European obesity day: fight against the disease but also against prejudices

On the occasion of the European Obesity Day on 18 and 19 May, the National Collective of Obesity Associations (CNAO) is organizing a vast national campaign. Its goal is to raise awareness of the causes of the disease and treatments, and to end discrimination against obese people.

"Obesity is a disease, not a fatality". This is the message that the National Collective of Obese Associations, which is organizing the ninth European Obesity Day on 18 and 19 May, wants to pass on. Associated with the European Association for the Study of Obesity, CNAO wishes again this year to sensitize the general public to the causes of obesity and to the different treatments that exist thanks to a resolutely optimistic campaign: "Eating balanced, with pleasure, Move your body, Dare to change your life, It's for your health, "say the various posters produced by the CNAO.

End obesity, a public health issue

Obesity, if it is not medically treated, can have extremely serious consequences for people who suffer from it. In France, more than 7 million patients are affected by this pathology, representing 15% of the adult population with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. Among them, 550,000 are suffering from severe or morbid obesity (BMI). greater than 40). The result of this state of health problems that can, in some cases, be fatal such as diabetes, high blood pressure or cardiovascular complications.

For CNAO, it is high time to recognize obesity in its reality, namely a disease. "Who today could say that a person with diabetes is not sick, that a person suffering from heart failure is not sick, that in many cases they will have obesity in common. why do we still have to fight against the idea that obesity is a lifestyle choice? It is a chronic disease, at the same level as diabetes or heart failure. and support, with sufficient resources, particularly in terms of training of health care staff, are implemented, "says Anne-Sophie Joly, president of the National Collective of Obesity Associations.

Obesity, a factor of discrimination

For many, however, obesity remains "a lifestyle choice", that of people taking care of themselves and their health, unable to curb their appetite and lacking the will to lose weight. These prejudices and misconceptions have a name: grossophobia.

While the term has just entered the 2019 edition of the dictionary The Robertit is a reality for millions of overweight or obese people. Teasing, insults, disdain ... Grossophobia is visible everywhere: in the eyes of those who are not obese, but also in the medical environment or at work. According to a study conducted by the Defender of Rights and the International Labor Organization (ILO), obese women would be eight times more discriminated against hiring because of their physical appearance and men three times more.

According to Gabrielle Deydier, author of We are not born fat, society tends to consider that "the fat is responsible for its state", that "it is a disease of the will". In an interview with Dauphinéon the contrary, it explains that "obesity is a multifactorial disease". "You can not become fat just like that, eating too much, eating too much can be overweight."

The factors that contribute to obesity are indeed complex and numerous. This can result from an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure or a poor pace of life (lack of physical activity, loss of employment, excessive consumption of alcohol). But also be related to psychological factors (personal or professional difficulties, depression, depression), taking certain medications. The genetic context or the disease can also be involved.

Become an actor of your health

It is also to put an end to this stigma that the organizers of the European Day of Obesity count on a great mobilization. "We are pleased that TV channels and radio stations will continue to work together this year to spread our message: people with obesity must not be made to feel guilty!" Resource and specialized professionals can help them to be involved in their health, in particular for the balanced diet, for adapted physical activities, accompanied by teams of care both hospital and liberal, not to mention the support of patient associations, "recalls Anne-Sophie Joly.

Organized throughout Europe, this day will be marked by events and workshops open to all across France. A spot around the following message: "Together, change the pace of obesity" will be broadcast on television and radio while the campaign will be relayed on social networks with the hashtag #changeonsderythme.

Video: Stigma in obesity: The patients perspective (December 2019).