Obesity in Austria

This morning, I am attending the annual scientific meeting of the Austrian Obesity Society, where I will be presenting a workshop on the management of severe obesity and a key-note lecture on the Canadian Obesity Network – a uniquely Canadian ‘success story’ in terms of fostering professional collaboration and engagement in obesity research, prevention, and management.

Clearly, many of the issues that concern overweight and obese Austrians are very similar to what concerns us in Canada.

Thus, the topics at this meeting run the usual gamut from obstetric complications, gestational diabetes, in-utero programming and its impact on childhood obesity, to the use of behavioural, medical and surgical treatments for obesity.

Other talks focus on the impact of obesity on Austria’s health care system and discuss various aspects of health promotion.

Finally, there is also a whole session on the proposed Austrian Obesity Management guidelines, which emphasize managing both the psychological and somatic aspects of excess weight.

As elsewhere, bariatric surgery is also on the rise in Austria and this is clearly reflected in several talks on surgical management of severe obesity – a topic that will certainly continue to gain importance till we come up with better conservative treatments.

I would like to thank my Austrian colleagues Anita Rieder and Hermann Toplak for inviting me to speak at this meeting and being such wonderful hosts.

Seggau, Austria