World Obesity day is observed to initiate meaningful conversations and end the stigma associated with Obesity. It encourages a multidimensional approach such as implementing policies that review the food environment and recognize factors leading to obesity, creating environments conducive to healthier lifestyles and making people aware of the consequences of stigmatizing this condition. According to statistics presented by the WHO, worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. Investing in effective treatment protocols, encouraging early intervention, and creating awareness about obesity in a non-derogatory manner are promoted to find a practical solution to the global obesity crisis. Several complications associated with high BMI such as musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and certain types of cancers can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight. The theme for World Obesity Day 2018 is End Weight Stigma. The stigma associated with this condition prevents people from seeking treatment, affects their mental health, and causes significant emotional distress. There are a number of steps that can ensure that we do our bit to eradicate the stigma associated with weight -
- Creating a safe environment for people dealing with it to seek treatment. Several clinicians agree that systematic and empathetic information flow ensures a more meaningful conversation regarding obesity and its management.
- Raise awareness about the stigma associated with it and ensuring that derogatory perpetuation about obesity by media, health care professionals, and the general society should be avoided at all costs.
- People should be educated about how patients with it deserve the same amount of respect and empathy and stigma should not be perpetuated by family members, friends, health care experts, and the media.
- Urging authorities to invest in environments that are conducive to including more physical activities. Investment in green spaces and parks, walkable paths, and cycling lanes would improve people’s access to weight-maintaining activities.
- Authorities and the government should review the food environment especially in local markets, canteens, and schools. The overall food environment should consist of wholesome local produce, efficient cooking techniques, and nutritionally balanced fresh food.