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Unveiling the Hidden Burden: Gender Disparities in Obesity Exposed

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February 20, 2024 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm EST

SWHR convened an interdisciplinary Obesity Policy Working Group of health care providers, researchers, patients and patient advocates, and health care policy leaders for a closed, roundtable meeting in February 2024. During the roundtable, the Working Group discussed the impact of obesity on women’s health, with an particular emphasis on the impact of obesity on cardiovascular disease, health care costs, and related health disparities.

The Working Group will inform a call to action highlighting initiatives to address scientific and policy issues that impact women with obesity.


February 20, 2024
10:00 am - 5:00 pm EST
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  • Consider health care policies around obesity for women, based on the current state of the science, and how they may contribute to poor health outcomes, with particular emphasis on the impact of obesity on cardiovascular disease; stigma; higher cost of health care; increased health disparities; and gender inequity in access to treatment
  • Develop materials to expand education and raise awareness among policymakers about barriers to access and coverage and offer recommendations on patient-centered health care policies for women affected by obesity
  • Review the current obesity landscape, including the state of the science, misconceptions surrounding obesity, and barriers to policy progress

Roundtable Participants

Lydia Alexander, MD, FOMA, Fellow and Diplomate, Obesity Medicine Association

Mila Becker, JD, Chief Policy Officer, Endocrine Society

Colleen Barbero, PhD, MPPA, Model Lead, Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP), Division of Health Care Delivery, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

Eliza Chin, MD, Executive Director, American Medical Women’s Association

Catherine Ferguson, Vice President of Federal Advocacy, American Diabetes Association

Christine Gallagher, MPAff, Research Project Director, STOP Obesity Alliance, Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University

Millicent Gorham, PhD (Hon), MBA, FAAN, CEO, Alliance for Women’s Health and Prevention

Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, MD, MSc, MBA, Chair, Division of Preventive Cardiology; Professor of Medicine, Mayo Medical School

Kelsey Lang, MPP, Executive Director, US Health Policy and Reimbursement, Amgen

Martha Nolan, Senior Policy Advisor, HealthyWomen

Liz Paul, Obesity Action Coalition Board Member and Obesity Advocate

Margaret Rehayem, Vice President, National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions

Marilyn Ritholz, PhD, Senior Psychologist, Joslin Diabetes Center; Beth Israel Deaconess

Michele Tedder, MSN, RN, Obesity Action Coalition Board Member and Obesity Advocate

Tracy Zvenyach, PhD, Director of Policy Strategy and Alliances, Obesity Action Coalition


Support for this educational program has been provided by Novo Nordisk, Inc. SWHR maintains independence and editorial control over program development, content, and work products.