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European Obesity Day 2017

European Obesity Day to be held on 20 May 2017

Call for action for the EU Member States to do more to tackle obesity

European Obesity Day will take place on Saturday 20th May and will be marked by events to be held across the region to draw attention to the growing obesity epidemic.

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. 

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.”

According to World Health Organisation, obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. Its prevalence has tripled in many countries in Europe since the 1980s. Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and several forms of cancer are among the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and chronic conditions attributable to excess weight. Several reports have shown that if the number of overweight people and those with obesity continues to increase at such an alarming rate, it will affect more than half of all European citizens by 2030. In some countries, this figure may be as high as 90%.

To help facilitate cooperation between EU Member States and to inspire them to do more, EASO organised a major conference in Brussels last week (on Wednesday 10 May).  More than 100 national policymakers, representatives from the European Institutions, the World Health Organization, and healthcare specialists and providers 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 staging events at a national level 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 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.

For the third successive year, Medtronic is one of the main enablers of European Obesity Day.  Many of their country teams across the region have initiated events and activities to further help raise awareness of obesity. In particular, the need for more attention to be given to treatment and care. Medtronic-led initiatives range from seminars for patients and healthcare professionals, to publicity campaigns, media events and government affairs activities.

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. Activities can also be followed on Twitter (@EOD2017 and #EOD2017) and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EObesityD/ 

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