World Obesity Live - People at the Centre: Obesity, COVID-19 and the Patient Perspective | World Obesity Federation

World Obesity Live - People at the Centre: Obesity, COVID-19 and the Patient Perspective

Apr 09, 2020

Training & EventsEventsWorld Obesity Live - People at the Centre: Obesity, COVID-19 and the Patient Perspective

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

Evidence is emerging that suggests that obesity-related conditions seem to worsen the effects of the virus; individuals with heart disease and diabetes are at higher risk of COVID-19 complications and  patient management for people with obesity in intensive care units presents challenges for healthcare professionals (HCPs) on the front-line. These challenges will strain weak health systems that are already not well set up to manage patients with obesity (as reported by our MAPPS study published on Clinical Obesity),

The second webinar of the series delved into the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for people at the centre; patients with obesity and physicians.

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The objective of the webinar is to advance knowledge of the implications of COVID-19 for patients living with obesity. Presentations will address:

  • The concerns of patients with obesity in the face of the pandemic
  • The use of telemedicine to support obesity medicine practitioners on the front line.
  • The mental health implications for patients with obesity and their families
  • The lessons learnt from regions with early experience from COVID-19
  • Special challenges and resources for patients and physicians



  • Abdulla Alozairi - Kuwait University/Amiri Hospital
  • Rachel Batterham - University College London
  • Allison Ibrahim - Gulf Patient Network, Kuwait
  • Rekha Kumar - New York University Langone Hospital. 
  • Vicki Mooney - European Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ECPO)
  • Alice Pik Shan Kong - The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Donna Ryan - President of the World Obesity Federation 


  • Johanna Ralston –  CEO, World Obesity Federation



  • Welcome and introductions – Donna and Johanna
    • Welcome, Housekeeping and Agenda overview (Johanna Ralston, London)
    • Update on Status of the Pandemic (Donna Ryan, New Orleans)

13:03 – 13:13

  • Listening to Patients:  What are the concerns of persons with obesity in the face of the pandemic?  (Allison Ibrahim and TBN from ECPO)
    • Challenges of social isolation
    • Access to medical care
    • Staying healthy and dealing with stress


  • Lessons from the Front Lines of Medical Care (Rekha Kumar, NYC)
    • Redeployment to the front lines: impact on patients with obesity of COVID-19 complications
    • Telemedicine tips for obesity medicine practitioners

13:23- 13:33:

  • Psychological Aspects of COVID-19 for patients with obesity and their families (Abdullah AlOzairi, Kuwait)
    • Stress and mental health
    • Post-traumatic stress

13:33- 13:43:

  • Lessons from Regions with Early Experience with COVID-19 (Alice Pik Shan Kong, Hong Kong)
    • Early efforts at flattening the curve
    • Long-lasting effects in control?
    • Future challenges

13:43- 13:53:

  • Special Challenges and Resources for Patients and Physicians (Rachel Batterham, London)
    • Bariatric Surgery postponement
    • Resources for healthy lifestyle while sheltering


  • Summary and Key Points (Donna Ryan, New Orleans)
    • Persons with obesity are at increased risk for complications from COVID-19.
    • More than ever, obesity medicine expertise in needed for patient care.
    • Persons with obesity are experiencing psychological stress and need out support.
    • Resources are available for our patients and health care providers.
    • Early experiences tell us that there is no easy cure to the pandemic; we will need to share information and help each other to solve this global public health crisis.
    • Taking obesity seriously, is part of future control of global viral pandemics.


  • Final remarks (each panelist makes take away message)
  • Wrap Up (Johanna Ralston) (JR)

Register here

Register now for the next World Obesity Live webinar on the 9th April at 13:00 BST.

Register here