World Obesity Live - COVID-19 and obesity: Emerging insights and policy implications | World Obesity Federation

World Obesity Live - COVID-19 and obesity: Emerging insights and policy implications

May 29, 2020

Training & EventsEventsWorld Obesity Live - COVID-19 and obesity: Emerging insights and policy implications

In response to the current COVID-19 Pandemic, the World Obesity Federation and colleagues are running a series of webinars on COVID-19 and Obesity. 

To date, the webinar series has explored the early evidence for the worsening of COVID-19 symptoms amongst people with obesity, the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for patients with obesity and physicians and the implications of COVID-19 on the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.

Evidence continues to emerge that suggests that obesity and obesity-related conditions worsen the effects of COVID-19, with data highlighting a high proportion of ICU patients also being affected by obesity.  Furthermore, many co-morbidities of obesity including diabetes and heart disease have been shown to increase the risk of COVID-19 complications, putting increased strain on health systems. This emerging evidence has implications on government policy and responses to COVID-19. While the risk posed by certain NCDs was identified early, the risk of obesity emerged later and governments are having to reassess their position on vulnerable populations. The patterns of risk also expose the impact of inaction to prevent and manage obesity and other NCDs and the fragility of current systems. Looking to the future, COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of addressing obesity for supporting healthy and resilient populations.

This webinar will explore the latest data that is emerging on COVID-19 and obesity, with a particular focus on the policy implications and policy response to date on obesity. Taking place a week after the WHO’s World Health Assembly, the webinar will also reflect on some of the opportunities for raising the profile of obesity on the global health agenda.


The objective of the webinar is to present the latest evidence for a link between COVID-19 complications and obesity and discuss policy implications of this link now, and in the future.

Presentations will address:

  • The emerging data on COVID-19 and obesity
  • National COVID-19 responses that have included obesity
  • The WHO NCD response to COVID-19
  • Opportunities to raise the profile of obesity on the global health agenda


  • Professor John Wilding
    • University of Liverpool, UK
  • Dr Ximena Ramos Salas
    • Obesity Canada
  • Dr Francesco Branca
    • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Professor Karine Clement
    • French Association for the Study of Obesity (AFERO)
  • Dr Ricardo Luna
    • Mexican Society of Obesity (SMO)


  • 13:00-13:03       Welcome and introductions (John Wilding, Chair)
    • House keeping
  • 13:03-13:10       Integrating obesity into global NCD and COVID-19 responses (John Wilding)
  • 13:10-13:20       COVID-19 and obesity - what does the latest data tell us? (Ximena Ramos Salas)
  • 13:20-13:30       Word Health Organization response to COVID-19, nutrition and NCDs (Francesco Branca, WHO)
  • 13:30-13:45       National case studies of policy action
    • French national policy (Karine Clement)
    • Mexico national policy (Ricardo Luna)
  • 13:45-13:55       Discussion
  • 13:55-14:00       Final remarks from chair and speakers

Register here

Rgeister for our upcoming webinar on the 29th May here.

Register here