Are the costs of inaction on obesity worth it?

Implementing obesity under the NCD framework

Context 

Obesity prevalence is on the rise across the EU with the latest figures providing a conservative estimate that 60% of people living in Europe already live with pre-obesity or obesity. A major dilemma for institutions at national, EU and international level remains “who pays”?  Although the European Institutions do not have direct competence on reimbursement of healthcare they do have competence around key policies which can have an impact on obesity health outcomes as well as for T2D, certain preventable adult cancers, major cardiovascular diseases and mental health outcomes. 

2023 is the year where the European Commission will conduct its mid-term review of the multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2021-2027, it is also the European Year of Skills. Finally, the European Parliament and Council are still working on ‘Lessons Learned from COVID-19’, ‘the European Health Data Space’, ‘the Pharmaceutical Strategy’ and by summer, ‘the Mental Health Strategy’. 

When it comes to addressing obesity within the NCD framework, all of the above have lacked evidence to address the question of not just “why act”, but more to the point, what will happen if policymakers continue not to act on obesity within the NCD Framework? 

Objective 

We hope this session will enable policymakers to hear and discuss policy evidence which can contribute to finding workable and sustainable solutions on NCDs. This event offers an opportunity for multiple stakeholders to discuss with policymakers how the findings of the study can contribute to better health outcomes for people living with obesity in a post COVID world – in a sustainable manner. 

Hosted By

Pernille Weiss MEP (EPP-DK)
Chair of MEP Interest Group on Obesity & Health System Resilience

MEP Pernille Weiss, is a politician from the Conservative People’s Party of Denmark and a member of the European People’s Party, (EPP). Ms. Weiss holds a seat in the Industry, Research & Energy Committee (ITRE) and is a substitute in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) as well as in the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM).

She is also the chief executive officer (CEO) of a healthcare and architectural consultancy and serves as a board member to the business association of the European People’s Party (SME Europe) since 2019. She is an acknowledged Nordic expert in architecture and health and is passionate about the impact of the built environment on complex institutions.

Ms Weiss is a qualified nurse who later went on to specialise in forensic nursing. She holds two masters degrees; one in Health from the University of South Denmark and one in Leadership and Innovation from Copenhagen Business School.

Pernille Weiss

Sara Cerdas MEP (S&D-PT)
Vice Chair of MEP Interest Group on Obesity & Health System Resilience

MEP Sara Cerdas is a politician from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Portugal. Mrs Cerdas has been a member of the European Parliament since July 2019.

She is a member of the Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI). She is also vice-chair of the Beating Cancer Special Committee and co-Chair of the Health Working Group.

Her aim is to bring health to all policies and contribute to healthier and safer environments where people can enjoy better lifestyles. Her priorities are health accessibility, tackling the threat posed by non-communicable diseases and antimicrobial resistance as well as improving health literacy and education.

Cerdas holds a master’s degree in Medicine from the University of Lisbon, a postgraduate degree in travel medicine from Universidade Nova de Lisboa, a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Umeå and is a doctoral student in Public Health Sciences from the University of Stockholm.

Sara CERDAS in the EP in Brussels

Susana Solís Pérez MEP (Renew Europe Group – ES)
Vice Chair of MEP Interest Group on Obesity & Health System Resilience

Susana Solís Perez is a Spanish politician for Ciudadanos, part of the Renew Europe group. She has been a member of Parliament since May 2019.

She is a member of the Committee on Regional Development (REGI) and the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence (AIDA). She also holds a seat as a substitute in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) as well as in the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM). In addition to her committee assignments, Pérez is also a member in the MEPs Against Cancer group.

Ms Perez is passionate about promoting a more innovative and smarter Europe. Before being an MEP, she worked in the private sector, for companies such as Mercedes, Benz, Johnson & Johnson and Robert Bosch.

She holds a master’s degree in European Mechanical Engineering from the Fachhochschule de Osnabrück (Germany), an MBA and a master’s degree in Marketing Management from IE Business School (Madrid). She also holds a master’s degree in Public Administration and Leadership from IESE (Madrid).

Susana Solis Perez

Speakers

Jacqueline Bowman-Busato

Jacqueline Bowman-Busato is the EU Policy Lead at EASO (European Association for the Study of Obesity) in Brussels. She has worked in the Brussels environment since 1996 towards transforming health ecosystems from policy to reality. A pioneer of multi-stakeholder coalition building for societal impact, Jacqueline has previously worked for an MEP,ran the expert secretariat of aEuropean Parliamentarian Interest Group, headed up the Brussels office of aglobal NGO, transformed a patient-led platform into an equally weighted multi-stakeholder think tank for patients, science, and industry.

She strongly believes in empowering all actors to be effective and engaged in optimising health ecosystems for health outcomes relevant to all actors across sectors through evidence-based policies.

She lives with two major complex chronic diseases of autoimmune Hashimoto’s and obesity: both of which affect physical and mental health and wellbeing. Jacqueline holds degrees in English Law, French Law, Strategic Communications, and an MBA. She’s a Guyanese born dual British-Belgian national, speaks fluent French and has a very good passive understanding of Dutch.

Jacqueline Bowman

Michele Cecchini

Michele Cecchini leads work on Public Health at the OECD – the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Michele’s research interests include priority setting and programme evaluation of policies influencing population health. He is the editor and co-author of publications on the economic aspects of public health, including the recent OECD flagship publications on the heavy burden of obesity and on tackling harmful alcohol use and antimicrobial resistance. Michele holds a position of adjunct professor in applied health economics at the School of Public Health of the University of Siena and held a visiting position at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore. He served as a temporary advisor to a number of government and international agencies, including WHO, IARC, the EC and the World Bank. Michele is a medical doctor specialising in public health and holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD from Imperial College London.

Michele Cecchini

Prof Paolo Sbraccia

Prof. Sbraccia is also currently serving as President of the Italian Federation of Endocrinology, Diabetology, Andrology, Metabolism and Obesity and as Vice President of the Italian Barometer Diabetes Observatory. In addition, he is Past President of the Italian Society of Obesity.

He was also member of the “Scientific Advisory Group for Diabetes and Endocrinology” of the European Medicine Agency (EMA, 2008-2015).

In 2011, on behalf of SIO, he coordinated the Steering Committee for the Italian Guidelines for the Management of Obesity, and in 2016 he was Editor of the book “Clinical Management of Overweight and Obesity, Recommendations of the Italian Society of Obesity (SIO)”.

Prof. Sbraccia is also a member of the editorial boards and reviewer panels of various scientific journals; in particular, he is Section Editor for Diabetes and Endocrinolgy of “Eating and weight disorders” and associate Editor “Internal and Emergency Medicine”.

Prof Paolo Sbraccia

Jean-Michel Oppert

Jean-Michel Oppert, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Nutrition at  l’Université de la Sorbonne (University Pierre et Marie Curie-UPMC) and head of the Department of Nutrition at the Paris Pitié Salpêtrière university hospital (AP-HP).

His research in nutrition epidemiology include the measurement of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in population-based studies and in patients with cardiometabolic diseases, and the investigation of environmental determinants of physical activity and eating habits. He has been involved in national and EU-funded projects on physical activity and/or obesity and  is author or co-author of more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals on topics related to physical activity and nutrition.

He has a long-standing interest in lifestyle-associated diseases and related public health issues with a European perspective. He is founding member of the Steering Committee of the Health Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA)-Europe network supported by WHO Europe (2004-2012) and he is past president of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO). He is currently member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) Healthy Diet Healthy Life.

Jean-Michel Oppert

Oriol Solà-Morales

Oriol Solà-Morales is an MD specialised in Internal Medicine. He is assistant professor in Health Economics at Universitat Ramon Llull-IQS and also a research fellow at the OHE (Office for Health Economics).

Previously, he was a policy advisor to two Ministers of Health and a member of the Regional Research Advisory Council. He also held managing positions in healthcare planning and hospital management and dealt with drug and devices portfolio, technology purchase and entry schemes. He has also been involved in venture capital and start-ups. 

In 2011 he founded HITT (now HiTT Foundation), a biotech consultancy specialised in Market Access and Technology Transfer which collaborates with start-ups and manufacturers in delivering products, designing access strategies, defining value, proposing partnerships with public providers or implementing Market Entry Agreements.

He earned an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and a PhD from Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV).

Oriol Solà-Morales

Alina Constantin

Having lived with obesity for more than two decades, Alina is a patient advocate engaged in patient-to-patient peer support. President of a local patient organization near Bordeaux since 2017, she works daily to ensure field actions, such as doing workshops with people with obesity in hospitals and clinics, organizing and participating in prevention actions.

She is also a member of the patients’ council at the Ligue Contre l’Obésité (League Against Obesity), since 2020 which allowed her to contribute actively on the advocacy side. As an International Patient Advocate, her mission is to develop international relations at a European and global level.

Additionally, she promotes patient centred healthcare within the Haute Autorité de Santé (High Authority for Health) for the adult obesity guidelines (in the making). She has also been involved in research projects to understand weight bias and its consequences for people with obesity in psychological, social and healthcare settings.

Alina Constantin

Christine Brown

Christine Brown is the Head of the WHO European Office for Investment for Health and Development in Venice, Italy.

She leads a multidisciplinary team supporting European health networks, national authorities and partners to implement social, economic, gender and rights-based policies for health and health equity. Christine manages the WHO European Regional Health Equity Status Initiative which provides policymakers with innovative and adaptable solutions to invest in health.

In the context of European recovery and resilience priorities, she is leading the WHO/Europe Universal Wellbeing Economy Initiative which is generating practical know-how and alliances across sectors to ensure a culture of health for all in recovery and development plans.

Christine is one of the RWJ Foundation Global Leaders in Health Equity and a visiting Professor at Glasgow Caledonian University in the United Kingdom. Previously, Christine worked for the Danish Development Agency on large-scale projects in the areas of health and sustainable livelihoods. And prior to this worked as a public health expert in UNK, in service commissioning and provider roles for regional and national health authorities.

Christine Brown

Stefan Schreck

Between 1997 and 2008, Stefan has been working in the public health directorate of the European Commission in Luxemburg, in particular in the areas of communicable diseases, health threats, and substances of human origin.

In 2008, he became head of the health unit in the executive agency for health and consumers (EAHC), with responsibility for implementing the EU health programme.

In January 2011, he was appointed head of the health information unit of DG SANCO, with responsibility for health information policy, and providing the secretariat for the non-food scientific committees of the European Commission. From February 2016 to November 2020, he was head of the DG SANTE unit ‘health programme and chronic diseases’, dealing with policies for all non-communicable diseases, planning and drafting annual work programmes of the EU health programme, and contributing to the implementation of the health cluster of the Horizon Europe.

Since December 2020, Stefan is adviser for stakeholder relations in the Public Health Directorate of DG SANTE.

Stefan Schreck