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Director-General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO and the World Obesity Federation join forces to promote healthier diets

“Simply asking individuals to change their behaviour cannot be very successful if the environment where they live and work continues to promote unhealthy habits”

11 June 2019, Rome – FAO and the World Obesity Federation today joined forces to promote healthier diets and sustainable food systems to curb the worrisome levels of obesity and overweight around the world.

The agreement was signed by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and the World Obesity Federation President, Tim Lobstein. 

“Obesity and overweight are a huge problem that needs to be tackled, and one of the ways it can be done is to make the food supply a lot healthier than it is at present. Simply asking individuals to change their behaviour cannot be very successful if the environment where they live and work continues to promote unhealthy diets,” Lobstein said.

It is very important to change those environments so that it is easier for people to make the changes that they and we would like to see, he said. “We believe it is best to work at government level to try to change the policies and regulations that influence how companies can market and what they can put on their labels,” he added.

For his part, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said: “We are very glad to partner with the World Obesity Federation and we welcome them joining us in fighting this global pandemic.”

Monitoring better dietary standards

The head of the World Obesity Federation praised the new partnership with FAO, noting that it will focus in developing and monitoring more sustainable food systems with a particular emphasis on food-based dietary guidelines. “We are hoping to influence Member states to make them adopt better standards, and we will be watching and monitoring,” he said.

 “We have Membership in about 50 different states around the world and other contacts so we can monitor what is happening in food labels, marketing to children, TV advertising, etc. And we can hold countries and companies to account for what they do,” he concluded.

The World Obesity Federation represents professional members of the scientific, medical and research communities from over 50 regional and national obesity associations.

Photo gallery of the signature event.

Watch Tim Lobestein's remarks following the signature of the agreement:

 

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