2022 Year-end letter from our President and CEO | World Obesity Federation

2022 Year-end letter from our President and CEO

News2022 Year-end letter from our President and CEO

Dear friends,

Thank you for all for your support and partnership through what has been another transformative year for global obesity. We will look back at 2022 as a year when your global, regional and national advocacy efforts turned a corner with global commitments, and when our convening resulted in an outstanding ICO in Australia, several SCOPE Schools, and other gatherings for knowledge exchange and dialogue. 

Highlights of 2022 include:

  • World Obesity Day on 4 March. After the broad-reaching campaign theme for World Obesity Day 2021 of ‘Everybody needs everybody’, the 2022 campaign focused on translating shared purpose into action with ‘Everybody needs to act’. This helped consolidate actions ranging from the individual (using people first language, calling out stigma), to the national (country strategies and awareness), to the global (a resolution at the World Health Assembly including the obesity recommendations and Acceleration Plan).  
  • The International Congress on Obesity (ICO) in Melbourne, a joint meeting of the Asia-Oceania Association for the Study of Obesity (AOASO), the Australia New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS), and World Obesity, where over a thousand delegates from all across the region and around the world came together. Other features included a SCOPE School attracting delegates from over 15 countries and the conclusion of a preceptorship led by Cleveland Clinic, with in-person training in Melbourne alongside the Congress.
  • The launch at the UN General Assembly event hosted by the government of Denmark of the publication in BMJ Global Health of the full Economic Impact of Obesity study and methodology, now covering over 160 countries. This partnership with RTI International has established a global means of comparing the cost of inaction on obesity in terms of medical costs associated with cancer, diabetes and other obesity-associated diseases, as well as lost productivity as a percentage of GDP, now and in the coming decades. 
  • A successful SCOPE School in Chile focusing on national strategies and primary care and new SCOPE modules on key topics in treatment and prevention, along with continued growth of SCOPE Certifications, and updates to the Core Learning Path. We thank Joe Proietto for his leadership of the World Obesity Clinical Care Committee which oversees the work of SCOPE. Joe has now stepped down from this role after many years of service.
  • The publication of the joint World Heart Federation and World Obesity Federation position paper on obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD) management.
  • The final phases of our EU partnerships, STOP and CO-CREATE, culminating in four-and-a-half years of knowledge exchange and evidence for youth engagement and communication in obesity.
  • Continued growth in website visits and downloading of obesity data from the Global Obesity Observatory.
  • Translation of the Gulf Recommendations initiative into final workshops and the launch of a new working group to help build a regional association focused on obesity.
  • New Editors-in-Chief for Clinical Obesity and Obesity Reviews, which continues to be the obesity journal with the highest impact factor at 10.867, and is ranked 9/146 in the Endocrinology & Metabolism category. We thank the former Editors-in-Chief, Nick Finer and David York, for their very fine contributions to the journals and to World Obesity more broadly, and we welcome the new Editors-in-Chief, Shahrad Taheri and Brian Oldfield.
  • Continued growth in membership: we now have member organisations in over 100 countries and territories!
  • Changes in our executive leadership including saying farewell to Donna Ryan in her role as Past-President, welcoming Simón Barquera as President-Elect, and John Wilding taking the role of Past-President. We thank Donna for her leadership within World Obesity over many years and are delighted to retain her support on our board as Publications Committee Chair.

Looking forward to 2023:

In 2023 we will focus on:

  • Translating global advocacy success to the country levels including capacity-building and investment cases.
  • A new World Obesity Day theme around changing perceptions of obesity among all stakeholders.
  • A Global Obesity Forum and activities around the World Health Assembly.
  • SCOPE Schools covering topics including CVD and obesity and primary care in at least four countries.

With our best wishes, Louise & Johanna

Louise Baur, President

About Louise

Johanna Ralston, CEO

About Johanna