|Canadians with Obesity Treated as Second-Class Citizens Compared with Other Chronic Diseases: Report|
|By: Nasdaq / GlobenewsWire - 23 Apr 2019||Back to overview list
OTTAWA, April 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Obesity Canada’s second report card assessing access to treatment concludes Canadians living with obesity continue to be ignored by healthcare systems and health policy makers, as well as employers, compared to those requiring support for other chronic conditions.
The disparity exposes the roughly six million Canadians who may be affected by this disease to negative health effects such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension, sleep apnea, reflux, depression, anxiety and more. It also puts them at risk for the effects of weight bias and discrimination at home, in the workplace, media, and at school.
“In 2017, we conducted the first rigorous, data-driven appraisal of the degree to which adults with obesity have access to the treatments that research tells us can benefit them,” says Dr. Arya. M. Sharma, scientific director for Obesity Canada. “Those results revealed treatment gaps more serious than we had anticipated – and the discouraging news is, after applying the same analysis two years later, very little has changed.”
Key findings of the Report Card on Access to Obesity Treatments for Adults in Canada 2019 include:
“The engendered bias and discrimination are rampant in healthcare, where obesity continues to be grossly misunderstood and is not treated with the same fundamental dignity and rigor as other diseases. We deserve and demand better,” says Lisa Schaffer, obesity advocate and chair of Obesity Canada’s Public Engagement Committee. “As one of millions of Canadian living with obesity, I find it reprehensible that our healthcare systems have not made any significant improvements in access to care.”
Obesity Canada makes five key recommendations based on the 2019 report card:
“There are many barriers to more comprehensive policy approaches for obesity prevention and management in Canada, but the real culprit is a lack of understanding of obesity as a chronic disease,” said Dr. Ximena Ramos Salas, executive director of Obesity Canada. “Ultimately, the lack of policy action means that individuals with obesity are responsible for managing their disease on their own, with little support from healthcare providers, employers and policy makers. We must address this lack of understanding of obesity in order to create real change at all levels of society or this social injustice will continue to exist."
Obesity Canada-Obésité Canada, previously known as the Canadian Obesity Network-Réseau canadien en obésité, is Canada’s authoritative voice on evidence-based approaches for obesity prevention, treatment, and policy. Currently, the network has more than 20,000 professional members and over 25,000 public supporters. Our mission is to improve the lives of Canadians affected by obesity through the advancement of anti-discrimination, prevention, and treatment efforts. www.obesitycanada.ca
To arrange for interviews or for more information, contact:
Brad Hussey, Director of Communications, Obesity Canada
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