World Obesity Federation’s response to WHO Discussion Paper on Obesity | World Obesity Federation

World Obesity Federation’s response to WHO Discussion Paper on Obesity

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World Obesity Federation reports in 2019 and 2020 show that no country is on track to meet the WHA NCD targets, reinforcing the need for a much more robust and well-coordinated response. As such, we welcome the draft recommendations and congratulate WHO on the efforts to produce this paper. This marks an important moment where our improved understanding of the complexities and drivers of obesity are being used to develop comprehensive policy recommendations for prevention and treatment in adults and children alike.

World Obesity calls on Member States to request WHO’s Executive Board to adopt this document as a draft resolution to be presented before the 75th World Health Assembly. We also invite international organisations and other relevant stakeholders to collaborate with Member States to mark World Obesity Day annually on March 4th.

The document highlights a number of important considerations for the prevention, treatment and management of obesity throughout the lifecourse, and steps that are needed to help support people living with obesity and countries to meet the existing targets. In particular, we welcome that the draft:

  • Recognises obesity as a complex multifactorial disease
  • Acknowledges the stigma and bias experienced by people living with obesity in different geographies and cultures
  • Recognises the need to prevent and manage obesity throughout the lifecourse
  • Makes recommendations for improving the training of healthcare providers (HCPs) in obesity management
  • Makes recommendations for obesity to be included in universal health coverage (UHC) packages, and managed through multidisciplinary teams
  • Recognises the need to build on existing strategies, such as ECHO and the Global Action Plan on NCDs
  • Highlights the importance of regulating food environments through taxation and incentives

However, there are a number of important areas where the document could be improved to ensure that it is comprehensive and formulates meaningful recommendations that can help stimulate change. Specifically, we would urge to strengthen the following areas:

  • Ensure the recognition and urgent need to address commercial determinants of health in efforts to prevent, manage and treat obesity
  • Improve health services including ensuring equitable access, financing, and training of healthcare professionals
  • Make recommendations to develop strong monitoring and accountability frameworks which encompass and hold accountable all actors in the obesity agenda, and ensure the necessary resources are available and accessible to all
  • Ensure that the proposed recommendations are adaptable across different settings

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World Obesity comments on WHO obesity recommendations

World Obesity Federation’s response to WHO Discussion Paper ‘Draft recommendations for the prevention and management of obesity over the life course, including potential targets’

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