The MEP Interest Group on Obesity and Health System Resilience was launched on 20th April 2021 during a webinar organized in collaboration with The European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO).
In her introductory speech, MEP Pernille Weiss underlined the importance of raising awareness about the disease and talk about it without stigma. She explained that the aim of the interest group is to exchange ideas about how to bring this about the right way. Action is need at the European level to develop tools and share knowledge about how to best fight obesity. Ms Nathalie Farpour-Lambert, EASO President, reminded everyone that obesity has tripled since the 1990s, with 60% of EU citizens now being overweight or obese. This is why it is important to talk about prevention and care, and how to improve the bridge between scientific evidence and policy solutions.
During the panel discussion MEP Sara Cerdas emphasized that prevention brings better outcomes. Dr Kremlin Wickramasinghe, Acting Programme Manager for Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, WHO European Region, agreed with the focus on prevention and added that it is important to develop guidelines and to bridge the prevention and health management sectors. It is necessary to focus on prevention for the sustainability of health systems. A healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity, is key to prevent obesity and some of its deadlier consequences such as cardiovascular diseases.
In their concluding remarks, MEPs Pernille Weiss, Sara Cerdas and Susana Solís Pérez concluded that there is a call for actions, and that work must be done to deliver solutions, including regarding prevention.