Thursday, October 11 marks World Obesity Day. Organised by the World Obesity Federation, this year’s focus is to raise awareness surrounding the severity and diversity of weight stigma.
If no changes are made, 2.7 billion adults and over 80 million children under five will suffer from obesity by 2025 worldwide. Obesity is responsible for a significant proportion of non-communicable diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke. It is also related to a number of digestive health issues, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and digestive cancers. Studies have, for example, shown that obesity can increase the risk of colorectal cancer by nearly three times in both men and women.
The WHO European region has a higher prevalence of children that are overweight than any other WHO region in the world  and an alarming one in three children between 6-9 years is either overweight or obese in 46 European countries.
One of the main aims with this year’s theme is to help people overcome the barriers that arise as a result from stigma which may be preventing them from getting much needed medical treatment. In alignment with the theme, the World Obesity Federation is calling on media outlets to portray obesity in a fair, accurate and informative way by cutting out the use of stigmatising imagery and language.
Alongside the media, the World Obesity Federation are calling on the Government and HCP’s to improve and acknowledge our living environments and how these are contributing to obesity, rather than solely focusing on individual responsibility and blame. This includes implementing new policies to address obesogenic food environments and improving urban environments to make them more walkable which will help contribute to higher activity in people’s daily lives.
Join the discussion on Twitter by following @my_UEG and using the hashtag #WorldObesityDay
About World Obesity Federation
The World Obesity Federation represents professional members of the scientific, medical and research communities from over 50 regional and national obesity associations. Through this community, World Obesity Federation creates a global community of organisation with aims to solve the problems of obesity.