Health and Fitness

New WHO report recommends interventions and coverage choices to deal with weight problems in Europe

The new WHO European Regional Obesity Report 2022, printed on 3 May by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, reveals that chubby and weight problems charges have reached epidemic proportions throughout the Region and are nonetheless escalating, with not one of the 53 Member States of the Region presently on monitor to satisfy the WHO Global Noncommunicable Disease (NCD) goal of halting the rise of weight problems by 2025.

New information on weight problems and chubby

The report, launched at a press occasion on 3 May and introduced at this week’s European Congress on Obesity in Maastricht, Netherlands, reveals that within the European Region, 59% of adults and nearly 1 in 3 kids (29% of boys and 27% of women) are chubby or residing with weight problems. Obesity prevalence for adults within the European Region is increased than in every other WHO area aside from the Americas.

Overweight and weight problems are among the many main causes of dying and incapacity within the European Region, with current estimates suggesting they trigger greater than 1.2 million deaths yearly, equivalent to greater than 13% of whole mortality within the Region.

Obesity will increase the danger for a lot of NCDs, together with cancers, cardiovascular illnesses, kind 2 diabetes mellitus and continual respiratory illnesses. For instance, weight problems is taken into account a explanation for a minimum of 13 various kinds of most cancers, and is more likely to be instantly accountable for a minimum of 200 000 new most cancers circumstances yearly throughout the Region, with this determine set to rise additional within the coming years. Overweight and weight problems are additionally the main threat issue for incapacity, inflicting 7% of whole years lived with incapacity within the Region.

Overweight individuals and people residing with weight problems have been disproportionately affected by the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been unfavorable shifts in meals consumption and bodily exercise patterns in the course of the pandemic that can have an affect on inhabitants well being within the years forward, and can want vital effort to reverse.

Obesity in Europe: an ongoing “epidemic”

To handle the rising epidemic, the report recommends a set of interventions and coverage choices that Member States can contemplate to forestall and deal with weight problems within the Region, with an emphasis on constructing again higher after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Obesity is aware of no borders. In the Europe and Central Asia areas, no single nation goes to satisfy the WHO Global NCD goal of halting the rise of weight problems. The nations in our Region are extremely various, however each one is challenged to some extent. By creating environments which can be extra enabling, selling funding and innovation in well being, and creating robust and resilient well being programs, we will change the trajectory of weight problems within the Region.”


Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe

Obesity is a illness – not solely a threat issue

Obesity is a posh illness that presents a threat to well being. Its causes are rather more advanced than the mere mixture of unhealthy weight-reduction plan and bodily inactivity. This report presents the newest proof, highlighting how vulnerability to unhealthy physique weight in adolescence can have an effect on an individual’s tendency to develop weight problems.

Environmental elements distinctive to residing in fashionable Europe’s extremely digitalized societies are additionally drivers of weight problems. The report explores, for instance, how the digital advertising and marketing of unhealthy meals merchandise to kids, and the proliferation of sedentary on-line gaming, contribute to the rising tide of chubby and weight problems within the European Region. However, it additionally appears at how digital platforms may also present alternatives for the promotion and dialogue of well being and well-being.

Policy measures: what can nations do?

Addressing weight problems is vital to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals and is a precedence echoed in WHO’s European Programme of Work 2020–2025.

The new WHO report outlines how coverage interventions that concentrate on environmental and industrial determinants of poor weight-reduction plan on the whole inhabitants degree are more likely to be only at reversing the weight problems epidemic, addressing dietary inequalities and reaching environmentally sustainable meals programs.

Obesity is advanced, with multifaceted determinants and well being penalties, which implies that no single intervention can halt the rise of the rising epidemic.

Any nationwide insurance policies aiming to deal with the problems of chubby and weight problems should have high-level political dedication behind them. They must also be complete, reaching people throughout the life course and focusing on inequalities. Efforts to forestall weight problems want to contemplate the broader determinants of the illness, and coverage choices ought to transfer away from approaches that concentrate on people and handle the structural drivers of weight problems.

The WHO report highlights a couple of particular insurance policies that present promise in decreasing ranges of weight problems and chubby:

  • the implementation of fiscal interventions (comparable to taxation on sugar-sweetened drinks or subsidies for wholesome meals);
  • restrictions on the advertising and marketing of unhealthy meals to kids;
  • enchancment of entry to weight problems and chubby administration companies in major well being care, as a part of common well being protection;
  • efforts to enhance weight-reduction plan and bodily exercise throughout the life course, together with preconception and being pregnant care, promotion of breastfeeding, school-based interventions, and interventions to create environments that enhance the accessibility and affordability of wholesome meals and alternatives for bodily exercise.



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