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California Association of Health Plans & California Medical Association Foundation Team Up to Combat Obesity
Date:3/26/2008

s $100 billion per year nationally. In California alone, it is $28.5 billion.

"Obesity is second only to tobacco as a preventable cause of death, and overweight adults have a significantly higher risk of disease," said Dr. Frank Staggers, Chair, CMA Foundation Board of Directors. "Less than one-third of overweight patients report being counseled by their physicians regarding obesity, yet in a recent survey nine out of 10 Californians said they want their doctors to be their primary source of information about nutrition, physical activity and other issues associated with weight management. That is why the CMA Foundation and CAHP are working together to reverse the obesity trend - starting in the doctors' office."

The result of this unique collaboration is the "ultimate" package of obesity toolkits which include:

-- Guidelines and policy statements on obesity prevention, weight

management, diet, physical activity counseling, body mass index (BMI)

screening and other measurements

-- Effective communication techniques to help patients make decisions

-- Culturally appropriate, ready to copy, materials and handouts

-- Identification of internet tools and information

-- Strategies for managing overweight patients

-- Patient education resources

These three toolkits were developed in response to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's challenge for the state's community organizations and companies to take action to address obesity and weight management issues during his 2005 Summit on Health, Nutrition and Obesity. CAHP accepted that challenge by agreeing to create clinical education toolkits. At the same time, the CMA Foundation was hearing from physicians throughout the state the need for a uniform set of resources to help them address the prevention and management of overweight and obesity in their practices. The CMA Foundation partnered with CAHP to meet the challenge.

Kim Belshe, Secretary of
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SOURCE California Association of Health Plans; California Medical
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