World Obesity Day 2024:  Obesity & Youth: Young people Transforming to Change

World Obesity Day

In 2022, approximately 37 million children under the age of 5 were affected by overweight globally, while over 390 million children and adolescents aged 5–19 years were overweight, with 160 million facing obesity. Of those with obesity, 75% reside in low- and middle-income countries. This highlights a systemic failure in the food industry to provide nutritious diets for children, coupled with health systems that do not adequately address obesity until individuals present with co-morbidities. Inequality, including financial, social, and structural factors, such as widespread marketing and inadequate healthcare coverage, exacerbates this situation in many contexts. Consequently, children worldwide are exposed to environments that discourage health and promote weight gain. The resulting prejudice and stigma faced by many young individuals dealing with overweight and obesity negatively impact their mental health and self-esteem.

World Obesity Day on March 4 is a collective call to action, urging a comprehensive, cross-sector response to the global obesity crisis. This year’s campaign theme, ‘Let’s Talk About Obesity And…’, aims to initiate inclusive discussions, examining health, youth, and our global environment to collaboratively address obesity. To amplify the impact of World Obesity Day 2024, the Global Obesity Coalition, comprising UNICEF, WHO, and the World Obesity Federation, is organizing a global youth-led webinar. This online event aims to facilitate conversations on how obesity impacts the lives of young individuals worldwide and the specific changes they advocate for. Decision-makers from UN agencies, academia, civil society, and government are encouraged to participate and lend their ears to these critical discussions.


– Gain an overview of the worldwide obesity crisis, its impact on young individuals, and explore avenues for youth engagement in the WHO Acceleration Plan to Stop Obesity.

– Listen and comprehend the diverse lived experiences of young people across various countries.

– Examine the catalysts required to initiate a global youth movement addressing these realities.

– Identify the specific demands of young people and strategize effective means of implementation.

Pierre (Kevin) Cooke, Jr  (he/him) – SUN Lead Group Member, HCC Technical Advisor (Barbados) will be chairing the discussion.

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