Obesity is frequent, serious, complex and chronic. Moreover, it is recognised as a gateway to many other disease areas, including but by no means limited to diabetes, heart disease, cancers, respiratory problems and joint problems. Thus, if we manage and prevent obesity, we will block a major supply route to these diseases.
Research is part of the solution to the obesity epidemic. In recent decades, research has helped improve our understanding of the complex effects of increased fat tissue on the human body. It has enabled us to develop better evidence based guidelines to prevent, manage and treat obesity, including better bariatric surgery procedures to treat extreme obesity. But better coordination is still needed in order to increase the translation of research into better prevention and treatment strategies.
In February, EASO convened a meeting of Europe’s leading researchers and main stakeholders in the field with the aim of developing a clear research strategy, with consensus on what the key areas for European obesity research should be, the expected impact of this research and how we can achieve success in these areas in terms of novel approaches, and the development of significant innovative products and societal impact. As part of this process,EASO has participated in national initiatives in both Denmark and France.