World Obesity’s membership has continued to flourish throughout 2023, with new members joining from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.
These new member groups are representative of areas including the healthcare profession, health and food policy, the lived experience voice, grassroots groups, and everything in between. In total, 11 organisations affiliated to World Obesity in 2023, with total membership numbers standing at 99 organisations in more than 120 countries and territories.
Meanwhile, our established member organisations have led on multiple obesity efforts this year. Our members have published leading research, held congresses and events, advocated before governments and multilateral bodies, and campaigned for better treatment. Though different, all our members are united in the aim of halting the rise in obesity and putting in place effective and respectful treatment methods.
This year, our members were instrumental in delivering one of the most successful World Obesity Day campaigns on record.
Highlights ranged from mass participation events organised by China’s OPCS-CNS to OAC’s patient-led campaigns in the US political chambers and SMO Mexico’s remarkable efforts in organising activities ranging from a virtual race to mass gatherings.
Smaller organisations still had an outsized influence in driving the national narrative and highlighting the need to #ChangePerspectives on obesity, including community-focussed activities in El Salvador and Ghana, such as a mass dance and a sponsored walk.
In the Middle East and North Africa, obesity experts throughout the region convened throughout the year, with the goal of establishing a MENA obesity network and a preliminary working group. A public commitment towards the network was declared in early December under the auspices of COP 28 in Dubai, with an added focus on the interplay between obesity, unhealthy food systems and the climate that is shaping the Gulf and Middle East.
This year’s Annual General Meeting, held in July, saw high levels of participation by World Obesity members, who voted to approve an expansion to the Board of Trustees to include two lived experience members. This resulted in Mr Ogweno Stephen and Ms Amber Huett-Garcia joining World Obesity's main decision-making body, to represent the voice of those living with obesity in LMIC and HIC populations.
Looking ahead to 2024
As we approach the year end, attention shifts to our main activities in 2024. The International Congress on Obesity will be held in São Paulo in conjunction with ABESO Brazil. As ever, member representatives will take centre stage, as speakers, delegates or award winners. We look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible in June.
World Obesity Day will again place member narratives at the centre of the debate. Members, with particular emphasis on our lived experience networks, are being asked to speak to this year’s theme of ‘Let’s Talk About Obesity And…’. Speaking from professional or personal perspectives, our members worldwide will be raising awareness and highlighting the cross-cutting nature of obesity as it relates to health, other NCDs, food policy, the environment and more.
Elsewhere, the membership team will be continuing its regular work of supporting new applicants and existing members alike, whether supporting policy action, increasing the adoption of SCOPE obesity training and other related benefits.
Representation of the true landscape of obesity worldwide is essential at this time: the burden of obesity, on individuals, healthcare systems and economies, is increasing in every region, but particularly in LMICs. In this spirit, World Obesity will continue to address the underrepresentation of obesity as a global concern, through new collaborations and action at WHO and UN agencies.
2023 Highlights from our Members
See below related stories from a few of our members with some of their highlights of 2023.
Related NewsView all
News Member news Dec 20, 23
2023 in review: The All India Association for Advancing Research in Obesity (AIAARO)
AIAARO concluded a successful year with the Obesity India 2023 congress held in Nagpur.Read Post
News Member news Dec 20, 23
2023 in review: The Association for the Study of Obesity on the island of Ireland (ASOI)
ASOI marked an active year in 2023, leading the way on obesity advocacy in Ireland.Read Post