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Research organisation calls for urgent action to tackle obesity

19 May 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler

The European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) has issued a warning urging for action to tackle the regions rising obesity epidemic.

Research organisation calls for urgent action to tackle obesity

EASO, the organisation responsible for research into obesity in Europe, has warned that unless something is done quickly to tackle the region’s rising obesity epidemic, it will have a devastating effect on healthcare costs and productivity.

Today’s warning comes ahead of various events, hosted by EASO and its member associations in 32 European countries, highlighting the situation and creating greater awareness and understanding of obesity. The events will take place on European Obesity Day this Saturday (21 May).

According to World Health Organisation, obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. Its prevalence has tripled in many countries in Europe since the 1980s.

Obesity costs European countries €70 billion in healthcare and lost productivity

According to EASO, obesity is now costing European countries more than €70 billion in healthcare and lost productivity.

Two reports in the medical journal, the Lancet[i], also underlined the sheer magnitude of the global obesity epidemic and have highlighted the huge rise in type 2 diabetes as a result.
Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain forms of cancer, are among a number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that are all a greater risk to people with excess weight.

“Obesity is a complex and chronic disease with numerous causes, many of which are beyond an individual’s control”

“Obesity is a complex and chronic disease with numerous causes, many of which are beyond an individual’s control,” says EASO President, Professor Hermann Toplak. “The causes can range from genetic and endocrine conditions to environmental factors, such as stress, diet and increasingly sedentary working patterns.

“A healthier lifestyle, including a healthy diet and regular physical activity can help maintain a normal weight. However, obesity is a chronic disease and should be recognised and treated as such. Accepting and supporting people with obesity will help them seek the help and treatment they need,” he added.


[i] Trends in adult body-mass index in 200 countries from 1975 to 2014: a pooled analysis of 1698 population-based measurement studies with 19·2 million participants. The Lancet, Volume 387, No. 10026, p1377–1396, 2 April 2016 http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)30054-X/abstract

Worldwide trends in diabetes since 1980: a pooled analysis of 751 population-based studies with 4·4 million participants, The Lancet Volume 387, No. 10027, p1513–1530, 9 April 2016 http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)00618-8/abstract

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