid obesity, as well as the associated risks and benefits. It encourages its members to investigate and discover new advances in bariatric surgery, while maintaining a steady exchange of experiences and ideas that may lead to improved surgical outcomes for morbidly obese patients. For more information, visit www.asmbs.org.
SOURCE American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS)