Despite the fact that over 7 million Canadians live with obesity (more than double than those living with diabetes), there is very little support and access to important obesity care and treatment. Support from allied health (eg dietitians, psychologists) can be very hard to come by free of charge. Only about 20% of private medical plans cover the cost of weight management medications, and there is no public coverage at all. Bariatric surgery is accessible to a tiny fraction of the total number of people who could benefit from this treatment approach.
While the Canadian Medical Association declared obesity to be a chronic disease back in 2015, the federal government has not done so, nor have most of the provinces. Recognizing obesity as a chronic medical condition is important, as it opens the doors to improving resources and coverage for treatments. We would also like to see a national strategy for obesity, similar to what is being advocated for people living with diabetes.
Today, on World Obesity Day, Obesity Canada is asking for your help! Add your voice to the need to improve access to care here – it’s a pre-written email that we encourage you to send to your elected government representatives. Click and make a difference!
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