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Patients’ Voices at the European Congress on Obesity



Attendees at the recent 5th Canadian Obesity Summit, hosted by the Canadian Obesity Network, will hardly have missed the important role that patient champions played at this meeting.

Thus, for e.g. every plenary session was opened by a brief presentation from a representative of the Canadian Obesity Network’s Public Engagement Committee, which not only illustrated the remarkable diversity of individual “obesity stories” but also set the stage for the scientific and clinical presentations that followed.

Indeed, one of the recurring themes at the Canadian Obesity Summit was, “nothing about us, without us”.

Thus, I was happy to see that the “patient voice” is also gaining increasing attention at the European Congress on Obesity, currently taking place in Porto, Portugal.

In fact, the conference was kicked off by a workshop on weight bias, discrimination, and other issues relevant to people living with obesity, organised by representatives of the EASO patient council, with representatives from across Europe.

How much impact these presentations and role of people living with obesity will have on the overall conference will remain to be seen, but clearly, as in other areas of medicine, the patient voice is certainly become more important as a driver of knowledge and policy  – as it should.

@DrSharma
Porto, Portugal

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