EASO Press Release 4 February 2021: Milan Charter on Urban Obesity

EASO Press Release 4 February 2021: Milan Charter on Urban Obesity

EASO endorses the Milan Charter on Urban Obesity. The impetus for developing the Charter arises from an historic document the 1999 "Milan Declaration,” supported by EASO and signed in Milan by European obesity-focused scientific societies. This was the first call-to-action initiated by European experts to recognise and appropriately treat obesity as a chronic disease.

On the occasion of the 2015 Milan EXPO, the “Milan Declaration: a Call to Action on Obesity” was launched, which enumerates key principles in addressing obesity, identifying the value to health systems of prevention and management of obesity in reducing the burden of related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) across the lifecourse. This most recent document “broadens action objectives, in light of significant changes in lifestyle and demography, particularly increasing urbanisation”, says Michele Carruba, Honorary President of the Centre for the Study and Research on Obesity (CSRO) of Milan University.

“EASO’s support for our document is extremely important in demonstrating a common and shared commitment to supporting appropriate policy decisions at all levels, local, national and international, to ensure population health.

Obesity develops at the intersection of genetic predisposition and the environment, and working in concert, it is important that we develop environments, particularly urban environments, which are less obesogenic and more able to support quality of life for people living with obesity.

The Charter supports eliminating social, structural, and cultural barriers that prevent people with obesity from living a dignified life. Only with coordinated efforts among science, civil society and policy systems can we overcome the significant challenges associated with this chronic disease, including addressing access to treatment and social stigma, which are particularly relevant in contexts with higher levels of obesity, such as large urban and metropolitan areas”, said Enzo Nisoli, Scientific Coordinator of the CSRO Steering Committee.

Commenting on the publication, EASO President Nathalie Farpour Lambert says “The Milan Charter on Urban Obesity highlights key challenges of obesity in urban environments. It also offers strategies to address obesity and improve public health while supporting sustainability, human rights and dignity for people living with obesity in European cities. EASO is pleased to support the Charter.”

Read the full position statement in Obesity Facts, the European Journal of Obesity:

Learn more about the Milan Charter: https://easo.org/milan-charter-on-urban-obesity-2020/