2024 European Congress of Obesity, Venice

The European Congress on Obesity, hosted by the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), brought together approximately 2,800 researchers, clinicians, patient advocates and other stakeholders for four days of workshops and presentations in the beautiful city of Venice, Italy. The program was organised around four main topic areas ‘Basic Science’; ‘Behavioural and Public Health’; ‘Childhood and Adolescent Obesity’; and ‘Management and Intervention’.

While the Congress highlighted exciting advances in the management of obesity with an expanding range of pharmacological therapies available for people living with obesity, the importance of prevention remained a common theme throughout the Congress. In particular, the early years were identified as a critical window to promote healthy growth and health promotion was highlighted as a core component of childhood obesity care, this was particularly emphasised in discussion of the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) model of care for children and adolescents.

The work of EPOCH-Translate members was highlighted during the Congress:

  • Dr Vicki Brown (Chief Investigator and Stream 2 Lead) shared several pieces of work conducted by her team at Deakin University including a review examining the evidence for the costs and cost-effectiveness of community-based obesity prevention; the results of a discrete choice experiment exploring parents’ willingness to pay for early childhood obesity prevention; and a systematic review examining the spill-over effects of childhood obesity prevention initiatives.
  • Ms Eve House (PhD candidate) presented the results of a needs assessment examining primary health professionals’ engagement in early childhood obesity prevention, the barriers and facilitators to preventive care in this setting and the reported training needs of Australian primary health professionals to support health promotion in early life.

The European Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ECPO) provided an invaluable contribution as equal partners in the Congress. Throughout, we were reminded of the importance of considering lived experience at all stages of research and clinical practice. Within health promotion and preventive care, this served as an important reminder of the value of establishing strong partnerships with key stakeholders across the early years continuum, including children and their families.


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