Obesity The Big Truth

Forget what you think you know about obesity.

Let’s Focus on The Science

The Big Truth uses discussion and storytelling by HCP thought leaders to convey scientific information and to engage other health care professionals, experts in the field of obesity AND PATIENTS

Obesity the Big Truth

People living with obesity are often wrongly accused – and even believe themselves – that obesity is entirely their fault. Indeed, they are often stigmatised by those who mistakenly think it is entirely down to their lifestyle.

But modern science increasingly shows us that obesity is a very complex disease. It involves many different factors such as genetics, changes in our genes due to our environment, the environment itself, ethnicity, reasons why we eat for pleasure or need, brain processes, and the makeup of our body.

The Big Truth is that many old-fashioned beliefs are being proven to be incorrect. We need to listen to the scientific evidence that sets straight  many of the myths about obesity. It is a chronic disease that requires treatment.

Obesity: The Big Truth is an initiative to inspire and drive a collective conversation. It provides a framework and a platform for experts to discuss the emerging and continually developing science of obesity and its complexities.

Physicians are working alongside Patient Advocates to host live events for all types of obesity stakeholders, shining a light on the newest science on obesity to further the understanding of all those involved.

Professor Carel le Roux: It is Not Your Fault

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As an obesity doctor, the most important thing I can say to patients is that this disease is not your fault. But it’s your responsibility and my responsibility to find a treatment for the disease of obesity. Now, these treatments can be nutritional therapies, pharmacotherapies, or surgical therapies. Important to understand that if you do not respond to one of these treatments, it’s not because you’ve done something wrong.

It’s not the smart people who listen to us that lose a lot of weight or the people that don’t listen that don’t lose weight. It is biology. And if we understand the biology of this disease, then we’re going to treat it like any other disease. So, for example, if somebody responds very well, we continue with that treatment, but if they don’t respond, we either change the treatment or we use a combination of treatments.
And ultimately, that is how we control the biology of the disease in the long term and get most of the health gains that we can from our approaches.

This week’s Podcast

In Episode 3 of our #Dutch-language podcast series, Professor Dr Lieven Annemans, professor of health economics at Ghent University’s Faculty of Medicine, discusses the real cost of obesity to people and society:

– The four levels of prevention
– why the prevention of obesity is economically important
– why prevention is a responsibility of all levels
– what else the government can do for prevention
– why a food or sugar tax can be effective

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I sometimes have the feeling that there is a bit of fatalism. Obesity has always existed. When we deal with obesity, it’s like opening a tap.

But I don’t agree with that. Take care of a tap that doesn’t leak, so to speak. And make sure that fewer people become obese.

And once people are obese, do everything that is technically and scientifically possible to help those people avoid complications. So the fatalism has to go. There is definitely something to be done.

The methods are there, the programs are there. We also know how much that costs. It’s just a matter of taking it seriously and spending the money for it.

And that money is there. I think I’ve said that before, but I’m going to say it again. That money is definitely there.

Listen to the Dutch-language Big Truth Podcast series.

More than ten leading Flemish obesity experts reveal the many aspects of this complex chronic condition in the podcast series “Obesity: The Big Truth”. Discover the truth behind obesity: is it the person’s fault or a chronic disease?

Each week, we present a new episode of the 12-part series. Details of all the podcasts and listen to previous episodes.

Flemish experts provide insights on “Obesity: The Big Truth”

Several Flemish experts are featured on this “Obesity: The Big Truth” website. Short interviews can be viewed in English, but transcripts are available in Dutch.
Among them are Professor Bart Van der Scheuren, Professor and Endocrinologist at University Hospital, Leuven, and Pedro Facon, Deputy General Administrator of the Belgian National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (RIZIV-INAMI-NIHDI).

“It’s not the calories in the food. It’s what the food does to the body.”


Dr Andrew Jenkinson

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