Oral Presentation ANZOS-OSSANZ-AOCO Joint Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

Obesity prevention technologies (#2)

Fabio Gomes 1
  1. Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC, United States

Obesity is still not widely recognized as a social problem, it is still a number in experts’ charts and in sectorial advocates’ speeches for most societies worldwide. It takes time and a lot of work to conquer social recognition, and examples from climate change, pesticides use, smoking, and cruelty to animals and children, can help us understand how social recognition evolves. The expansion of the recognition of obesity by other sectors of society beyond those with expertise and interest in preventing obesity is critical because it is the main route to progress effective solutions, the how to, the technologies. In order to progress effective solutions besides counting with a social recognition of the problem, it is essential to embrace intellectual humbleness, recognize other sectors’ role and competencies and most importantly engage populations living in the problem and in the solution. Some solutions are obvious and evident for advocates, researchers and policy makers, but they face opposition from other interests. Indignation, desire to change, and perseverance are key to denaturalize the problem and progress the necessary changes. This will enable effective obesity prevention technologies to be implemented and succeed. Our goal is to reach that recognition and progress effective solutions before our societies reach very high rates of obesity or of any other harm. Regulations on labeling, marketing, school and other settings, and fiscal policies are examples of the solutions that should be put in place, but still require to be strengthened and expanded in scope and reach, and the ones setting the horizons that will move us forward are the social movements living the problems and the solutions required to strengthen, preserve and recover health promoting and sustainable food systems.