Azerbaijan Obesity Leadership Forum

Azerbaijan Obesity Leadership Forum

We are pleased to share this reflection from Dr Emil Hidayetli, General Secretary of The Academy of Nutrition Dietetics and Obesity Prevention (ANDOP).

The Academy of Nutrition Dietetics and Obesity Prevention (ANDOP) is the only non-government organization focused exclusively on obesity in Azerbaijan. ANDOP was established in 2016 and since that time has implemented various strategies and educational programs across obesity management, treatment and prevention.

ANDOP leads the primary training courses in nutrition, which is one of the major strategies of obesity management for professional and non-professionals in Azerbaijan.

ANDOP became an official member of World Obesity Federation (WOF) in 2018.

ANDOP became an official member of European Association Study on Obesity (EASO) in 2020.

21% of the Azerbaijani population —almost 2.0 million people — are living with obesity. Despite this fact, obesity remains an underestimated health threat by healthcare providers and the general population.

In December 2022 the Azerbaijan State Mandatory Health Insurance Agency in partnership with Novo Nordisk and the participation of ANDOP, organized an Obesity Leadership Forum. The goal of Forum was to bring obesity to the forefront of the healthcare agenda, and attract the attention of all relevant stakeholders. The Azerbaijani Obesity Leadership Forum gathered key stakeholders including members of Parliament, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, WHO, local and international advocates and academics, the Academy for Nutrition, Dietetics and Obesity Prevention (ANDOP), HCP professional associations and the media to underline the importance of awareness and education on obesity as a disease.

Information on the impact of obesity on other chronic diseases, women’s health and child health were presented at the forum; speakers highlighted the importance of managing obesity in society and actions to promote a healthy lifestyle. The necessity of legislative change to support people with obesity, current challenges faced by people with obesity also featured on the agenda. The key speaker at the event, regional vice-president and president – elect of European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) Prof Volkan Yumuk, shared Turkish and European experience in obesity management.

Dialogue sessions with patients living with obesity once again emphasized the importance of health communication for effective disease management. The event included an announcement of this forthcoming website for patients, living with overweight and obesity, developed with support from Novo Nordisk.