World Obesity Day

Due to caloric consumption and inactive lifestyle, the worldwide obesity rate has trebled since 1975. 39% of people aging over 18 years were found overweight in the year 2016 – says WHO.

You’d be surprised to know that a recent study by Imperial College London and WHO published that the number of obese adolescents and children (5 to 15 years) around the globe has increased tenfold in the last 4 decades. To overcome this growing challenge, the concept of World Obesity Day brought to light.

What is World Obesity Day? 

To stimulate practical actions that help people maintain a healthy lifestyle, treat and prevent the global concern of overweightness, World Obesity Federation launched World Obesity Day in 2015. This day is celebrated on 11th October as an annual event. 

Background

The first World Obesity Day in history was celebrated in the year 2015.

In the second year, this annual campaign was held on the same day. It was aligned with the WHO commission report on eradicating the prevalence of childhood obesity

World health organization says that 41 million children below the age of 5 were overweight or obese, as of 2016. On World Obesity Day (2016), the calls to action for child obesity were as follows.

Local services should take certain actions to help beat child obesity. Let’s see what are these. 

  • There should be well-managed health-promoting schools that offer high grade-nutrition, promote physical activities and community involvement. 
  • Women should be well-guided during pregnancy, and they should get better breastfeeding support as primary healthcare. 
  • Women should get privileges including maternity leaves, support for healthy infant growth, baby-friendly hospitals, and other child community facilities. 

Other than these local services for new mothers and infants, WOD (2016) encouraged many other national strategies and health services that can help you with weight difficulties and healthcare interventions. 

In the month of May 2016, the 69th World Health Assembly committed to establishing national strategies to end childhood obesity as recommended by the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity. 

In 2017, World Obesity Day was themed as “Treat obesity now and avoid the consequences later.” In this event, the federation called all the governments, philanthropic organizations, health service providers and insurers so that they can manage investment that can help them tackle obesity. This spoke about investment in obesity programs to avoid life-threatening health overweight conditions that can lead to hypertension, sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, liver diseases etc. 

This campaign focused on investing in early preventive measures to improve the success rate of treatment. Below mentioned are a few points that focus on investing in:

  • Group or individual weight management services
  • National guidelines to manage people affected by obesity
  • Easy availability of primary health consultations for patients
  • Global access to monitoring and sustaining better health care services for obesity 
  • Health promotions to protect and improve the lifestyle and eating habits of the coming generation
  • Easy access to pharmaceuticals and best in class follow up services

The theme for the year 2018 was “It’s time to End Weight Stigma!” It raised awareness to end weight discrimination and negative stereotypes about overweight which can lead to weight stigma.

Weight stigma is a negative term that refers to a bad attitude directed towards a person solely because of the problem of obesity he or she is prone to. In this event, the management called all the media people to convey them not to use stigmatizing language or creatives towards obesity in their promotions. Instead, they should use respectable language to inform and create awareness. 

How did this event help in reducing weight stigma?

  • Derogatory labels with regards to obese people should be avoided
  • Myths and false stereotypes regarding obesity should not be promoted
  • World Obesity Day (2018) focused on eradicating this issue from all over the world

World Obesity Day, 2019 has given way to a new World Obesity Day on March 4th, 2020. Globally, the organizations will acknowledge the latter date and unite together to address this epidemic condition on 4th March 2020. 

Objectives of World Obesity Day

The objective of the World Obesity Federation behind coming up with this event is to:

  • Raise awareness about obesity risks, healthy dietary patterns, risks of adopting an unhealthy lifestyle
  • Encourage physical exercises to lose excess fat from the body
  • Reverse obesity crisis from the world 
  • Share information regarding this physical condition with the world

Education and awareness are the two pillars that can help the world eradicate obesity. World Obesity Day focuses on encouraging practical solutions to maintain a normal BMI. The federation shares information about eating a healthy diet, maintaining normal body weight, and exercise daily to stay healthy and fit. It guides people to acknowledge the environmental factors that lead to overweightness.  

Beat Obesity by eating healthy

We indeed have easy access to unhealthy food and a busy, sedentary lifestyle that involves less physical activity and more mental strain. To ensure that you stay fit throughout the lifetime, it is always suggested to eat healthy food that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts, lean meats, and healthy fats. 

Conclusion 

You can easily overcome obesity through self-care and healthy eating habits. Here are a few ways that can help you overcome the obesity epidemic:

  1. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. A quick walk can do
  2. Cut down sugary and fatty food items
  3. Encourage healthy eating habits. Try to eat low-fat food and items rich in fibres 
  4. Drink a good amount of water (minimum 10 glasses)

After following a strict dietary plan, if still, your weight does not go down, it is high time! For people who have a BMI of 35 or more and who are suffering from chronic health conditions, hypertension, liver problems, sleep apnea etc. because of obesity, it is time for a bariatric surgery. There are different types of bariatric or weight-loss surgeries that have helped millions of people overcome obesity and live a healthy life. You can reduce up to 40 kgs weight after undergoing bariatric surgery.   

To know about different types of bariatric or weight-loss surgeries, please feel free to contact me.

Author: mbohra

Mohit Bhandari is a renowned Indian bariatric surgeon and globally recognized for his contribution in Laparoscopic and Robotic surgeries.

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