Obesity SIO We await the next debate in parliament

Obesity, SIO: “We await the next debate in parliament”

Twenty percent more weight increases the risk of death from heart attack by 25 percent and death from stroke by 10 percent; for every 5 points more body mass index (BMI), the risk of colon cancer in men increases by 24 percent, endometrial cancer by 59 percent, and post-menopausal breast cancer by 12 percent in women – Under discussion in the Senate on Tuesday, Oct. 11, the bipartisan motion on the issue of obesity prevention, treatment and care

Rome, Sept. 30, 2016 – The bipartisan motion submitted under the first signature of Senator Laura Bianconi, chair of the parliamentary group Area popolare, and signed by numerous colleagues, on the topic of obesity prevention, treatment and care will be discussed on Oct. 11 in the Senate chamber. This was announced last night at the opening of the 8th National Congress of the Italian Obesity Society (SIO) by the society’s president, Paolo Sbraccia.

The motion, which follows a similar initiative promoted by several MEPs in Brussels, intends to commit the Italian government to “take regulatory action so that a definition of obesity as a chronic disease, a definition of the role of specialists who deal with this pathology and a definition of treatment services and the modalities for their reimbursement, to implement the care network on the model of the law n. 115 of 1987, which was adopted at the time to combat diabetes; to provide for a more stringent implementation of the National Prevention Pact 2014-2018, with regard to policies to combat obesity’obesity.”

“Obesity is a disease, although many people still have a hard time believing it,” said Sbraccia. “In Europe, despite repeated warnings and alarms issued by the World Health Organization, very few countries have taken note, not yet Italy. Yet one can die of obesity, especially because of the many associated conditions, especially cardiovascular conditions such as type 2 diabetes, usually preceded by the various components of the metabolic syndrome (arterial hypertension and atherogenic dyslipidemia) and the increased risk of myocardial infarction and stroke: in those who weigh 20 percent more than their ideal weight, the risk of dying of heart attack and 10 percent of dying of stroke increases by 25 percent compared to the normal weight population; if overweight exceeds 40 percent, the risk of death increases by 50 percent. Not only that.

There is a strong correlation between excess weight and cancer risk: for every additional 5 points of body mass index (BMI), the risk of esophageal cancer in men increases by 52 percent and that of colon cancer by 24 percent, while in women the risk of endometrial and gallbladder cancer increases by 59 percent and that of breast cancer, in the post-menopausal phase, by 12 percent,” he added.

Moreover, obesity causes great social and psychological distress; overweight and obesity mainly affect disadvantaged social groups with lower education and lower income, as well as greater difficulties in accessing care. In Italy among adults with a university degree, the percentage of obese people is 4.6 percent, among high school graduates 5.8 percent, while it is 15.8 percent among those with only an elementary school diploma.

“On this basis, it is inevitable to give proper attention to this enormous health and social problem,” commented Sen. Laura Bianconi, president of the Area popolare (NCD-UDC) group in Palazzo Madama. My commitment is to ensure that this motion is debated and approved, as the first fundamental step on a path that will have to see the political world, science and civil society working side by side to tackle the real pandemic of the 21st century: overweight and obesity.”