Italian Parliament Recognises Obesity As A Chronic Disease

“On November 13th the Camera dei Deputati of the Italian Parliament voted unanimously to approve a motion that recognises obesity as a chronic disease and asks the Government to implement specific actions to promote and improve obesity prevention and management. Luca Busetto, co-chair of the EASO Obesity Management Task Force.

Why is this important? Because only through the unequivocal recognition of obesity as a chronic disease can governments mobilise the immense resources need to prevent and manage it in people living with this chronic disease.

To be clear, not everyone living in a larger body has obesity – as I have written countless times before, health cannot be measured with scales or measuring tapes.

The disease “obesity” only exists when abnormal or excess adiposity affects health. Thus, the term “healthy” obesity is in fact a misnomer – there is no such thing. By definition the clinical term “obesity” should refer only to people who have a clear health impairment as a direct result of their adiposity.

That said, the Italian Governments all-party declaration of obesity as a chronic disease, will hopefully mean that Italians living with this chronic disease now have better access to preventive and therapeutic interventions.

I am thus happy to see that among the various commitments made towards a national plan, the Italian government also emphasizes full access to diagnostic procedures for comorbidities, to dietary interventions, as well as psychological, pharmacological and surgical approaches as indicated.

Hopefully other European countries, and in fact, countries the world over will follow this example and ensure that people living with obesity are no longer treated as second-class citizens when it comes to access to treatment for their chronic disease.

Edmonton, AB