EASO Stakeholder Session – Friday 2 July 2021, 15:00 – 16:30

From words to action: Europe’s categorisation of obesity as a chronic disease

EASO Policy Stakeholder Sessions are a chance to connect online with Europe’s community of professionals working on obesity and policy to share insights around a current key issue affecting our work. July’s session looks at how we can make the European Commission’s recent categorisation of obesity as a chronic disease and make it a reality in practice, drawing on a very current success story in France where our colleagues ensured people living with obesity had priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Registration is now open here and closes on July 1 2021.

Chairs: Jacqueline Bowman-Busato, EU Policy Lead, EASO and Euan Woodward, Executive Director, EASO


  • Jason Halford, President, EASO
  • Alina Constantin, President, Cekidis; Patient Board member, La Ligue Contre l’Obésité, France
  • Professor Karine Clément, Vice President AFERO (French Association for the Study of Obesity)

On 4 March 2021, the European Commission quietly recategorized obesity from a “risk factor” to a chronic disease (or NCD) in its own right for the first time.  EASO very much welcomed this development (as we stated EASO Reacts to European Commission update on Obesity Prevention Brief – EASO).

This follows on from the prioritisation of Obesity and Cancer as the two priority NCDs within the Strategic Foresight Report: Charting the course towards a more resilient Europe  and related process (published 9 September 2020).

“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.”

SOURCE: Obesity prevention | Knowledge for policy (europa.eu)

The Policy Stakeholder Session on 2 July 2021 offers us a golden opportunity to discuss this landmark for obesity policy advocacy at international, European, national and territorial levels – how it came about and how we can make the most of this opportunity to put policy into practice.

Discussing developments in context will be EASO’S EU policy team lead Jacqueline Bowman-Busato, joined by colleagues in France from the League Against Obesity and the French EASO member organisation AFERO where they have already seen tangible results for people living with obesity through their efforts.

Our case study is a very fresh success story: Alina Constantin, President of Cekidis in France and Patient Board member of La Ligue Contre l’Obésité, will take us through how her organisation engaged with French policymakers to ensure the 2.3 million people living with obesity in France had priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Join the conversation to find out more and see how you can leverage in your own environments with the support of EASO.

Registration is now open here and closes on July 1 2021.

About EASO – www.easo.org

Established in 1986, EASO is a federation of professional membership associations from 36 countries, with a network of over 130 specialist Collaborating Centres for Obesity Management across the region. EASO’s mission is to reduce the burden of unhealthy weight, and it promotes action through collaboration in research, education and policy. EASO represents scientists, health care practitioners, physicians, public health experts and patients.