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World Digestive Health Day – Obesity, An On-going Pandemic
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World Digestive Health Day – Obesity, An On-going Pandemic

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Highlights:
  • Globally World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) is celebrated on May 29 every year to emphasize gastrointestinal diseases with 2021 theme as obesity
  • Every year WDHD signifies the commencement of a twelve-month-long campaign centering on raising public and professional awareness of a particular digestive disease or disorder.
  • This year, the campaign tends to promote awareness for the early diagnosis and management of obesity through its annual public advocacy

World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) is commemorated on May 29 annually to raise awareness and provide resources and tools for gastrointestinal diseases and disorders. It is organized by the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) in collaboration with the WGO Foundation (WGOF).

The consequence of obesity on the development of comorbidities and subsequently the effect on life expectancy is mortifying as witnessed during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Hence this year's theme for World Digestive Health Day is "Obesity: An On-going Pandemic".

How is Obesity a Public Health Concern?

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30.

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BMI is a simple index that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults using weight-for-height. It is calculated as a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2).

In 2016, 1.9 billion adults (18 years and older) worldwide were overweight, among which 650 million (13%) are obese, which is the reason for increased comorbidities and deaths.

History and World Digestive Health Day

World Digestive Health Day was created in 2003 to honor the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO). The specific campaign focus is initiated by the WGO every year for World Digestive Health Day, which highlights the early management of obesity this year.
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Worldwide, public health campaigns are conducted through more than 116 WGO Member Societies which reach over 50,000 individuals worldwide, WGO Training Centers, Regional Affiliate Associations, and other WGO global partners intending to translate research into clinical practice and facilitate communication between physicians, allied health professionals, healthcare payers, and the public.

Sessions like scientific programs, hands-on workshops, oral and poster presentations, and exhibitions are delivered to provide an opportunity for professionals in the field and related disciplines to learn the advancements and actively engage in this rapidly embellishing field.

Online support can be extended to WDHD and Obesity using the hashtags #WDHD2021 and #obesityawareness #Obesityanongoingpandemic

WGO encourages the support of WDHD worldwide to warrant its continued progress in creating awareness of the optimal care of the gastrointestinal system and its disorders worldwide.

Obesity and World Digestive Health Day

With the global perspective and support from the Steering Committee in collaboration with WGO and IFSO Member Societies, the multi-faceted WDHD 2021 campaign ensures that patients understand how obesity affects one's daily life and its importance in one's health.

They also introduce apt dietary and lifestyle advice and appropriate investigations and treatment, referring to their condition and circumstances. And also distribute educational material worldwide via a variety of panels; in multiple languages.

Facts on Obesity

  • As per the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2013-2014, more than 1 in 3 adults were considered to have obesity and 1 in 13 adults with extreme obesity.
  • It is estimated that obesity has nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016 globally with 39% of adults being overweight in 2016 and 38 million children (below the age of 5) were overweight or obese in 2019.
  • Overweight and obesity are linked to more deaths worldwide than underweight.
  • Obesity is a major element of cardiovascular diseases (especially heart disease and stroke), which were the leading cause of death in 2012.
  • A simple energy disproportion between calories consumed and calories expended may induce obesity. Hence obesity is a preventable condition.
  • Dietary and physical activity modifications might help manage obesity.

References :
  1. World Digestive Health Day 2021 - (https://twistwest.org/events/2021-05-29-000000/world-digestive-health-day-2021)
  2. World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) 2021 - (https://www.worldgastroenterology.org/wgo-foundation/wdhd/wdhd-2021)
  3. Overweight & Obesity Statistics - (https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity)
  4. WORLD DIGESTIVE HEALTH DAY 2021 - (https://www.wdhd2021.org/)
  5. Obesity and overweight - (https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight)


Source: Medindia

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