Press Release for World Obesity Day 4th March 2024

Monday 4th March is World Obesity Day 2024. 

The Association for the Study of Obesity on the Island of Ireland (ASOI) are raising awareness and calling for conversations to help with the understanding of obesity as a complex, chronic disease. 

The World Obesity Day global campaign will use conversations and stories to help people correct misconceptions surrounding obesity, acknowledge its complexities, and take effective, collective action. The ASOI are asking the media, policymakers, health professionals and the public to get involved, get engaged and be informed.  

To mark WOD, ASOI committee members are participating in various podcast and media interviews.  ASOI wish to reach a wide audience and advocate for a more health-focused, compassionate, and non-judgemental understanding of obesity.  The podcasts, once live, will be available via links on the ASOI website and shared through social media.  To promote WOD, healthcare professionals and researchers from the ASOI membership are available for interviews across media platforms.

The ASOI supports the WOD campaigns run by patient advocacy groups including the Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ICPO) and the European Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ECPO).  

To support the WOD campaign, you can engage on social media by sharing posts, stories and promotions of podcasts. 

In the last few years, great strides have been made in Ireland to improve healthcare services for obesity. In 2021, the new Model of Care for the Management of Overweight and Obesity from the HSE was a critical step in showing where services are needed for effective identification and treatment of obesity. 

In 2022 the ASOI led the publication of Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) for the Management of Obesity in Adults in Ireland. The CPGs provide clear assessment and treatment guidelines for all healthcare professionals involved in obesity care.

These developments have been essential to the development of healthcare that meet the complex needs of patients living with obesity.  According to Dr Cathy Breen, Chair of ASOI: 

The model of care and CPGs shift the focus from a diagnosis based exclusively on body size to a health-linked diagnosis of obesity and a shift in the goals of 

management from weight change alone, to patient-centred health outcomes, functional outcomes, and social and economic wellbeing.” 

Please see further information and read the guidelines here:

The HSE model of care and ASOI CPGs signalled important new progress in the field of obesity care, however ASOI highlight that significant gaps in obesity services remain.  Continued action from the Department of Health and the HSE is needed to develop obesity services nationally and ensure patients have access to the healthcare and supports they need close to their own communities.

For further information, please see:

The Association for the Study of Obesity on the Island of Ireland (ASOI): 

The Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ICPO): 

World Obesity Day Europe:

As the ASOI: 

We are supporting people living with obesity to advocate for their right to respectful and evidence-based care and support. 

We are helping healthcare practitioners to learn more about their role in treating obesity with evidence-based non-stigmatising, person-centred approaches. 

We are pushing for further research, health systems monitoring, and surveillance needed to address this disease. 

World Obesity Day will include global recognition, as well as regional and national campaigns, and local activities and events. Organisations and individuals from across the world will be participating. 

The ASOI members represent health professionals, scientists, researchers and public patient representatives, working together to address the many impacts obesity has on the lives of children, teenagers and adults living in Ireland.