EASO congratulates the hosts and organisers of the Nordic Obesity Meeting, in the EASO Northern region, held this year 17-19 November in Copenhagen, Denmark. The theme of the meeting, obesity biology, prevention and management strategies, was timely and welcome.
This meeting had not been held for many years, and Covid-19 caused a further delay in hosting the conference. The last Nordic Obesity Meeting was held in Norway in 2009; colleagues have now decided to implement a tradition with a bi-annual Nordic Obesity Meeting. Finland will host the next NOM in February 2024.
The organisers were pleased to note that 14 countries were represented at the meeting. Most conference participants came from Nordic countries, but there were also delegates participating from the UK, Ireland, Georgia, Poland, Iraq, The Emirate of Fujairah, South Korea, Georgia, and Saudi Arabia.
There was a packed programme for the 270 speakers and delegates, with presentations from 21 keynote and invited speakers, 6 oral presentations from early career researchers and 37 poster presentations.
Themes related to obesity treatment ranged from diet, exercise, technology based behavioral interventions, pharmacology, obesity surgery, weight-neutral approaches, and obesity stigma. Work on obesity prevention was also included. In addition, delegates heard talks on obesity metabolism, genetics, postpartum weight retention, sleep, brown adipose tissue, very low calorie diets, constitutional thinness and weight gain resistance.
Lise Geisler Bjerregaard, Chairman of the DSAF board and a senior researcher at the Center for Clinical Research and Prevention at Frederiksberg Hospital, said
“My personal highlights were the talk by Kirsi Pietiläinen on technological behavioral interventions, the presentation from Ximena Salas about weight bias and stigma in healthcare, the talk by Ruth Loos on genetics and obesity, and the talk from EASO President Jason Halford on barriers to effective obesity care from the perspective of adolescents with obesity, their parents and caregivers”.
Key take-home messages from these presentations:
- Kirsi Pietiläinen made it clear that digitalization seems to have both benefits and limitations, and may facilitate scaling treatment. We need more research in this area.
- Weight stigma is a huge problem in Denmark, so Ximena’s talk was important and well received; we have a lot of work to do to address this.
- Ruth Loos presented novel results on genetic patterns comprised of sets of loci with different effects, which can be used to identify subsets within the general population which will help to identify sub-phenotypes in the population.
- The results from the ACTION teens study that Jason Halford presented are concerning, particularly the lack of advanced training among professionals, and the finding that most adolescents thought that their weight loss was completely their responsibility.
We look forward to continuing these conversations, discussion, knowledge exchange and networking in Dublin at ECO2023. See you in Finland for the 2024 meeting!