Nurses Inspiring the Nation through Obesity Care

The Nurses Obesity Network is a diverse group of nursing organizations committed to changing the way we view, treat, and advance care for people living with obesity — including members of our own nursing profession.

There is more to weight than what we see. Obesity is a chronic disease which requires more than one approach to weight management and treatment. More than 2 in 5 Americans are living with obesity today, with disproportionate prevalence in communities of color, yet people living with obesity often lack the medical care they deserve.

Collectively, we will become role models for wellbeing, champions for change, and advocates for better obesity care and treatment.

Nurses as Patients

Living with Obesity

Obesity is a chronic disease, not a result of your choices. Empower yourself with tools and resources to improve your own health and wellbeing.

Obesity Patient Tools — PCNA — Obesity increases the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) as well as other conditions. This free tool, developed by the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, focuses on identifying, treating, assessing risk factors, and managing obesity — including lifestyle modification, medications, and surgery. The fact sheet covers obesity as a complex, chronic disease rather than a life choice or character flaw and can be used as an at-home resource for patients and their families.

Understanding Adult Overweight and Obesity — The NIH provides a comprehensive overview of common treatments for obesity, including not only healthy eating and being more physically active, but also information about the full range of options available to support patients living with excess weight.

Get Strong: A Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training — According to data collected between 3/1/20-4/29/21 by Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation’s HealthyNurse Survey, only 46 percent of nurses engage in some type of muscle-building activities. Although living with excess weight often requires more than diet and exercise alone, physical activity is important to help lose — or maintain — weight. Building muscle mass boosts your metabolism long term, so you’ll continue to burn calories even when you’re done exercising.

Nurses as Caregivers

Paying it Forward in Practice

Have comprehensive, courageous and compassionate conversations with patients about how their weight may be affecting their overall health.

Gerontological Society of America — Obesity and Overweight Resource Center — GSA has created a KAER Toolkit for the Management of Obesity in Older Adults along with a wealth of other resources intended to support primary care teams who seek to implement a comprehensive approach to help older adults with overweight and obesity recognize and care for their condition.

Health Care Providers and Obesity Care – Fast Fact Sheet (STOP Obesity Alliance) — Obesity is a complex chronic disease in which abnormal or excessive accumulation of body fat impairs health. Adult obesity rates have more than doubled since the 1980s — in the U.S. today, obesity affects over 42% of adults… This fact sheet is part of a series designed to provide basic information about the science of obesity and current strategies to address it.

Nutrition and Obesity Resource Center | AACE Disease State Resources — Improve the health of your patients by preventing or treating weight-related complications, including diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and others.

Nurses as Advocates for

Better Obesity Care

We still have a long way to go in recognizing and treating obesity as a chronic disease with significant health inequities. Become advocates for change.

CDC Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps – Sept 2022 — Nineteen states and two territories have at least 35% of residents with adult obesity – more than doubling the number of states with a high obesity prevalence since 2018 — according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 2021 Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps also highlight the need to address disparities in obesity across states and racial and ethnic populations, through increased access to obesity prevention and treatment.

2022 State of Obesity Report: Better Policies for a Healthier America — Trust for America’s Health’s (TFAH) 19th annual report on the nation’s obesity crisis found that 19 states have obesity rates over 35 percent, up from 16 states in 2021, and that social and economic factors are key drivers of increasing obesity rates.

Become an Advocate for Better Obesity Care (Obesity Care Advocacy Network) — Contact your policymakers and encourage them to pass the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA), increase access to obesity treatment, address inequity in obesity care, and fight stigma and weight bias in the U.S.

Patient Resources

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is a more than 70,000 member-strong 501(c)(3) National non-profit organization dedicated to giving a voice to the individuals affected by the disease of obesity and helping these patients along their journey toward better health through education, advocacy and support. The Coalition’s website features resources about improving access to the prevention and treatment of obesity, evidence-based education on obesity and its treatments, and the fight to eliminate weight bias and discrimination.

Launched by the Black Women’s Health Imperative and HealthyWomen, Reclaim Your Wellness is a national campaign dedicated to engaging, supporting, and empowering women living with obesity in a manner that is free of stigma, judgment, and bias.

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