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Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO) Release: New Study Showed That Only 55% Of People With Obesity Have Received A Formal Obesity Diagnosis

11/3/2016 7:26:20 AM

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NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Divergent perceptions and attitudes about obesity may jeopardize obesity management outcomes, according to findings from the Awareness, Care & Treatment In Obesity Management (ACTION) study. The findings were presented at ObesityWeek 2016, the 4th annual combined congress of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and The Obesity Society.  

ACTION is the first national study to investigate barriers to effective obesity management from the perspective of people with obesity, healthcare professionals (HCPs) and employers in the U.S. The study was designed to generate insights to improve obesity care, education and support for the nearly 79 million people in the U.S. living with obesity, a condition that was recognized as a chronic disease by the American Medical Association in 2013.1,2

"Obesity must be understood as a serious, often progressive disease requiring both prevention and treatment strategies to bring it under control," said Dr. Lee Kaplan, director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center and ACTION steering committee member. "The value of the ACTION study is that it clearly identifies the challenges that must be overcome, and underscores the critical need for multiple communities working together to develop and implement effective solutions."

One such challenge, according to study findings, is that most people with obesity (PwO) (65%) perceived obesity as disease, however most (82%) considered weight loss to be "completely" their responsibility. While PwO (73%) reported that they had discussed weight with an HCP, 36% indicated they did not seek support from their HCP for weight loss.3

Another significant barrier to care revealed by the study was an inconsistent HCP-patient dialogue about weight management. Although HCPs (72%) felt they had "responsibility to actively contribute" to patients' weight loss efforts, only 55% of PwO reported receiving an obesity diagnosis from an HCP. Also, only 16% of PwO reported having a follow-up appointment with their HCP following initial conversations about obesity management, and, whereas HCPs said they were "comfortable" having obesity management conversations, their efforts were often deprioritized due to limited time.4

The study also found that despite several "serious" weight loss attempts, only 23% of PwO reported a 10% weight loss during the past three years, and, of those, 44% maintained weight loss for more than one year.4

These data suggest that initiatives which foster greater understanding among HCPs of their patients' beliefs, and facilitate more robust dialogue about weight management, could positively impact obesity management efforts.3,4 

The "Awareness, Care and Treatment In Obesity Management" (ACTION) study is the first U.S. nationwide study to investigate barriers to obesity management from the perspective of people with obesity, health care professionals and employers. In addition, the study aims to generate insights to guide collaborative action to improve obesity care, education and support. Sponsored by Novo Nordisk, the ACTION study was led by a multi-disciplinary steering committee comprised of representatives from The Obesity Society, the Obesity Action Coalition, and the Integrated Benefits Institute, as well as obesity experts in the fields of primary care, endocrinology, physiology and nursing. The study involved more than 3,000 people with obesity, 600 health care professionals, and 150 employers in the United States. To learn more about the study, please visit

About obesity
Obesity is a chronic disease requiring long-term management.2,5 Complex and multifactorial in nature, obesity is influenced by genetic, physiological, environmental and psychological factors and is associated with many serious health consequences.6,7

The global increase in the prevalence of obesity is a public health issue that has severe cost implications to health care systems.8,9 In the United States, approximately 35% of adults, or nearly 79 million adults, live with obesity.1 Despite the high prevalence of obesity, many people with obesity lack support in their efforts to lose weight and the disease remains substantially underdiagnosed and underreported.10

About Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. This heritage has given us experience and capabilities that also enable us to help people with other serious chronic conditions: hemophilia, growth disorders and obesity. With U.S. headquarters in Plainsboro, N.J., Novo Nordisk Inc. has more than 5,000 employees in the United States. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter: @novonordiskus.

Further information


Katrine Sperling

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Liz Skrbkova (US)

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Peter Hugreffe Ankersen

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Melanie Raouzeos

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Hanna Ögren

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Kasper Veje (US)

+1 609 235 8567


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Adult obesity facts. Updated September 1, 2016. Accessed October 11, 2016. 
2 American Medical Association. Business of the American Medical Association House of Delegates 2013 Annual Meeting annotated reference committee reports: reference committee D. Approved June 8, 2014. Accessed October 11, 2016.
3 Golden A, Dhurandhar NV, Jinnett K, et al. Insights and perceptions of obesity management in people with obesity: Results of a national study. Poster presented at: ObesityWeek 2016; October 31-November 4, 2016; New Orleans, LA.
4 Kaplan L Golden A, Jinnett K, et al. Divergence in Perceptions and Attitudes among People with Obesity, Healthcare Professionals, and Employers create Barriers to Effective Obesity Management: Results of the National ACTION Study. Oral presentation presented at: ObesityWeek 2016; October 31-November 4, 2016; New Orleans, LA.
5 Jensen MD, Ryan DH, Apovian CM, et al. American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines; Obesity Society. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;63(25ptB):2985-3023.
6 Wright SM, Aronne LJ. Causes of obesity. Abdom Imaging. 2012;37(5):730-732.
7 Guh DP, Zhang W, Bansback N, et al. The incidence of co-morbidities related to obesity and overweight: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health. 2009;9(88):1-20.
8 World Health Organization. Fact sheet no. 311: obesity and overweight. Updated June 2016. Accessed October 1, 2016.
9 Cawley J, Meyerhoefer C. The medical care costs of obesity: an instrumental variables approach. J Health Economics. 2012;31(1):219-230.
10 Crawford AG, Cote C, Couto J, et al. Prevalence of Obesity, Type II Diabetes Mellitus, Hyperlipidemia, and Hypertension in the United States: Findings from the GE Centricity Electronic Medical Record Database. Popul Health Manag. 2010;13:151161.

Novo Nordisk is a registered trademark of Novo Nordisk A/S.
© 2016 Novo Nordisk   All rights reserved.   USA16SAM03740   November 2016


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