World Obesity Day Europe, held each year to draw attention to Europe’s growing obesity epidemic and the need for better prevention and treatment, takes place this coming Saturday, March 4. Individuals, healthcare providers and organisations throughout Europe will be participating in events ranging from 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 Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ECPO) and is held in collaboration with obesity associations and individual members in more than 36 European region countries. In the spirit of the tagline, Addressing Obesity Together, people from all walks of life are being encouraged to participate in creating 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 European countries since the 1980s. In particular, ECPO 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 the European initiatives being held to coincide with World Obesity Day will be a special World Obesity Day edition of the ECPO Patient Lounge broadcast live at 14:00 CET on Friday March 3. Distinguished guests participating in the broadcast include Dr Kremlin Wickramasinghe, Acting Head of the World Health Organization European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases; Dr Francesco Branca, Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development in the World Health Organization, Geneva; and Samuel D Hunter, Screenwriter of the highly acclaimed Whale movie.
Free registration for the broadcast is available here. Details of the many events taking place at national and local levels can be found on the World Obesity Day Europe website and social media (@ObesityDayEU #ObesityDayEurope on Twitter).
“We have more events and initiatives taking place for World Obesity Day Europe than ever before,” says ECPO President Sólveig Sigurðardóttir. “It is a day when everyone can learn more about the challenges and treatment of obesity and join in Addressing Obesity Together.”
World Obesity Day Europe will also mark the launch of three new patient organisations in the region: In Luxembourg, the Association des Personnes et Patients Vivant Avec L’Obesite au Luxembourg; in Belgium, VOX Obesity, the Voice of Obesity Patients; and in Iceland, SFO - The Icelandic Coalition for People Living with Obesity.
The ECPO image bank of photographs continues to be expanded and updated in conjunction with patient organisations. The image bank has been created to help change people’s attitudes to overweight and obesity. It consists of more than 400 professionally taken photographs to support editors in selecting less stigmatising images for use in newspapers and magazines.
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. The following hashtags are used on social media: #ObesityDayEurope, #WorldObesityDay, and #AddressingObesityTogether.