Action Plan to Address Obesity

Action Plan to Address ObesityAction Plan to Address Obesity

The first plan of action to address the issue of obesity will be unveiled at the upcoming 5th National Congress on Prevention and Treatment of Obesity, said Dr. Shahram Alamdari, scientific secretary of the event.

“There is no scientific approach to obesity in Iran, and if we don’t address the problem soon, we will face a generation of children with disabilities within the next 50 years,” he was quoted by Mehr News Agency as saying.

Noting that the main goal of the congress is to present measures taken in the country and important findings in prevention and treating obesity, Alamdari said the action plan would be a step in the direction of preventing obesity in the next generation through policymaking on a national scale.

“It is observed worldwide that by heeding to the issue in early stages of life even during the prenatal period, efforts to control or prevent obesity will be that much more efficacious in adulthood,” he said, stressing that obesity watch should start with mothers during pregnancy.

Alamdari stressed that implementing an action plan on a national scale calls for national cooperation among executive bodies including the ministries of health, education, sports and youth affairs, economy, the Management and Planning Organization, and the state broadcaster.

“The obesity epidemic is viewed worldwide as a challenge for national security,” he lamented.

It is said globally that, over the next decade, 50% of otherwise eligible individuals will not qualify for military service due to overweight, leaving the defense forces unable to meet the recruitment goals. Being overweight or obese is not a cosmetic problem. The conditions greatly raise the risk for other health problems such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, osteoarthritis, and reproductive health problems among numerous others.

The conference agenda will include the important role of basic sciences in prevention and treatment of obesity, epidemiology of obesity, nutrition, behavioral and psychological aspects, and physical activity.

It will also highlight factors affecting obesity prior to and during pregnancy, before and during school, factors involved in childhood obesity and consequences regarding non-communicable diseases, as well as social and psychological factors contributing to obesity in adults, quality of life, policymaking to address the epidemic and economic costs.

The congress will be held December 16-18 at Tehran’s Milad Hospital.