Press release

The American Diabetes Association Launches a New Obesity Division

June 21, 2024 | Orlando, FL
American Diabetes Association logo reversed out white on red background

Today, the American Diabetes Association ® (ADA) announced the launch of the Obesity Association. A division of the ADA, the Obesity Association aims to reduce the prevalence of obesity and improve health outcomes.  

“As part of our mission to prevent diabetes, it is important that we have an even greater focus on addressing one of the key risk factors for type 2 diabetes, obesity. With nearly half of Americans living with diabetes or prediabetes, we must lean into prevention and a holistic approach to health,” said Charles “Chuck” Henderson, the ADA’s chief executive officer.  

The ADA has been advocating for and advancing diabetes treatments for decades and has played a pivotal role in funding and supporting research for groundbreaking obesity therapies. It is fitting that the Obesity Association was announced alongside cutting-edge advances in diabetes research, prevention, and care during the ADA’s 84th Scientific Sessions. Deepening medical understanding has opened a plethora of new possibilities for the treatment of obesity and overweight.  

Despite advances in research and treatment options, obesity remains a pervasive and escalating health challenge— one linked to 200 medical conditions. In the United States, more than 40% of adults have obesity and nearly 90% of adults with diabetes have overweight or obesity.  

Obesity is a chronic and complex disease. Only 10% of people affected by overweight or obesity that would benefit from the guidance of medical professionals seek help.  Stigma, shame, and blame still underpin society’s response to people impacted by obesity. Societal and systemic barriers can prevent people from accessing the care they need.  

Through education, advocacy and evidence-based support, the Obesity Association will work to lower barriers so people affected by obesity, with and without diabetes, have the opportunity to thrive.  

The Obesity Association will also build on the ADA’s deep experience in educating health care providers by offering research-based guidance to drive better care. The ADA has been instrumental in setting the standards of care in diabetes, with the Standards of Care in Diabetes, which includes a chapter specifically addressing the treatment of obesity. The development of the Standards of Care for Obesity will empower health care professionals with the tools necessary to deliver the best possible evidence-based care to people with obesity.  

“Clinical research is opening exciting new frontiers in the understanding and treatment of obesity. The ADA, through the Obesity Association, is uniquely positioned to translate these advances into weight wellness. We are eager to chart a new path in obesity care,” said Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, the ADA’s chief scientific and medical officer.  



About the Obesity Association  
Obesity is an epidemic that demands both attention and action. The Obesity Association, a division of the American Diabetes Association, is focused on reducing the prevalence of obesity and improving health in at-risk and affected communities. Rooted in evidence, and guided by empathy, we advocate for social, medical, and legislative progress while expanding access to treatment for all. 

About the American Diabetes Association  
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 83 years, the ADA has driven discovery and research to treat, manage, and prevent diabetes while working relentlessly for a cure. Through advocacy, program development, and education we aim to improve the quality of life for the 136 million Americans living with diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life®. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Spanish Facebook (Asociación Americana de la Diabetes), LinkedIn (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn), and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).