The Seventy-Fourth World Health Assembly (WHA) took place virtually on May 24th – June 1st.
In our capacity as an organisation in official relations with WHO, we were able to participate and contribute to the recent Seventy-Fourth WHA by delivering a number of statements on key agenda items, including on the Political Declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, COVID-19 response, and social determinants of health.
Until the arrival of COVID-19, the health consequences of obesity were underplayed and often conflated with other issues. However, the evidence that obesity is an independent and leading risk for complications and mortality from COVID-19 clearly demonstrates that it is a global health security issue, and a disease requiring urgent action now and in preparation for future pandemics. The recovery from COVID-19 presents an opportunity to improve health outcomes across all systems, and address the root causes of obesity by adopting an integrated, equitable, comprehensive, person-centred approach to obesity.
Through the different statements delivered, World Obesity urged Member States to consider a number of actions, including:
- To recognise that obesity is a disease in its own right as well as a risk factor for other conditions
- To adopt a systems-based approach when addressing obesity and diet-related NCDs and call for action across the health, food, transport, water and sanitation, education and economic systems
- To support a WHA Resolution on obesity to mandate equitable action on obesity, covering prevention, treatment and management of the disease
- To advocate for people-centred care and ensure that people living with non-communicable diseases are included in the development and evaluations of interventions and guidelines
Against the backdrop of the World Health Assembly, and in contribution to the UN Food System Summit, WHO is organising a programme of talks to increase awareness of how food systems and health are linked, and why food systems transformation is necessary to achieve health and well-being for all.
Building on the World Obesity Day event ‘Obesity: Setting the global agenda’ this interactive talk will move the conversation forward to discuss how partners are advancing the food and health agendas to address obesity. Organised by WHO, World Obesity and UNICEF, the event will introduce the new Global Obesity Coalition’s agenda, with a panel of speakers from government, UN and civil society debating some of the challenges in multi-sector approaches, as well as the opportunities provided by the UN Food System Summit to advance global action on obesity. Register for the event here.
With global obesity targets catastrophically off-track, other health targets remain in jeopardy. The WHO’s target for 1 billion people to live healthier lives by 2023 will not be met without action on obesity. The recovery from COVID-19 presents an opportunity to improve health outcomes across all systems, and address the root causes of obesity by adopting an integrated, equitable, comprehensive, person-centred approach to obesity.
Download our statements
Statement to the 74th World Health Assembly - Social determinants of health
Statement to the 74th World Health Assembly, Agenda item 22.1, on social determinants of health. Delivered jointly by WCRF international and World Obesity Federation.Download (171.19 KB)
Statement to the 74th World Health Assembly (Agenda item 13.2)
Political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseasesDownload (189.62 KB)
Obesity: Advancing the global food and health agendas
Building on the World Obesity Day event ‘Setting the global agenda’ this interactive talk will move the conversation forward to discuss how partners are advancing the food and health agenda to address obesity.Register here