How Important Is Support for People With Obesity?

I previously worked with Med-IQ on their campaign about depression. I was excited to work with them again, this time to raise awareness about obesity (and obesity support) and to share my own story. After reading my post, please take a few minutes to complete the survey linked at the end. This is a sponsored post — I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Novo Nordisk to write about the realities of obesity as a chronic disease. All opinions are my own. 

Over the course of the last six months I’ve lost more than 85 pounds, and it’s been truly, literally life-changing. I achieved this through gastric sleeve surgery, radical changes to my diet, and regular exercise.

But I couldn’t have done any of this on my own.

A while back I wrote about my obesity journey — the ups and downs of my life and how that affected my weight and health in general. Now I want to focus specifically on how support from others helped me along the way — to where I am today. And where is that? Happier and healthier than I’ve been in… well, longer than I can remember.

Again, the details of all the words can be rather cumbersome and tedious, so I’m employing my doodling skills once more to share my experiences and drop some knowledge. See whimsical graph thingies (and important data) below.

Support = Science = Success

Studies at the Mayo Clinic show that identifying and connecting with supportive and understanding relationships improves long-term success with weight management.

This graphic shows some of the different ways I’ve found support for my own health and well-being.

Obesity Survey

You’re Not Alone

Data from the survey in my previous post (of 1,100 responses) tells us there are a lot of shared concerns and experiences when it comes to people with obesity.

For 52% of respondents, weight has been a concern for more than a decade.

Obesity Survey

For 48%, the primary weight-related health concern is cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.

obesity survey

Roadblocks to successful weight management include stress (57% of respondents), lack of time for exercise (56%), and inadequate sleep (48%).

Obesity Survey

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: All of these barriers are risk factors for poor cardiovascular health. It’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it?

Some Good News

On the plus side, more than 60% of those responding have spoken to their healthcare provider about weight issues. The most commonly reported experience (34%) was feeling supported in their efforts for a healthy lifestyle and validated for their health concerns.

Obesity Survey

Be Your Own Self-Help Guru

Scheduling time for self-care is another way to find support — both alone and involving others. The Mayo Clinic again weighs in that these are important steps — no matter how small — to your own successful journey. Below I’ve listed just a few of the ways I take care of myself, both physically and mentally.


Another great resource is the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC). Check out their website to learn more about weight management and treatments for obesity. They’re also an excellent resource for finding communities of support both online and in person.

These tips and graphs are based on my experiences and on the data gathered from the survey in my previous post. I hope they help you find your own ways to surround yourself with multiple kinds of support, and subsequently to have a happier, healthier life!

There’s always (even) more to learn.

Even if you took the last survey, you should do this one, too. Why?
  This survey is shorter than the last one!
  Links to additional resources are provided within the survey.
  Once again, your input will provide important feedback to Med-IQ, who will use it to better educate healthcare professionals on what patients struggle with, what their needs are, and what approaches to weight-related health are most effective.
  BONUS: you could win one of ten $50 VISA gift cards!

obesity survey

Survey responses are anonymous and will be shared only in aggregate. 

Enter to win one of ten $50 VISA gift cards

Once you’ve completed the survey, you will be asked to provide your email address if you’d like to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $50 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, your email address will not be sold, kept, or stored; email addresses are used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize.

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Med-IQ is an accredited medical education company that provides top-notch educational experiences for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about them by visiting Med-IQ.com.

Links to external sites are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. They are not intended and should not be construed as legal or medical advice, nor are they endorsements of any organization. Med-IQ bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of any external site. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

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