World Obesity Day, the second annual day geared toward generating and supporting practical actions to help people across the globe reduce their weight and reverse the trend toward global obesity, will be observed October 11, 2016. The 2016 campaign will focus its efforts toward ending childhood obesity and calling upon governments to develop and implement strategies to reduce infant, child, and adolescent obesity.
This huge effort is spearheaded by the World Obesity Federation, a group of over 50 regional and national obesity associations from the scientific, medical and research communities who are dedicated to solving the world’s obesity crisis. They have aligned their mission with the World Health Organization’s targets to reduce worldwide obesity by 2025.
By targeting the reduction of obesity in infants, children, and adolescents, these organizations hope the weight management will continue into adulthood, therefore having a two prong effect on reducing obesity both in children and adults. But, reducing childhood obesity does so much more than just reduce obesity rates as the children grow into adults. If global childhood obesity rates go unchecked over the next 9 years, by 2025 12 million children will have impaired glucose tolerance, 4 million will have type 2 diabetes, 27 million will have high blood pressure, and 38 million will have first stage fatty liver disease.
Three key recommendations were established to act as guides for governments and organizations charged with leading the effort to develop these plans:
- Treat children who are obese to improve their current and future health
- Reduce the risk of obesity by addressing critical elements in the life course
- Tackle the obesogenic environment and norms
Six more specific recommendations were made to support the three key recommendations above:
- Promote intake of healthy foods
- Early childhood diet and physical activity
- Health, nutrition, and physical education for school-age children
- Promote physical activity
- Weight management
- Preconception and pregnancy care
These recommendations really hit home for gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients. In an effort to lose weight after bariatric surgery, patients need to eat healthy foods, start or maintain a regime of physical activity, and actively manage their weight, including before, during, and after pregnancy. Bariatric patients are all too familiar with the environmental cues that contribute to promoting unhealthy behaviors and unhealthy foods. Gastric sleeve, gastric band, and gastric bypass patients who have lost weight after their bariatric surgery are in a unique position to promote the goals of World Health Day.
What Can You Do?
Spread the word! Educate people around you as to the benefits you achieved with your weight loss: improved health, reduced blood pressure, reversal of diabetes, reduction in the amount of medication needed, improved physical fitness, reduction in cholesterol levels, or improved respiratory function.
Support health promoting events in your area and at your child’s school. Promote 5K races and bike rides, support local farms and farmer’s markets, encourage health promoting events at schools like Walk-a-Thons and after school sports.
Get the word out on social media on and before October 11th. Use the hashtag #WorldObesityDay on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr to call attention to the need for governments to meet their commitments and support efforts to reduce childhood obesity.
Gastric sleeve, lap band, and gastric bypass patients can show their friends, family, neighbors, and the world that weight loss and an end to obesity is possible!