Five Minutes with… Joe Nadglowski, Jr.

| September 21, 2010

Five Minutes with…Joe Nadglowski, Jr.

Joe Nadglowski, Jr. is the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Obesity Action Coalition. Mr. Nadglowski is a graduate of the University of Florida and holds a degree in Microbiology and Cell Science.

Bariatric Times. 2010;7(9):21

Introduction
Joe Nadglowski, Jr. is Preseident and Chief Executive Officer for the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), an IRS registered 501(c)3 national nonprofit organization dedicated to giving a voice to those affected by obesity. It is a nationwide coalition that works to spread the important message of the need for obesity education. Mr. Naglowski, Jr. has more than 16 years of experience working in patient advocacy and education. As a frequent speaker and author, he has extensive experience in working on advocacy issues, such as access to care and combating obesity stigmas. The staff of Bariatric Times interviewed Mr. Nadglowski, Jr. about the OAC, their mission, and how its members work to educate the public on the disease of obesity.

History of the OAC
The OAC was founded more than five years ago. It was during a meeting of legislatures when one legislator stood up and said, “Who represents those who struggle with their weight? I could eliminate access to bariatric surgery in my state today, and not a single person would speak against it.” It was at that moment that the need for such an organization came to light and the OAC was born.

The OAC Mission
The mission of the OAC is to elevate and empower those affected by obesity through education, advocacy, and support. We achieve this mission in part through our various educational pieces, such as our “Understanding Obesity” brochure series, the OAC website, the Your Weight Matters campaign, and much more. In addition to education, the OAC is also very active on the advocacy front on both the state and federal level representing all those affected by obesity.

OAC Accomplishments
The OAC has made some incredible strides in the past five years. From advocating for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to remove an offensive billboard targeting individuals with obesity to advocating for expanded access to bariatric surgery in many states, and reversing the insurance requirement of an IQ test for bariatric surgery by a major insurer, the OAC has continually stepped up to the plate when it comes to advocacy and fighting for the rights of those affected.

OAC Fights Stigma of Obesity
The stigma associsted with obesity is one of the last acceptable forms of discrimination. In order to combat this, we’ve developed multiple resources for the public to educate themselves on the topic of obesity stigma. In addition to this, the OAC has spoken out against stigma, such as the rights of airline passengers with obesity, many times on a national level in order to raise awareness of this negative bias toward those affected.

A Memorable Experience
One of my most memorable experiences has to be the Walk from Obesity—Walk on the Capitol, which the OAC hosted in conjunction with the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Foundation. That day was truly a day when all those affected by obesity stood together and raised awareness of this epidemic. Picture thousands of people walking on the National Mall in Washington, DC, all advocating for the same cause—the fight against obesity. It was most certainly a memorable moment.

Strength in Numbers
Membership is the voice of the OAC. Without members, there is no “OAC.” Our goal of 50,000 members will ensure that we have a strong and powerful voice in any arena. In an effort to achieve this goal, we’ve developed a free DVD kit that can be shown in doctors’ offices, support groups, and elsewhere. The DVD details the OAC and stresses the importance of membership. Visit us at www.obesityaction.org to learn more about this free DVD kit. And if you are not a member, please join today!

Time’s up!

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