South Philly Review: Treatments and solutions for obesity

From left to right: Miguel Paniagua, ACP VP for Medical Education; Congressman Dwight Evans; Darilyn V. Moyer, ACP EVP/CEO; Allyson Schwartz, Senior Advisor, FTI Consulting, former member of Congress and state senator. Contributed photo

On Nov. 27, Philadelphia-based American College of Physicians hosted a roundtable discussion with patients, health care professionals, community leaders and policymakers on the intersection of obesity care, other related chronic diseases and the need to address “health disparities.” The roundtable featured U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans and Dr. Darilyn V. Moyer, the executive vice president and CEO of the American College of Physicians.

Philadelphia is ranked with the worst health out of all counties in Pennsylvania, with obesity in particular impacting more than one-third of adults in Philadelphia and in Pennsylvania. Obesity is also a “health equity” issue, as it disproportionately impacts “communities of color”: Nearly half of Blacks and 44.8-percent of Hispanics are living with obesity, compared to 42.2 percent of Whites. While obesity has been classified as a deadly chronic disease since 2013, there is still a view that obesity is simply an issue of individual behaviors. Others believe that healthy eating and exercise are not always enough, and like many complex diseases, obesity requires a range of treatments and solutions.