European Obesity Day, held each year to draw attention to Europe’s growing obesity epidemic and the need for better prevention and treatment, is to be held this year on Saturday 18 May.
Individuals, healthcare providers and organisations throughout Europe will be taking part with events ranging from providing free health check-ups and healthy eating advice, to holding open days at hospitals and treatment centres, walks and runs to encourage exercise, and information and training workshops for healthcare professionals.
The campaign is an initiative of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), Europe’s leading organisation responsible for research into obesity. Since European Obesity Day (EOD) was first held in 2010, it has continued to gain awareness and support across 32 European countries. Events held over the years range from information stands, fun runs, debates and workshops for politicians and policy makers. In 2010 EOD received an award for “campaign of the year” at the European Public Affairs Awards and in 2017 won the Best European Lobbying Campaign Award.
“Each year, European Obesity Day draws more and more supporters,” says Tim Edgar, from Cambre Associates, the organisation in Brussels which runs the overall campaign.
“It is particularly nice to see so many patients now involved and how they provide such valuable help and guidance to others.”
In the spirit of the tagline, Tackling Obesity Together, people from all walks of life are being encouraged to participate to create greater awareness and understanding of obesity, which is predicted to affect more than half of the European population by 2030.
According to World Health Organization, obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century as its prevalence has tripled in many countries in Europe since the 1980s. In particular, EASO wants to draw attention to the impact that obesity has on society and the economy, and the huge benefits to be gained from prevention and treatment.
Among EASO’s European initiatives, will be a major policy conference held in Brussels on 16th May, to which EU Member State authorities have been invited to share and prioritise best practices. It will also be attended by representatives from various European institutions and will include keynote speakers and panellists from the World Health Organization, OECD, and the European Commission.
“European and National Obesity Day is very important in each country. With it, we can bring to the scene a serious problem that exists and that needs to have a different kind of understanding from most people and politicians in particular. With it, in addition to allowing us to talk about OBESITY allows us to put themes linked to it and that we want to highlight annually” This year in Portugal the theme is “Support for research is fundamental”
Presidente da Direcção , Membro do Conselho Europeu de Pacientes
Presidente FENDOC Fed.Nac.Ass.Doenças Crónicas
“European Obesity Day has already become a permanent part of the Polish calendar. This is the day when all of Poland is more loudly reminiscent how important it is to recognize obesity as a chronic disease and how important for the health of future generations is to provide access to proper treatment for those who are now ill. On the occasion of EOD 2019, OD-WAGA Foundation for People with Obesity Disease plans to show its latest greatest achievements: since EOD 2018 we have over 400 physicians with certificates of treatment of overweight and obesity (during the certification process there are another 2,000 doctors! – link: www. certyfikacjaptbo.pl) and we already have the largest website in Poland on bariatric surgery “Obesity – go under the scalpel” – from May 2018. it has been visited over 2,000,000 times! (link: https://bariatria.poradnikzdrowie.pl/). We know how important thinking and global action is, that’s why both initiatives are implemented in such a way that they can be introduced in other countries in the same way”
Magdalena Gajda, Founder and President of OD-WAGA Foundations for People with Obesity Disease: POLAND
“We are delighted to expand our usual one-day Annual Conference to a two- day event to mark European Obesity Day in Dublin this year. It’s a unique opportunity to bring together national and international experts in the area of weight stigma, build alliances, and promote best practice to reduce stigma and bias towards people living with obesity”
Dr.Cathy Breen, Secretary of The Association of Studies of Obesity Ireland (ASOI)
“European Obesity Day in conjunction with the ASOI annual Conference in Dublin will focus on patient advocacy and the theme is “building bonds-bettering practise”. This day will see two patients as head line speakers, a patient co-chairing a session and seven other patients speaking throughout the day. Patients will hold a patient booth where they can be found for anyone who wants to hear their direct experiences. We are grateful to the ASOI for encouraging the patients voice to be heard.”
Susie Birney, patient representative ASOI/ EASO ECPO
Further details of how to support European Obesity Day and where to find more information on obesity and obesity prevention and treatment, are available on the European Obesity Day website: www.europeanobesityday.eu.
Details and registration for the policy conference are at: https://www.europeanobesityday.eu/easo-annual-policy-conference/easo-policy-conference-2019/