Academy Commends Congress for Introducing Treat and Reduce Obesity Act

March 5, 2019

CHICAGO – The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics commends the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives on the introduction of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2019. The Academy calls on Congress to pass the legislation, which will allow registered dietitian nutritionists and other qualified professionals to provide services and treatments that are effective in addressing the obesity epidemic.

The bills were introduced in Congress with bipartisan support by Sens. Bill Cassidy (La.) and Tom Carper (Del.) and Reps. Ron Kind (Wis.) and Brett Guthrie (Ky.), Raul Ruiz (Calif.) and Tom Reed (N.Y.).

"Obesity is an astronomically expensive problem for our country – $210 billion annually," said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Mary Russell. "It is a national epidemic that we cannot afford to ignore."

Russell noted that the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act offers clinically effective and cost-effective solutions for nearly 40 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, and has positive implications for all Americans with obesity.

TROA will allow registered dietitian nutritionists and other highly qualified nutrition and health practitioners to independently provide intensive behavioral counseling services and will provide access to other effective treatments for Medicare beneficiaries who have obesity. The treatments outlined in the bill could save Medicare $19 billion to $21 billion over the next 10 years, according to a recent report.

"By providing better options for health care professionals, including intervention and counseling by RDNs and safe, innovative medications approved for obesity management, the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act is a critical step in the right direction," Russell said.

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The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at eatright.org.