The 5th Central European Congress on Obesity (CECON) was held from 1-3 October in Budapest.
I was proud that this conference was organised here in my country. I strongly believe that we have to take every opportunity to learn about the latest scientific research and evidence in obesity and and understand and share the practical initiatives which can help us manage this serious health and health-care problem across Europe and around the world. The Central European countries struggle with similar problems and limited options for funding of treatment and prevention efforts. Because of this reality, the results displayed in the presentations were particularly inspiring for all participants.
During these three days, we were able to hear not only the presentations of well-known and early career scientists, physicians, health professionals and nutritionists from Central European countries (including Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Poland, Romaine, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine), but from other countries too, including Australia and Japan.
The lectures provided a comprehensive picture of the state of play in obesity research and clinical practice, and showed the role and importance of prevention strategies and the options and possibilities of health care policy in tackling the growing obesity pandemic as well as managing individuals and communities affected by obesity.
In addition, some new initiatives were presented and described in detail, like the EPODE methodology – an international programme which started last year in Hungary – the Salto Project in Salzburg and the Multilevel Psychological Approaches to Weight Control initiative, held in the Department of Clinical Psychology. I think these new programs are excellent and hope that they will scale-up across the entire country. This would be very helpful in supporting Hungarian patients to identify the best clinician and care pathway for weight management and maintenance and ultimately support their health.