The European Commission has published a new brief dedicated to the prevention of obesity, on the occasion of the World Obesity Day Europe held on March 4, 2021.
The Brief specifies that pre-obesity (overweight) and obesity are medical conditions marked by an abnormal and/or excessive accumulation of body fat that presents a risk to health (WHO 2019). Obesity is a chronic relapsing disease, which in turn acts as a gateway to a range of other non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Environmental factors such as exposure to compounds in diets, air, water etc can induce epigenetic changes, which in turn may influence an individual’s appetite, satiety, metabolism and body fat distribution, which subsequently can contribute to overweight and obesity. Many EU Member States have in place strategies and national guidelines for the primary prevention of pre-obesity and obesity. Moreover, the revision and follow-up of the 2014-2020 EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity, as well as raising awareness and working on the prevention of obesity among other factors that are related to cancer, is a significant part of Europe's Beating Cancer Plan.
Pre-obesity and obesity contribute to the development of other non-communicable diseases and lower life expectancy and quality of life (WHO 2006). At the same time, they negatively impact labour market output in four ways: through higher levels of absenteeism, presenteeism, early retirement, and lower employment rate (OECD 2019).
Know more: https://knowledge4policy.ec.europa.eu/health-promotion-knowledge-gateway/obesity_en