World Obesity Day 2024 – talking about obesity across the globe | World Obesity Federation

World Obesity Day 2024 – talking about obesity across the globe

NewsWorld Obesity Day 2024 – talking about obesity across the globe

On 4 March 2024, the world united in a collective effort to ensure happier, healthier and longer lives for all.

The goal of the 2024 campaign was to leverage the power of World Obesity Day to start cross-cutting conversations, by talking about ‘Obesity and…’. We focused on three pillars of health, youth and our world to see how we can address obesity together. This ignited conversations around hundreds of related topics, such as #ObesityAndHypertension, #ObesityAndFoodSystems, and so many more.

Communities around the world rallied to share knowledge, advocate for environments that reduce diseases like obesity, and start conversations about the complex interaction of different factors that impact, or are impacted by, obesity.

Every year, World Obesity Day is supported by thousands of individuals, organisations and alliances, involving millions around the world - and 2024 was no exception! We experienced remarkable engagement again this year, with preliminary figures showing nearly 220 million impressions on X across the hashtags, and 6.2 billion press reach! These figures represent engagement on 4 March only, and we expect the numbers to rise as we see the impact of ongoing conversations. 

Global engagement and action

In response to our call for stories, events, videos, photos and activities, we received nearly 200 submissions from around the world! Many were uploaded to our WOD map, while others were shared on our social media channels.

We launched two exciting new initiatives for WOD this year and were delighted to see how many people participated:

  • Walk for WOD - to raise awareness about obesity and World Obesity Day alongside encouraging a sense of community.
  • Illumination of monuments – we asked members and collaborators to illuminate monuments in their city or country in purple.

Members, partners, lived experience voices and allies took part in a wide variety of activities – here are just a few amazing stories, from local community awareness and events, to high-level advocacy campaigns, and everything in between!

WOD 2024

In China, millions attended events organised by the Obesity Prevention and Control Branch of the Chinese Nutrition Society (OPC-CNS) and the Global Health Institute (GHI) of Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU), including the 2024 World Obesity Day China Summit, the Symposium of International Obesity Prevention and Treatment Strategies, and the launch of the 2024 Obesity Atlas in Mandarin.


Our members in Ireland, the Association for the Study of Obesity in Ireland (ASOI) participated in a TV interview with a patient parent advocate. You can watch this here.

Asociación Lucha Contra la Obesidad (ALCO), our member organisation in Costa Rica, organised a landmark event this WOD that convened key players in the country including PAHO, the Ministry of Health, as well as numerous organisations in the Central American country.

WOD 2024

In Singapore, the Singapore Association for the Study of Obesity (SASO) hosted a hugely successful Walk for Obesity event this 4 March. As well as a waterfront walk, the Association facilitated health screening sessions for participants in its marquee.


Activities in Hong Kong by the Hong Kong Obesity Society included a webinar, appearance on Radio Television Hong Kong, a newspaper story in South China Morning Post, and a series of public talks and activities.

The Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Service (CBCHS), organised a series of community mobilisation initiatives this 4 March in Cameroon. This included activities with junior school children and a series of awareness-raising videos on subjects ranging from obesity and its relation to diabetes, fertility and more.

WOD 2024

World Obesity members in India rallied around various activities, inspired by the 'Walk for Obesity' initiatives, and the need for increased education for students and professionals throughout the nation. 


In the USA, The Obesity Society (TOS) and Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) led a powerful lobby day in Washington, DC and a series of activities in support of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act through Obesity Care Week.

The Lebanese Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Lipids (LSEDL) organised a SCOPE Accredited event, Obesity Day 2024, held in Lebanon.

WOD 2024

In Brazil, the Brazilian Obesity Panel (PBO), chaired by Instituto Cordial, was instrumental in delivering an impactful session in Brazil's National Congress on the obesity burden in the country. The intervention focused on data published in the World Obesity Atlas, following a translation project into Portuguese undertaken by colleagues at the Instituto.


We also saw the stunning illumination of Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro!

In South Africa, the community came together to address this pressing global and national crisis. The week kicked off with a powerful editorial published on 4 March, emphasising the urgent need for attention on obesity, paralleling the urgency once associated with the HIV epidemic. This was followed by a Walk for WOD, and a collaborative declaration event.

WOD 2024

In Mexico, our member, Sociedad Mexicana de Obesidad, (SMO) joined with a number of partners to carry out many activities for WOD 2024, including a 'Walk the Talk Mexico', a virtual race, an academic session for SMO members, a webinar titled 'A call to action', and the illumination of various monuments in Mexico City: the Monument to the Revolution; the Angel of Independence; and the Fountain of Diana the Huntress.

Also in Mexico, the National Obesity Prevention Plan was presented by the 10 principle medical societies, CSOs, PAHO, UNICEF and MOH. Mexico's new Healthy Food Law was also approved by Congress.

And in El Salvador, the Salvadorean Association for Obesity (ASOBE), was engaged in a number of activities including an educational session on women's health and obesity, and a session on obesity and dyslipidemia.


There are plenty more events that took place – do have a look at our WOD map and our social media accounts (Instagram, X and LinkedIn) to view more of the amazing activities that organisations and individuals participated in all over the globe.

Talking about obesity and advancing action

We hosted and participated in a number of high-level events this WOD. These include:

  • SCOPE held a webinar on the theme of 'Obesity & Women’s Health'. Dr Ada Cuevas (Chile), Chair of World Obesity’s Clinical Care Committee, delivered a fascinating presentation outlining the prevalence of obesity in women globally and describing the impact of obesity across the woman’s life course. This webinar was attended by more than 100 participants.
  • The Global Obesity Coalition - World Obesity Federation, UNICEF and WHO - hosted a global youth-led webinar to talk about 'Obesity & Youth: Young people catalysing change' and to unlock conversations around how this topic affects the lives of young people around the world and the concrete change they are demanding. This global event brought together almost 300 participants from around the world.
  • Members of our leadership team also presented in webinars on and around WOD including the IFSO World Obesity Day Roundtable, FIP’s ‘Obesity: Understanding the disease, nutritional approaches and the new pharmacological interventions’, Rotary District 7030’s ‘Let's talk obesity: DG Brian's Lunch Webinar’, and a webinar about aligning obesity objectives in Uruguay.

World Obesity Atlas 2024 and other significant publications

In the days leading up to World Obesity Day, we released our sixth annual World Obesity Atlas, providing a comprehensive overview of obesity rates and trends worldwide, with clear projections as to how the fallout from obesity is likely to affect the world. One of the key findings is that no area of the world is unaffected by the consequences of obesity and the poorest suffer the most, at ever younger ages. The Atlas also provides compelling evidence of how lack of obesity care in health systems is driving all the major NCDs including cancer and diabetes, and it underscores how factors driving economic development are contributing to obesity trends.

This coincided with the publication in The Lancet of new data from a study by the NCD-Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC), in collaboration with WHO, which estimates that there are now over one billion people around the world living with obesity. 

Download the 2024 Atlas here:

We also launched the first of our planned 'Obesity in numbers' series in the UAE, where we review the state of obesity through the latest statistics. As part of our ongoing collaboration with colleagues in the Middle East and North Africa, this first statistical briefing explores current overweight and obesity prevalence (and its distribution in the population), projections, the economic impact of overweight and obesity, and the impact of obesity on other non-communicable diseases.

In addition, to mark World Obesity Day, our CEO, Johanna Ralston, President-Elect, Dr Simón Barquera, and Prof. Kent Buse of the George Institute, and Chair of our Policy and Prevention Committee, published an opinion piece in the BMJ Today, where they call for the world to be talking differently about obesity.

Keep the momentum going – build your networks

Working together to build a bigger network helps to provide a more collective approach to obesity. Let’s keep the conversation going to continue building momentum towards strong national action.

You could reach out to an organisation working on another health issue, either a different type of obesity organisation, or a group working on a different issue that has overlapping aims i.e. diabetes, heart disease, children’s health, nutrition, advocacy groups, climate change, education, etc. Looking outside of your national context can also help you to identify what works and how best to progress action. We have over 100 members all over the world – why not reach out to a fellow obesity organisation?

Visit our member directory here

World Obesity Day is just one day – but you can continue building your network, having conversations and calling for action all year long to build momentum. Please do reach out to us if you have any questions, or ideas for collaboration.

Thank you!

As always, the success of World Obesity Day relies on the support, engagement and enthusiasm of our networks. Thank you to everyone who came together in this global, unified call for action on obesity.

Our impact continues to grow each year, as we reach more and more people who have the power to influence changes that improve the lives of people living with obesity.

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