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Call to action

More needs to be done to tackle Obesity in Europe

Obesity Day provides opportunity for everyone to pledge support

Europe's leading organisation responsible for research into obesity, the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), has warned that EU Member States need to do more to tackle the growing obesity epidemic, or they could face crippling costs of providing medical care in the future. 

People from across Europe are being urged to support a call for EU Member States to do more to tackle the region’s growing obesity epidemic. The action is being organised to coincide with European Obesity Day which takes place on Saturday 20th May and is being promoted via a European Obesity Day website page here. Everyone who pledges their support can also download a certificate of acknowledgement.

EASO is also urging people to reduce the stigma around obesity and to do more to support those who have it.

According to EASO, too few European countries have effective strategies in place to tackle obesity, and some have none at all.

Hermann Toplak

“Despite the growing epidemic, many plans consist only of collections of vague goals rather than concrete measures,” said EASO President, Professor Hermann Toplak. “To be effective, Member States need to have comprehensive strategies that cover all aspects of weight management. These should include the promotion of healthier lifestyles and the reduction in demand and consumption of excessive amounts of high-calorie food and drinks, as well as the treatment of obesity to help prevent the many other diseases on which it impacts.”

To help facilitate cooperation between EU Member States and to inspire them to do more, EASO organised a major conference in Brussels.  More than 100 national policymakers, representatives from the European Institutions, the WHO, and healthcare specialists attended to discuss the challenges they face and to share examples of best practice.

EASO’s 32 member associations and more than 70 collaborating centres will be marking European Obesity Day at a national level by staging events over the coming week to create greater awareness and understanding of obesity.  The initiatives range from walks and fun runs to free public health checks and consultations with healthcare professionals.

In line with the theme for European Obesity Day 2017, Tackling Obesity Together, people across all EU member states are being encouraged to participate.

Several reports have shown that if the number of overweight people and those with obesity continues to increase at the same rate,  it will affect more than half of all European citizens by 2030. In some countries, it may be as high as 90%.

For more information, please see the European Obesity Day website: www.europeanobesityday.eu, the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO): www.easo.org, and the World Health Organisation: www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/obesity

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