A logo showing three hands touching and the text, "Supportive Obesity Care"

Welcome to Supportive Obesity Care

Obesity occurs in over 40% of US adults and is recognized as chronic with a complex etiology.1 Our society can be hostile toward people with high weight, who commonly face judgment, prejudice, and unfair treatment in their daily lives, including the healthcare setting.2 Weight stigma is harmful to health and well-being3,4 and creates barriers to effective patient care.5-8  

While society often assumes people to be personally responsible for their weight, research indicates that body weight is determined by multiple factors, many that are outside of an individual’s control.9,10 Healthcare professionals often find it difficult to broach the topics of weight and weight management with patients. Optimal patient care requires an understanding and awareness of weight stigma, its impact on health, and the strategies necessary to reduce bias.8

The topics on this website range from the pathophysiology of obesity to how to have supportive conversations with patients about weight, offering practical knowledge and strategies that are applicable in everyday clinical practice. The goal is simple: to equip healthcare professionals with knowledge and tools to provide more respectful, supportive, and compassionate care to patients of all body sizes.

Learner Journey Overview

Learner Journey with Videos, Podcasts, and Fact Sheets. Content begins with an overview of weight stigma and ends with tools to provide supportive healthcare.

Weight stigma is harmful and long-lasting, contributing to emotional distress, poor physical health, and reduced quality of life.8
This problem extends to the healthcare setting, where weight bias is present and creates barriers to effective patient care.

Video of Dr. Rebecca Puhl speaking about weight stigma

What is weight stigma?

An explanation of weight stigma, where it comes from, and how it can be recognized.

Video Presentation by Rebecca Puhl titled Weight Stigma in Healthcare

Weight stigma in healthcare

A summary of weight stigma in healthcare and how this creates barriers for effective patient care.

Video presentation by Dr. Rebecca Puhl focused on supportive healthcare

How can we improve healthcare for people of all body sizes?

Professor Puhl highlights strategies for providing supportive care of people with diverse body sizes.

Obesity is a chronic, relapsing, and progressive disease driven by the interaction of multiple factors beyond food intake and physical activity, many of which are beyond an individual’s control. These include biologic factors, genetic factors, environmental influences, and social determinants of health.9 The heritability of body weight has been estimated at 40–77%.10 ,11


Handout Showing Obesity Has a Multifactorial Origin and the Origins of Obesity

Introduction to Supportive Obesity Care

Professor Puhl provides a brief overview of topics covered on this website.

Watch the video


References for individual resources can be found in the Resource Center.

This website is for educational purposes only and includes resources to help healthcare professionals deliver supportive and compassionate patient care to people of diverse body sizes. The site does not contain information about any Lilly products and has no commercial intent.

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