World Obesity Day 2020 will be held on Wednesday, March 4. It brings together healthcare, patient and political communities who are keen to raise awareness of obesity and the many other diseases on which it impacts.

World Obesity Day will include global recognition as well as regional and national campaigns and local activities and events. Organisations and individuals from across the world will be taking part.

In Europe, World Obesity Day 2020 is being supported by the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO).

Other leading obesity organisations taking part include the World Obesity Federation (WOF), the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), The Obesity Society (TOS), Obesity Canada, the Obesity Medicine Association (OMA), and the European Coalition for People living with Obesity (ECPO)

EASO’s aim is to increase knowledge and understanding of the need for action at both European and national levels to improve prevention, treatment and care. At the same time, the campaign supports European citizens who are overweight or have obesity to make lifestyle changes to manage their weight and improve their overall health and quality of life.

Although World Obesity Day is an international awareness day, the activities and initiatives that take place around it are just as important. These include events held at local, national and international level held in the lead up to WOD and many which continue afterwards.

The story behind World Obesity Day

For several years, various obesity days have been held in regions across the globe. Among the first of these was European Obesity Day (EOD), organised since May 2010.

What started as a grass-roots campaign involving a small group of concerned doctors and patients, quickly turned into a major event with participants and activities across many European countries.

Events have ranged from picnics and information stands in Paris and Athens, to walks and fun runs; briefings for healthcare professionals and pharmacists; the free distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables; debates and workshops for politicians and policymakers; media briefings and press conferences; and the free use of city bikes for the day.

In 2010 EOD received the award for ‘Campaign of the Year’ at the European Public Affairs Awards and in 2017 it won the Best European Lobbying Campaign Award.

World Obesity Day (WOD) was launched in 2015 as an initiative of the World Obesity Federation to stimulate and support practical solutions on a broader, global basis to help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and to reverse the obesity crisis.

In the spirit of a global approach, several leading obesity organisations are coming together in 2020 to focus on Word Obesity Day on March 4.