Obesity and Youth: Young people catalysing change | World Obesity Federation

Obesity and Youth: Young people catalysing change

Mar 04, 2024

Monday, 4 March 2024, 14:00 CET (13:00 GMT)

This World Obesity Day, the Global Obesity Coalition - World Obesity Federation, UNICEF and WHO - is hosting a global youth-led webinar to talk about 'Obesity & Youth: Young people catalysing change'.


Overweight and obesity affect around 37 million children under 5 globally, and an additional 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 – 75% of who live in low- and middle-income countries. This reflects a food system that is failing to deliver nutritious diets for children and health systems that fail to address obesity prior to individuals presenting with co-morbidities. In many contexts, this situation is further exacerbated by inequality, including financial, social, and structural drivers of obesity – from pervasive marketing to poor healthcare coverage – meaning that many children around the world are exposed to environments that do not promote health but instead encourage weight gain. The prejudice and stigma that many young people affected by overweight and obesity experience in their day-to-day lives also harms their mental health and self-esteem.

World Obesity Day - 4 March - is a unified day of action that calls for a cohesive, cross-sector response to the obesity crisis. This year's campaign theme is 'Let's Talk About Obesity And...'. We want to leverage the power of World Obesity Day to start cross-cutting conversations. Looking at health, youth, and the world around us to see how we can address obesity together. As such, for World Obesity Day 2024, the Global Obesity Coalition – consisting of UNICEF, WHO, and the World Obesity Federation – is hosting a global youth-led webinar to unlock conversations around how this topic affects the lives of young people around the world and the concrete change young people are demanding. The online global event will service as a moment for those decision makers working in UN agencies, academia, civil society, and government to listen up.


  1. To receive a stock-take of the global obesity crisis, how it’s affecting young people, and how young people can get involved with the WHO Acceleration Plan to Stop Obesity.
  2. To hear and understand the lived realities of young people in a diverse set of countries.
  3. To investigate what it will take to spark a global youth movement to address these realities.
  4. To establish what young people are asking for, and how to deliver.

Join us on 4 March at 2pm CET for this exciting virtual event. More details to follow including a full programme and access details. We look forward to seeing you there.

Programme Outline and Speakers

Welcome by Chair

  • Pierre (Kevin) Cooke, Jr. (he/him) - SUN Lead Group Member, HCC Technical Advisor (Barbados)

Special Message

  • Pau Gasol - NBA All-star, UNICEF Ambassador & Global Champion for Nutrition and Zero Childhood Obesity (Spain)

Q&A with WHO Youth Council member and WHO Director of Nutrition and Food Safety

  • Ishu Kataria (she/her) - Chair, NCDs Working Group, WHO Youth Council & Senior Public Health Researcher, RTI International (India)
  • Francesco Branca (he/him) - Director of the Department of Nutrition & Food Safety, WHO 

Obesity & Youth Discussion Panel

  • Ivha Nkhumeleni (she/her) - UNICEF Volunteer & Youth Advocate (South Africa
  • Rahaf Abu Mayyaleh (she/her) - Youth Climate Activist& Founder, 4Health, (Jordan)  
  • Katrina Anne Tiambeng (she/her) - Policy Associate, ImagineLaw (Philippines)
  • Maria Caprigno (she/her) - Patient Advocate (USA)
  • Luke Hall (he/him) - Youth Activist, Bite Back 2030 (UK
  • Letitcia Cunha (she/her) - Nursing Student (Brazil

Register Now

Join our global youth-led webinar.