EASO president’s report
It was great to attend the International Congress of Obesity in Melbourne Australia and meet face to face with many of the global family of patient advocate and obesity research and practice societies. This was a truly global meeting, and EASO met with a very big Australian welcome. It was great to see national patient representation and input across the programme.
As a representative of EASO, I was delighted to be invited, and was asked to chair the Psychology session, which was a highlight of the meeting, with key presentations on the theory and realities of of Motivational Interviewing in practice, the psychological consequences and determinants of obesity, impact of parental styles, and management of binge eating in community-based specialist services. As expected in Australia, the Public Health sessions were extremely strong.
The session on marketing of unhealthy food to children and using new technologies to explore exposure and influence demonstrate how far the science has evolved in this area but how much is needed to catch up with industry in a rapidly evolving digital environment. It was also great to be reunited with the ACTION-IO international team, see more ACTON-Teens data, and see the new data from this global region in ACTION-APAC (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam).
Keen anticipation of a portfolio of new pharmacotherapies, producing potential changes in body weight between 15-20% was also a key theme. This is impressive, but how these new tools will be used in personalised treatment plans for individuals living with obesity, in addressing patient’s day-to-day problems and broader health and mental health issues is yet to be shown. It is clear that not everyone responds well to these interventions, and in clinical practice we are not merely treating weight.
EASO had a successful promotion of ECO 2023 in Dublin, our Early Career Network and EASO COMs; thanks to Dominic, Amy, and Anna for all the work on our excellent stand.
However, our standout moment was when The Wertheimer Award was granted to Professor John Blundell (former EASO treasurer)for outstanding basic research contributions to the field of obesity. Candidates for this award must demonstrate substantial contributions to basic research related to obesity.
Thank you AOASA, ANZOS and WOF and all the contributors. And great to hear about Coalition for Action on Obesity and the Weight Issues Network. Hoping to bring us all together again in Dublin for ECO 2023.