Obesity, experts’ letter to institutions: government moves forward with 2019 motion
In order not to undo the work done by the last legislature, it is necessary for the new government to carry forward the motion passed in 2019 and act urgently to ensure that people with obesity have full access to care and drug treatments, because obesity is a chronic disease not a fault. This is the message of the open letter signed by the presidents of all scientific societies that will be released this afternoon as part of the 4th Obesity Summit organized by the Ibdo Foundation- Italian Barometer Diabetes Observatory Foundation and the Parliamentary Intergroup ‘Obesity and Diabetes’ with the unconditional contribution of Novo Nordisk as part of the international project Driving Change in Obesity.
Obesity is not an individual’s fault
“Obesity is not an individual fault or even a condition- comments Iris Zani, president of Amici Obesi- it is a disease and as such must be treated and cured”.
“Too often- he continues- it is unfortunately still seen as the responsibility of the individual, a lifestyle choice due to poor self-discipline and lack of motivation. The social stigma attached to this disease flows into all areas of people’s lives, from school to work, from health exclusion to social disapproval. Not recognizing obesity a specific clinical-therapeutic-assistance pathway is equally a form of discrimination”.
“Today- stresses Zani- as an association for the protection of the rights of people with obesity, together with all the representatives of the scientific world, we launch an appeal to the new Italian parliamentarians, so that the path traced in the old legislature” not be abandoned;.
“In November 2019- adds Paolo Sbraccia, Ibdo Foundation vice president and full professor of Internal Medicine at the’University of Rome‘Tor Vergata’-a great milestone was reached with the unanimous approval in the Chamber of Deputies of the Motion for the recognition of obesity as a chronic disease, it was thought that this would kick-start many changes and advances in the care and treatment of this disease”.
“But to date,” he points out, “there are still few health professionals specifically trained in the treatment and management of the disease, there’s still much to be done to contribute to the training and education of all those involved toward greater awareness of obesity and the many health risks associated with it, but above all, people who suffer from it are still victims of social and medical stigma”.
Luca Busetto affirms
“Obesity-affirms Luca Busetto, president of the Italian Society of Obesity, University of Padua-leads to an increased likelihood of developing diseases of the cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, and joint systems’and the joints. It is found to cause 44 percent of type 2 diabetes cases, 23 percent of ischemic heart disease cases and up to 41 percent of some cancers, and there are about 57 thousand annual deaths in Italy from this disease”.
“Yet- he continues- despite these alarming data, a pathway of care and treatment has not yet been defined by our health care system, is not included within the Lea, the national system of guidelines and regional networks of care”.
“People with obesity have the right to live a social, educational, and working life on par with people without obesity- informs Andrea Lenzi, Italy Coordinator of the’Obesity Policy Engagement Network (Open)-and this must be considered the primary goal, on the socio-cultural level, of government actions at the national and regional levels”.
It is essential to pick up where we left off
“It is essential to pick up where we left off with the 18th legislature-continues-renewing the legislative pact on obesity, particularly on the inclusion of obesity in the list of chronic diseases, and acting accordingly unitedly and immediately to ensure that the person with obesity has full access to care and pharmacological treatment”.
“In recent years, and especially during the last legislature- says Roberto Pella, president of the ’Parliamentary Intergroup ‘Obesity and Diabetes’ and deputy vice president of Anci- we have succeeded in facilitating inter-institutional dialogue, among all levels of government, by disseminating the predictions of the Motion and giving voice to every joint initiative. We have done an extraordinary amount of work that has led to the realization of numerous goals that we set out to achieve”.
“However- he declares- there are still knots to be solved to bring our goals to fruition, now is the time to find the right synergies to give concrete answers to people with obesity. The funds allocated by the NRP are a significant and highly symbolic opportunity of the’future horizon our country wants to give itself, and we can no longer afford the costs of inertia”.
“Novo Nordisk has always been committed to the treatment and prevention of obesity,” announces Drago Vuina, General Manager and Corporate Vice President Novo Nordisk Italy- supporting at the forefront the needs of people and medical specialists, through the development of new drugs and innovative therapies, but also with the internationally active program Driving Change in Obesity, which aims to raise awareness and foster empathy and respect for those suffering from this disease”.
“Through our support toward the Ibdo Foundation and the’Obesity Summit, now in its fourth year, we want to help foster discussion among all stakeholders- concludes-so that people living with obesity can enjoy the best possible care and receive appropriate treatment”.