World Obesity Day 2020 - campaign image
World Obesity Day 2020 campaign © World Obesity Federation

Spread the word on 4 March: The roots of obesity run deep

03rd March 2020

Obesity organisations around the world are coming together on 4 March 2020 to mark World Obesity Day and call for more comprehensive solutions, treatment, and shared accountability for addressing the global epidemic that is obesity.

People with obesity are constantly shamed and blamed for their disease. The World Obesity Federation is demanding change to make this stop and ensure people get the care and treatment they need.

“People - including doctors, policy makers and others - do not understand that obesity is a chronic disease. They see it as a simple lack of willpower, laziness, or a refusal to eat less and move more. But the root causes of obesity run much deeper.” Says Johanna Ralston, CEO of World Obesity Federation.

A new campaign drawing from an extensive consultation of people living with and working on obesity prevention and management, is being launched to coincide with World Obesity Day in 2020, and explains the ROOTS of obesity, as genetic, psychological, sociocultural, economic and environmental.

“It is time the cycle of shame and blame is broken and the community re-evaluates its approach for addressing this complex, chronic disease that affects 650 million people worldwide” continues Ralston.

The aim of World Obesity Day 2020, is to bring together healthcare, patient and political communities to push for more comprehensive solutions, treatment, and collective responsibility for addressing this global epidemic.

This 4 March, obesity organisations around the world are calling for more action to address the far reaching personal, societal, and economic impacts of obesity through:

  • Supporting people living with obesity and overweight to advocate for their right to respectful and evidence-based care and support.
  • Helping healthcare practitioners to learn more about their role in treating obesity with evidence-based non stigmatising, person-centred approaches.
  • Pushing for further research, heath systems monitoring, and surveillance that are needed to address this disease.
  • Inviting the NCD community to join a Declaration on Obesity, share their own stories and events, promote a public activation by taking photos with an ‘O’ for Obesity.

Find more about the roots of obesity, World Obesity Day and how to get involved at

Share your story

Activities and stories are being collected on the  World Obesity Day 2020 website If you're organising an activity to mark the day or have a story to tell please get in touch here:

This news has been provided by World Obesity Federation, please contact Ellie Needs, Head of Communications at [email protected] for more information.