Last Thursday, October 8th, KAYL participate in the C20 summit to discuss their session, 'should we recognize obesity as a disease?'.
With speakers Prof. Carel le Roux from University College Dublin, Dr. Alex Miras from Imperial College, and Dr.Werd Alnajim from University college Dublin while the moderator for the session Dr. Ghaliah Abdeen chairwomen of KAYL Association the session lasted for 90 minutes and attended by over 70 individuals.
Obesity is becoming a global health problem affectng all races, social backgrounds, and age groups. Obesity, defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation, impairs the physical and mental well being of individuals. Moving from this definition, it is clear that obesity should be classified as a disease. Obesity is more than the lack of will power to eat less and exercise more. Genetics plays a crucial role in the development and progression of the disease, in addition to the obesogenic environment surrounding us. Increased hunger, reduced fullness, and hormonal imbalances all feed the vicious cycle of obesity. It also significantly increases the risk of other comorbidities including hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, and some types of cancers.
This session explores the experience of a local Saudi NGO, Kayl Association for Combating Obesity, that focuses on tackling obesity. The discussion will initiate a dialogue on how the recognition of obesity as a disease will help to provide the optimum management strategies of the disease, increase the availability of all treatment modalities and assure equal access to these treatments. While several organizations fighting obesity worldwide exist, the necessary global action to address this rising health problem does not. A key aim for the Saudi G20 Presidency is empowering people. This requires support for citizen voices to be included in meaningful ways. Global policymakers need to include diverse voices and stakeholders in decision making. In this session, the discussion advocates to recognize obesity as a disease, a view held by civil society, attempting to make a difference in outcomes for civil society.
Our final recommendation:
- G20 Countries must recognize obesity as a disease by 2020.
- Provide optimum management strategies.
- Increase the availability of all treatment modalities.
- Assure equal access for treatment (government/private/insurance).
- Promote implementing strategies for a healthy environment.