World Obesity Live: Joining the dots – a reflection on COVID-19 & Obesity

Dec 04, 2020

Training & EventsEventsWorld Obesity Live: Joining the dots – a reflection on COVID-19 & Obesity

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

Since April, over 10 hours of discussion, we have heard from experts, patients, and young people. It is become clear that people with higher body mass index (BMI) are at increased risk of severe illness due to the virus. Moreover, that there are emerging challenges for healthcare professionals, and patients as they navigate new ways of delivering and receiving care.  COVID-19 is disrupting health and food systems, and threatening progress on global obesity targets. This last webinar of the series will serve as an opportunity to reflect and explore priority actions (including policies) to move forward as we bring the webinar series to a close.

  • Date: Friday 4th December 2020
  • Time: 13:00-14:00 GMT (UK Time)


  • Share the latest evidence and analysis on Obesity & COVID-19
  • Discuss the impact of COVID-19 on patients living with obesity (PLWO) and children and adolescents
  • Explore priority policy actions to build back better and mobilise action on obesity during the global crisis


13:00-13:03         Welcome

John Wilding, President World Obesity Federation

  • Welcome participants
  • Housekeeping rules
  • Overview of agenda/ welcome to speakers
  • Handover to John

13:03-13:10         Where are we now?  - an update on COVID-19 & Obesity

John Wilding, President World Obesity Federation

  • A few slides from Johanna
  • John Hopkins Dashboard
  • How has our understanding of the association between COVID-19 and obesity evolved since March – evidence for increased risk for COVID-19 complications for patients with obesity.
  • How has WOF responded to the pandemic/ the evolving evidence?

13:10-13:35         Reflections on COVID-19 & Obesity

  • Tasha Mhakayakora, Biteback (UK)
    • Impact of COVID-19 on children – COVID-washing and aggressive marketing during the pandemic
    • COVID-19 as an opportunity for action on childhood obesity (which is also highly prominent in LMICs)
    • How have youth been catalysing action?
  • Dra Ada Cuevas, Advanced Center for Metabolic Medicine and Nutrition (CAMMYN)
    • What are the special needs for patients with obesity?
    • How has the clinical picture evolved – telehealth/video consultations?
    • What are the concerns of patients living with obesity?
  • Dr Tolullah Oni, University of Cambridge (UK)
    • What are the impacts of COVID-19 on inequity and obesity risk?
    • Context specific approaches/ diversity and challenges of responses around the world. *e.g. India, Pacific, Small Island Developing States*
  • Dr Fatima Cody Stanford, Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School (USA)
    • Priority policies and actions that are essential to build back better and reduce obesity.
    • What needs to happen to fast track action on obesity during this crisis
  • Prof Corinna Hawkes, City University of London (UK)
    • Win-win-win actions needed across food, health, and climate sectors for a healthy recovery: for example, policies that simultaneously reduce the risk of malnutrition, climate change and COVID-19

13:30-13:55        Panel Discussion


13:55-14:00        Looking into the future – a window of opportunity for action on COVID-19 & Obesity Prof John Wilding, President, World Obesity Federation

  • GOF White Paper
  • SCOPE School Global – Childhood Obesity promo
  • SCOPE Module on COVID-19 and Obesity                         

Chair: Prof John Wilding, President, World Obesity Federation


  • Dra Ada Cuevas, MD, MSc, Director and Founder, Advanced Center for Metabolic Medicine and Nutrition (CAMMYN), Santiago, Chile 
  • Dr Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA, FAAP, FACP, FAHA, FTOS, Obesity Medicine & Nutrition| Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School |  
  • Prof Corinna Hawkes, Director of the Centre for Food Policy at City University, United Kingdom 
  • Dr Tolullah Oni, Global Diet and Activity Research Group, MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, United Kingdom  
  • Tasha Mhakayakora, Youth Board Member, Biteback 

Watch here

The final World Obesity Live of 2020 - Joining the dots: a reflection on COVID-19 & Obesity - took place on the 4th December. Catch up with our WOF live webinar, and all our other WOF live webinars, now!

Watch here