WHO welcomes Iran’s initiatives to curb obesity
WHO welcomes Iran’s initiatives to curb obesity
The World Health Organization has welcomed initiatives taken by Iran to control and reduce the rate of obesity.

TEHRAN (Iran News) –The World Health Organization has welcomed initiatives taken by Iran to control and reduce the rate of obesity.

During the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) meeting which was held in Amman, Jordan, from October 18-20, Iran was introduced as a role model for the region and the world for controlling obesity.

With the theme of “WHO Acceleration Plan to Stop Obesity”, participants discussed long-term goals, challenges, and priorities and exchanged experiences in this regard.

Deputy health minister Ahmad Esmaeilzadeh represented Iran. He briefed the audience on measures adopted by the ministry of health to control and reduce the obesity rate.

Iran is one of the few countries that has integrated nutrition services into the country’s health system to control obesity and provides the necessary intervention and services for this purpose, and this program was welcomed by the officials of the World Health Organization.

Obesity worldwide

Obesity is a disease impacting most body systems. It affects the heart, liver, kidneys, joints, and reproductive system.

Iran is one of the few countries that has integrated nutrition services into the country’s health system to control obesity.It leads to a range of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, various forms of cancer, as well as mental health issues.

People with obesity are also three times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19.

In 2021, obesity accounted for approximately 2.8 million deaths from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, neurological disorders, chronic respiratory diseases, and digestive disorders.

Halting the rise in obesity is essential to combat the growing burden of NCDs and improve health and well-being for all, according to WHO.

Stopping the growing obesity epidemic is one of the 2025 Global Nutrition Targets (for children under 5) and one of the Targets for NCD reduction (for adolescents and adults).

Without addressing obesity, it is not going to be possible to achieve a 30% reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by 2030, one of the key targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Currently, no country is on track to meet these targets and the costs of obesity and obesity-related diseases continue to rise.

Global costs are reaching $990 billion per year, which accounts for over 13% of all healthcare expenditures.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the urgency to act, revealing that people who suffer from obesity experience a four-fold increased risk of developing severe COVID-19.

Acceleration Plan

The Acceleration Plan identifies priority actions, describes how countries can act, how WHO and partners will advocate for action, how to engage partners and create a global mobilization and how to monitor progress.

The plan aims to (a) increase the number of countries implementing effective policies to address the prevention and management of obesity; (b) improve policy efficiency and coverage and expanded access to obesity prevention and management services, and (c) reverse the trend in obesity rates in the first group of committed frontrunner countries in the next few years.

More than 1 billion people worldwide are obese – 650 million adults, 340 million adolescents, and 39 million children. This number is still increasing. WHO estimates that by 2025, approximately 167 million people – adults and children – will become less healthy because they are overweight or obese.

World Obesity Day

On the occasion of World Obesity Day 2022, March 4, WHO urged countries to do more to reverse this predictable and preventable health crisis.

The key to preventing obesity is to act early, ideally even before a baby is conceived. Good nutrition in pregnancy, followed by exclusive breastfeeding until the age of 6 months and continued breastfeeding until 2 years and beyond, is best for all infants and young children.

At the same time, countries need to work together to create a better food environment so that everyone can access and afford a healthy diet.

Effective steps include restricting the marketing to children of food and drinks high in fats, sugar, and salt, taxing sugary drinks, and providing better access to affordable, healthy food.

Cities and towns need to make space for safe walking, cycling, and recreation, and schools need to help households teach children healthy habits from early on.


  • source : Tehrantimes