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World Obesity Day: We need to act together, now!

by Public Health Update

The World Obesity Day is observed on March 4th. This day is dedicated to addressing the global obesity epidemic. This day calls every body to work together for happier, healthier and longer lives for everybody.

The mission of World Obesity Day

  • INCREASE AWARENESS: Obesity is a disease. We are raising awareness and improving understanding of its root causes and the actions needed to address them.
  • ENCOURAGE ADVOCACY: Changing the way obesity is addressed across society, we’re encouraging people to become advocates, standing up and calling for change.
  • IMPROVE POLICIES: Creating a healthy environment that prioritises obesity as a health issue, we’re working to change policy to build the right support systems for the future.
  • SHARE EXPERIENCES: Stronger together, we’re creating platforms to share experiences, inspiring and uniting a global community to work towards our common goal.

World Obesity Day 2021 focuses on the global campaign ‘Every Body Needs Everybody.’ 


The World Health Organisation defines obesity as ‘abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health’. It can be measured in a number of ways, but the most common is ‘BMI’ (Body Mass Index), using your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. Additional measurements, such as your waist to height ratio can also be used. (WHO)

COVID-19 and Obesity: The 2021 Atlas


Obesity is a disease and must be treated as one. There are many factors that can put people at higher risk of developing obesity, including biology, genes, mental health, access to healthcare and exposure to ultra-processed, unhealthy foods. Obesity it is not due to a lack of will power.

Living with obesity puts people at a higher risk from other diseases including heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. People living with obesity also have a greater risk of severe illness and even death if they contract COVID-19.

People living with obesity are often told that the answer is to ‘eat less, move more’. However, addressing obesity is not just a matter of diet and exercise. When we tell people to ‘eat less, move more’, we ignore other important factors. Although physical exercise plays an important part in overall health, it is not a significant factor in managing obesity. Rather than blaming individuals for their disease, we must encourage governments and policy makers to address the root causes.

In many countries, people living with obesity are regularly blamed for their disease. Weight stigma suggests that obesity is due to individual failure, and puts responsibility on people living with obesity to ‘fix’ it. It can damage mental and physical wellbeing and prevent people from seeking necessary medical care. While stigma may be different across the world, one thing is clear: experiencing discrimination due to weight does not help people to adopt healthier lifestyles. In fact, it can make it harder.

Treating obesity is about improving overall health, not just about losing weight. It is possible for a person with a higher BMI to be managing their disease and living at a ‘healthy weight’.

Childhood obesity rates have nearly doubled every 10 years. It can profoundly affect childrens’ physical health, social, and emotional well-being, and self esteem. It is associated with poor academic performance and a lower quality of life. It is often carried into adulthood, so prevention and treatment are vital to stopping a global rise in obesity. Nutrition, physical activity and healthcare all play a role.

  • Obesity is preventable.
  • 800 Million people around the world are living with obesity.
  • People living with obesity are twice as likely to be hospitalized if tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Childhood obesity is expected to increase by 60% over the next decade, reaching 250 million by 2030.
  • The medical consequences of obesity will cost over $1 trillion by 2025.

Source of info: https://www.worldobesityday.org

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