Aston Quay and River Liffey in Dublin

Five Themes in Dublin for ECO2023

We’re headed to Dublin this week for the European Congress on Obesity – ECO2023. At a pace that will surely be overwhelming, we expect to encounter some of the world’s best researchers, clinicians, and patient advocates bringing us new insights. This comes at an exciting time for the field because advanced treatment options are causing the whole world to change how they think about obesity.

Here are five themes we see nicely woven into ECO2023, which starts on Wednesday in Dublin.

1. Patients Up Front

The European Society for the Study of Obesity has been quick to put the lived experience with obesity at the center of planning for their meeting. So many if not most of the major sessions will include patient advocates who keep things connected to the needs of real people. Wednesday at 10 am, Jason Halford and Amy Ahern will be chairing a session on the intersection of eating disorders and weight management that promises to be excellent. Also on Wednesday, the SQOT symposium on patient-reported outcome measures at 12:30 is one where ConscienHealth will present.

Later that afternoon, a symposium titled “What Matters to Patients” will be looking at progress in obesity care with a focus of outcomes beyond weight loss important to people seeking care.

2. Fresh Thinking on Prevention and Public Health

The continued growth of obesity prevalence worldwide is prompting a fresh look at obesity prevention. Policies carried over from the last century have demonstrated little effectiveness. So the EASO Public Health Task Force will lead a workshop Wednesday morning aiming to re-think obesity prevention for the 21st century. The conversation that starts here will flow into sessions through the rest of the week.

3. Adapting to Rapid Advances in Care

The availability of more effective medicines for obesity has indeed turned out to be a “game changer.” But coping with the pent-up demand for better and more equitable obesity care has been a challenge for everyone. The makers of these medicines, healthcare providers, and the public are struggling to sort it out. The pharmacotherapy update on Wednesday at 2:15 will be a good place to start. The opening plenary at 5:45 will then move us into the important subject of equity in health, obesity, and healthcare.

4. Determinants of Obesity

The eternal question that trips just about everyone digging into obesity is all about causes. What are the factors that put people at risk? In Dublin this week, people will be presenting data on biological, environmental, commercial, and social determinants. The Friday morning session on commercial determinants of health may be especially interesting.

5. Anticipating Future Progress

Knowing that we are only barely scratching the surface of progress in understanding, treating, and preventing obesity, the Saturday morning plenary on the future of obesity care is not to be missed. This together with sessions throughout ECO2023 in Dublin will offer important clues about what to expect from the dramatic changes that lie ahead.

Click here for more on this important meeting and follow the #ECO2023 hashtag for insights as they emerge.

Aston Quay and River Liffey in Dublin, photograph by Robert Linsdell, licensed under CC BY 2.0

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May 15, 2023