The complex interplay between obesity and food systems has been exacerbated by a narrative in which words and images misrepresent the drivers of obesity and fault those living with obesity for what is in reality a complex chronic disease shaped in part in response to the obesogenic environment. The role of lived experience has been overlooked in supporting policies, and the differences across geographies have been poorly understood. This session will look at narratives of obesity and propose a better, more accurate story that places people at the centre, using words and images that are translatable across cultures and languages, framed around an inter-related set of approaches rather than single, siloed solutions.
This approach requires alignment across sectors, with common language on the environmental, social, and commercial determinants of obesity. As obesity has been shown to be an independent risk factor for COVID-19 complications, and as concerns grow about the impact of COVID and extended lockdowns on unhealthy weight, the right framing is of critical importance as a part of “building back better.”