World Obesity Day Europe, held each year to draw attention to Europe’s growing obesity epidemic and the need for better prevention and treatment, will take place on Friday, March 4. 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 virtual open days at hospitals and treatment centres, and information and training workshops for patients and healthcare professionals.
The campaign, which is part of global World Obesity Day, is an initiative of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), Europe's leading organisation responsible for research into obesity, and the European Coalition for People living with Obesity (ECPO).
In the spirit of the tagline, Addressing 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 and ECPO want 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 the European initiatives being held to coincide with World Obesity Day will be an online public event hosted by the European Parliament MEP interest group on Obesity and Health System Resilience to launch its Declaration for National Action Plans on Obesity.
In the afternoon, the European Coalition for People living with Obesity (ECPO) will host a special World Obesity Day edition of the ECPO Patient Lounge. A panel of distinguished guests will talk about the importance of addressing obesity together, and there will be live reports from seven patient associations from around Europe.
This will be followed in the early evening by a Webinar organised by the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) in conjunction with the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO). More than 600 GPs have registered to take part in the webinar designed to provide Practical Tips for Obesity Management.
Numerous World Obesity Day Europe events will also be taking place at national and local levels and will be publicised extensively on social media (@ObesityDayEU #ObesityDayEurope on Twitter).
Among patient activities will be the promotion of the recently published image bank of photographs of people living with obesity, developed by ECPO in conjunction with more than 20 patient organisations, across 27 European countries.
The image bank has been created to help change people’s attitudes to overweight and obesity. It consists of more than 250 professionally taken photographs to support editors in selecting less stigmatising images for use in newspapers and magazines.
Five new patient story videos from Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, about Living with Obesity, will be added to the image bank on Friday.
Further details on World Obesity Day and where to find more information on obesity and obesity prevention and treatment, are available on the World Obesity Day Europe website: www.woday.eu