European online obesity survey launched
28 May 2009
The "European Obesity Day" online survey was launched on the 16 May by Member of European Parliament Magor Imre Csibi (Romanian MEP of the Alliance for Liberals and Democrats), the UK National Obesity Forum (NOF) and the Belgian Obese Patients organisation (BOLD).
With excess weight and obesity increasing across Europe at an alarming rate, the online survey seeks to understand to what degree this is of concern to European citizens and what steps we think should be taken to address this pressing issue.
The overarching aim of the survey is to encourage formal recognition of the plight of the overweight and obese by European decision-makers through the creation of an official European Obesity Day. The launch marks a one year countdown to the first official European Obesity Day, which will take place on the 16th of May 2010. Against this backdrop, MEP Magor Csibi pronounced:
"The fight against obesity is a European public health priority and it is important to encourage obese and overweight patients from across Europe to come forward and express their views. To this end, we have launched an online survey at www.obesityday.eu to better understand how to address these individuals' needs and concerns."
Until now, the emphasis of EU and national governments has focused on diets and physical activity. However, much can still be done and to this end, Dr David Haslam from NOF commented:
"There is a real need for a reinforced dialogue between patients and healthcare professionals combined with recognition of obesity as a genuine disease like all others."
Jean Paul Allonsius, President of BOLD added: "Equally crucial is the need to bring coherence and clarity to the weight loss products market with an emphasis on ensuring the efficacy of these products."
Although many understand the challenges as well as the solutions such as healthy diets, physical activity and treatment, European citizens' views have yet to be established. With a view to the launch of European Obesity Day and drawing on the professional insight of the medical and patient communities and other concerned members of civil society, a short five question online survey was developed. The questionnaire is topped off by an open-ended comment box that allows participants to express their personal views and stories.
In conclusion MEP Magor Csibi, said: "It is imperative to raise awareness of the importance of healthy food and sport, however the time has come to also recognise and respond to the voice of Europe's growing obese and overweight population by the establishment of a European Obesity Day."
The online obesity survey can be found at www.obesityday.eu
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