The Need for a Global Obesity Patient Alliance:
There has never been a greater need to create a more organized global patient voice to standup for the needs and interests of individuals with obesity. Regardless of region or culture, obesity remains a complex disease that is not well understood by the public and carries persistent and pervasive weight bias. We are beginning to make greater strides in addressing the key and essential issues, but given the growing issue of obesity and the complexity surrounding it, there is more work to be done to see needed change. GOPA provides a platform to come together to learn from one another, share our knowledge and send a unified message that will ultimately make a more powerful impact for individuals with obesity from around the world.
The Issue of Obesity on the Global Scale:
It is estimated that 650 million individuals are living with obesity worldwide. Obesity remains a complex, chronic disease that does not discriminate based on culture or region.
While the statistics of obesity as a rising epidemic are most often discussed, we believe that we must equally pay attention to the need to address the pervasive bias and misconceptions of obesity, along with the importance of recognizing obesity as a chronic disease. Too often the narrative is that obesity is due to poor lifestyle choices and that the solution is to simply eat less and move more. Thanks to science, we know that it’s not that simple. These misconceptions lead to increased stigma/bias toward individuals living with obesity, which has harmful effects on an individual’s physical and mental health.
We must work together to impact change in the areas that have a direct impact on the health and lives of individuals with obesity. We want to see a world with less obesity, but we want to equally see a world where people who live with obesity are treated fairly and have access to the care they need.