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Obesity is a common, serious and costly disease.  The prevalence of obesity in the U.S. increased from 30.5% to 42.4% between 2002 and 2018.[1]

Associated with health conditions such as heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer, the American Medical Association designated obesity as a disease in 2013. Obesity has been linked with 89% of patients with type 2 diabetes in U.S.[2]. Type 2 diabetes, representing 90-95% of all people with diabetes, is a chronic health condition that is becoming increasingly common in the U.S.[3]

Obesity and its comorbidities represent not only significant health risks but also contribute to significant healthcare costs. Obesity and obesity-related conditions were estimated at $260.6 billion per year in 2016.[4]

For all these reasons, obesity is a major U.S. health concern. In working with its valued partner, Novo Nordisk (a global healthcare company engaged in diabetes and obesity care), KJT provided medical writing support in creation of a publication series on the impact of weight loss with regain and sustained weight loss as it relates to comorbidities.

The series is based on a retrospective cohort analysis of adults receiving primary care at Geisinger Health System between 2001 and 2017. The study assessed obesity-related health outcomes and healthcare utilization in patients who maintained their weight, gained weight, or lost weight during the study period.

The first paper in the series, ‘Impact of Sustained Weight Loss on Cardiometabolic Outcomes,’ was published in the American Journal of Cardiology. Key finding for the study was:

  • Sustained weight loss was associated with a delayed onset of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, particularly with a greater magnitude of weight loss.

Find out more here:

The second paper in the series, ‘Effects of sustained weight loss on outcomes associated with obesity comorbidities and healthcare resource utilization,’ was published in PLOS ONE. Key findings include:

  • The onset of osteoarthritis was delayed in patients who sustained weight loss. Patients who sustained the greatest magnitude of weight loss showed the greatest decrease in developing osteoarthritis.
  • Women who maintained weight loss showed a decrease in cancer incidence.

Read more here:

KJT is proud to be a part of this publication series, helping to build awareness and understanding for these diseases. Our thanks go out to companies such as Novo Nordisk for their ongoing research in this critically important category, helping to facilitate the shift to clinically based treatments for those living with obesity, which is tied to so many other health conditions.

With November being American Diabetes Month, we’d also like to call special attention to the efforts of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to promote awareness, detection and the management of diabetes – including type 2 diabetes, so closely connected to obesity.

According to the CDC, 40% of Americans who have passed away from COVID-19 were living with diabetes.[5] The amplifying effect of COVID – on top of the nation’s rising rates of diabetes – underscore the ADA’s 2021 ‘Take a Big Step Up’ campaign. Check out how we can all take the necessary steps, collectively, to turn our post-COVID reality into a proclamation for better health and wellness for everyone:

[1] Hales CM, Carroll MD, Fryar CD, Ogden CL. Prevalence of obesity and severe obesity among adults: United States, 2017–2018. NCHS Data Brief, no 360. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2020

[2] Centers for Disease Control. Diabetes: Risk Factors for Diabetes-Related Complications. Accessed on November 17, 2021.

[3] Centers for Disease Control. Diabetes: What is Diabetes? Accessed on November 17, 2021.

[4] Cawley J, Biener A, Meyerhoefer C, Ding Y, Zvenyach T, Smolarz BG, Ramasamy A. Direct medical costs of obesity in the United States and the most populous states. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2021 Mar;27(3):354-366. doi: 10.18553/jmcp.2021.20410.

[5] American Diabetes Association. Take #TheBigStepUp and Improve your Overall Health During Diabetes Awareness Month. Accessed November 17, 2021.