Thursday, November 03, 2005

Obesity Action Coalition Calls on Wal-Mart to Renounce Discrimination Against Obese Employees

TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 3 /U.S. Newswire/ -- On Nov. 2, the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) issued a letter to S. Robson Walton, chairman of the board of directors of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., urging the company to renounce their proposed discriminatory healthcare statements in a recent memo, titled "Reviewing and Revising Wal-Mart's Benefits Strategy," which discusses projected changes to employee benefits and hiring practices.

Wal-Mart, with its significant influence in the marketplace, greatly contributes to the denial of employment and medical treatment to obese individuals. "Obesity is a complex disease that requires access to treatment to better the quality of health and life of those affected by this disease. Wal-Mart's proposals further perpetuate and exemplify the negative stigma and discrimination associated with obesity and morbid obesity. It is now time for Wal-Mart to take a leadership position in addressing this disease," said OAC President and CEO Joseph Nadglowski, Jr.

Obesity is a serious health epidemic targeting more than 93 million Americans. There are more than 30 medical conditions associated with obesity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea and many more. Individuals who are obese are at risk of developing one or more of these serious medical conditions, causing poor health and/or early death.

The OAC stands ready to assist Wal-Mart in developing a comprehensive prevention and treatment program for obesity to better serve their current and future employees. To view the letter sent to Chairman Walton, please visit http://releases.usnewswire.com/redir.asp?ReleaseID=56138&Link=http://www.obesityaction.org.

The mission of the OAC is to elevate and empower those affected by obesity through education, advocacy and support. The OAC strives to educate patients, family members and the public on all types of obesity. In addition, the OAC will increase obesity education, work to improve access to medical treatments for obese patients, advocate for safe and effective treatments and strive to eliminate the negative stigma associated with obesity.

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