World Obesity Day is an annual event that focuses on tackling the global obesity crisis. The campaign aims to improve worldwide awareness, prevention, and treatment of obesity.

The day itself takes place on March 4 each year, with events and activities taking place worldwide.

World Obesity Day focuses on:

  • raising awareness around obesity
  • understanding the complexities and root causes of obesity
  • shifting misconceptions and stigma around obesity
  • encouraging advocacy
  • changing and improving policies relating to obesity
  • sharing experiences of obesity
  • creating a global community to tackle obesity

This article discusses World Obesity Day and how a person can get involved. It also provides information about obesity and where a person can find support.

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According to the World Obesity Federation, World Obesity Day is a campaign that takes place every year to promote conversation and action in response to the global obesity crisis. The aim is to help people worldwide achieve and maintain a moderate weight.

The World Obesity Federation established World Obesity Day in 2015 and works alongside numerous organizations to run the campaign.

Since 2020, World Obesity Day takes place on March 4 each year, but the campaign runs throughout the year.

Each year, World Obesity Day has a particular theme. For example, the theme for 2023 is ‘Changing Perspectives: Let’s talk about obesity.’ This theme focuses on shifting misconceptions around obesity, ending stigma, and taking action to change health outcomes.

People can get involved through the World Obesity Day website.

An interactive map lists activities and events taking place across the world, as well as providing a form for people to enter their own events.

The website also provides various resources, such as graphics, posters, and factsheets people can use for their campaigns. There are also conversation cards available to help people start discussions around obesity.

In addition, the website provides specific resources and information for:

  • people living with obesity, including finding community, tackling stigma, and sharing personal experiences
  • healthcare professionals, including e-learning modules, reducing stigma, and how to organize events to raise awareness
  • employers, including how to create healthy workplaces and a supportive work culture
  • policymakers, including obesity data from around the world and campaign resources
  • youth, including resources for youth-led action and advocacy

Obesity is a chronic health condition that can cause serious health issues.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines overweight as a body mass index (BMI) of above 25 and obese as a BMI of above 30.

In the United States, overweight or obesity affects almost 3 in 4 people ages 20 or above, and obesity affects almost 1 in 5 people between 2–19 years old.

What causes obesity?

According to WHO, people with obesity may face shame and blame for having the condition due to a lack of understanding of the root causes of obesity.

Potential causes may include a combination of the following factors:

  • dietary
  • lifestyle
  • genetic
  • psychological
  • sociocultural
  • economic
  • environmental

How can having obesity affect a person’s health?

Obesity is a risk factor for chronic health conditions, including:

How can a person manage obesity?

Establishing healthy habits, particularly early on in childhood, may help prevent obesity. Other strategies include:

  • placing restrictions on marketing around foods and drinks high in sugar, salt, and fats
  • ensuring equal access to affordable, healthy foods
  • prioritizing safe spaces to walk, cycle, and exercise

Methods for managing obesity includes:

  • reducing calorie intake from fats and sugars
  • increasing healthy foods, including vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and nuts
  • getting regular exercise, with at least 60 minutes each day for children and 150 minutes each week for adults
  • attending weight management programs

Some people need more help beyond lifestyle changes to lose weight. In these cases, a person can work with a healthcare professional to discuss medications and surgery options.

Learn more about ways to manage obesity.

People with obesity can find local communities and organizations to connect with through the World Obesity Patient Portal.

Connecting with individuals who have similar experiences may help people feel more supported and create a better understanding of obesity. People can share their stories of obesity and read about other experiences of obesity here.

Other sources of support for obesity include:

World Obesity Day is an annual day of action and discussion around obesity that aims to tackle the global obesity crisis, with campaigns and events taking place worldwide.

The World Obesity Federation first established World Obesity Day in 2015. It aims to improve understanding of obesity, shift misconceptions, change policies, and encourage advocacy to better treat and prevent obesity.

People can visit the World Obesity Day website for resources and further information on getting involved.