A group of OAC members including OAC Chair Patty Nece, JD; OAC President/CEO Joe Nadglowski, OAC Board Member Scott Kahan, MD; and OAC Emeritus Board Members Ted Kyle, RPh, MBA; and Amber Huett-Garcia, MPA, participated in a recent meeting with the Senior Leadership Group of the National Institute of Health Research Task Force. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds a large amount of obesity research across their many Institutes, Centers and Offices.
OAC was honored to share the “lived experience” perspective on current and future potential obesity research. We discussed several topics about how research should be conducted and topics that need to be explored:
- Including more people living with obesity in all levels of research starting with research concepts, through the design and implementation stages, and evaluating the data obtained.
- Urging NIH to support more “translational” research – Identifying interventions that make a difference in the lives of real people in terms of both outcomes and ability to participate in the intervention in the real world.
- Recognizing the impact of weight bias on people living with obesity and also on research design, messaging of research results, and the researchers themselves.
- Understanding the maintenance of health improvements after successful treatment (avoiding regain and the return of related conditions) and a better definition of “well controlled” obesity.
- Developing more accurate obesity measures than BMI.
We look forward to continuing the discussion with NIH and their receptiveness to the patient perspective when it comes to obesity.