Europe can reverse the “epidemic” of obesity: WHO Report

New WHO The European Regional Obesity Report 2022, published by the WHO European Regional Office on May 3, reveals that the proportion of overweight and obesity has reached the epidemic rate across the region and is still expanding. Achieve WHO’s Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) goal of stopping the rise in obesity by 2025.

New data on obesity and overweight

Presented at a press conference on May 3 and presented at the European Conference on Obesity, the report states that in the European region, 59% of adults and one in three children (29% of boys and 27% of girls). ) Is overweight. Or live with obesity. The prevalence of obesity in adults in Europe is higher than in any other WHO region except the Americas.

Overweight and obesity are one of the leading causes of death in Europe, with recent estimates of more than 1.2 million deaths annually, accounting for more than 13% of total mortality in the region.

Obesity increases the risk of many NCDs, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and chronic respiratory illness. For example, obesity is thought to be the cause of at least 13 types of cancer and can be the direct cause of at least 200,000 new cancer cases each year across the region, a figure that will increase over the next few years. It will increase. Overweight and obesity are also major risk factors for disability, causing 7% of the years of living with disabilities in the region.

Overweight and obese people are disproportionately affected by the results of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, there are unfavorable changes in food consumption and physical activity patterns, which will affect and require great effort to reverse the health of the population in the coming years.

European Obesity: An Ongoing “Epidemic”

To address the growing epidemic, the report recommends a range of interventions and policy options that Member States can consider to prevent and combat obesity in the region, with an emphasis on post-pandemic recovery of COVID-19. doing.

“Obesity is borderless. In Europe and Central Asia, no country has achieved the WHO Global NCD’s goal of stopping the rise in obesity,” he said. Hans Henri P. Kruge, WHO Europe Regional Director. “The countries in our region are very diverse, but everyone is challenging to some extent. Creating a more effective environment, facilitating investment and innovation in health, and developing a strong and resilient health system. By doing so, you can change the course of obesity. Region. “

Obesity is a disease – not just risk factors

Obesity is a complex illness that poses a health risk. The cause is much more complicated than just a combination of an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. This report presents the latest evidence and highlights how vulnerability to early unhealthy weight affects a person’s tendency to develop obesity.

Environmental factors specific to living in a highly digitized society in modern Europe are also the driving force of obesity. The report investigates, for example, how digital marketing of unhealthy foods to children and the proliferation of sedentary online games contribute to the growing trend of overweight and obesity in Europe. However, we will also consider how digital platforms may provide opportunities for promotion and discussion of health and well-being.

Policy Measures: What Can the Country Do?

Addressing obesity is important to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and is a WHO priority. European Work Plan 2020–2025..

The new WHO report states that policy interventions targeting environmental and commercial determinants of poor diets across the population level reverse the epidemic of obesity, address dietary inequality, and sustain environmentally. It outlines what is likely to be most effective in achieving a possible dietary system.

Obesity is complex and has multifaceted determinants and health implications. In other words, a single intervention cannot stop the epidemic from expanding.

National policies aimed at addressing the issue of overweight and obesity must have a high level of political commitment behind them. They also need to be comprehensive, reach individuals throughout their life course, and target inequality. Efforts to prevent obesity need to consider the broader determinants of the disease, and policy options should focus on the individual and move away from approaches that address the structural factors of obesity.

The WHO report highlights some specific policies that show promise in reducing levels of obesity and overweight.

  • Implementation of financial intervention (taxation on sugared beverages, subsidies for health foods, etc.).
  • Restrictions on the sale of unhealthy food to children.
  • Improving access to obesity and overweight management services in primary health care as part of universal health insurance.
  • A life course-wide diet and interventions that include prejudice and pregnancy care, promotion of breastfeeding, school-based interventions, availability and affordability of health foods, and interventions to create an environment that improves physical activity opportunities. Efforts to improve physical activity.

Read the entire WHO report Here..

Source: World Health Organization (WHO) Europe can reverse the “epidemic” of obesity: WHO Report

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