World Obesity Federation

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Meeting: 
144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
5.6 Health, environment and climate change
Statement: 

Honorable chairperson, distinguished delegates, colleagues. Thank you for this opportunity to address the Executive Board on behalf of the World Obesity Federation and its members.

Our Federation represents over 50 national and regional organisations specialising in obesity policies for prevention and management, and strengthening patients’ advocacy. We congratulate the WHO and Member States on their work to develop the Draft Strategy on health, environment and climate change. In particular, we welcome the emphasis on cross-sectoral action, and the need to integrate environmental concerns within existing areas of WHO work.

The Lancet Commission on Obesity will next week (28th January) publish its report focusing on the Global Syndemic of obesity, undernutrition and climate change, highlighting the fact that these three pandemics co-exist and are driven by dysfunctions within the same systems – food, transport, urban design and land use. Focusing on the intersect between three global health challenges presents us with a real opportunity to identify double and triple duty actions which can make a real difference to our health, the environment and climate change. Triple duty actions to address this syndemic should take a human rights approach, and could include specific actions such as promoting sustainable diets and investing in active transport.

Today, we urge WHO and Member States to take strong measures with these double and triple duty actions in mind, particularly for strengthening governance to control irresponsible marketing, foster legal instruments such as human rights approaches, and develop alliances with governmental and not-for-profit bodies to enhance social change.