The challenge of obesity in the WHO European Region and the strategies for response




Edited by Francesco Branca, Haik Nikogosian and Tim Lobstein
2007, xiv + 324 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 1408 3
CHF 40.00
In developing countries CHF 28.00
Order no. 13400070

In response to the obesity epidemic, the WHO Regional Office for Europe held a conference in November 2006. This book comprises the second of two publications resulting from it. (The first was a summary for policy-makers.) This publication presents the many technical papers written for the conference and updated for publication by a large group of experts in public health, nutrition and medicine.

Using a wide range of evidence drawn from countries across and beyond the WHO European Region, this book illustrates the dynamics of the epidemic and its impact on public health throughout the Region, particularly in eastern countries. It describes how factors that increase the risk of obesity are shaped in different settings, such as the family, school, community and workplace. It makes both ethical and economic arguments for accelerating action against obesity, and analyses effective programmes and policies in different government sectors, such as education, health, agriculture and trade, urban planning and transport. The book also describes how to design policies and programmes to prevent obesity and how to monitor progress. Finally, it calls for specific action by stakeholders: not only government sectors but also the private sector – including food manufacturers, advertisers and traders – and professional, consumers’, international and intergovernmental organizations such as the European Union.

It is time to act: 150 million adults and 15 million children in the Region are expected to be obese by 2010. Obesity not only harms the health and well-being of a vast proportion of the population, and generates large expenditures by health services, but also has a striking and unacceptable impact on children. This book uses evidence to spell out ideas and information that will enable stakeholders across the Region, particularly policy-makers, to work to stop and then reverse the obesity epidemic in Europe.