Globally there are almost one billion children and adults living with obesity, and far more failed approaches than successful ones in addressing this challenge. The toll of obesity on individuals and communities is devastating, and COVID has only amplified the challenge. The inherent complexity of obesity is part of this challenge, yet opportunities including greater alignment with the food and climate changes agendas offer potential pathways for success. Looking at obesity policies over the last three decades, this lecture will consider what has worked, what has hindered progress, and how innovative approaches and new coordinated commitments at WHO may offer a way forward.
Johanna Ralston has worked in global NCDs and their risk factors for over two decades. Since 2017 she has served as CEO of World Obesity Federation. With member organisations in more than 100 countries,WOF works to reduce to prevent and manage obesity through advocacy, convening, training and knowledge exchange. From 2011-2016 Johanna served as CEO of World Heart Federation and as Vice Chair, steering group member and Interim Director of NCD Alliance. From 1999 until 2011 Johanna was Vice President of Global Strategies at American Cancer Society, overseeing global advocacy and building the global capacity building program to strengthen community-based cancer and tobacco control in LMICs. She has also been a fellow at Geneva Centre for Security Policy, leading the course on global health security and serves on several committees and boards including GO2 Foundation (formerly the Lung Cancer Alliance), the WHO Civil Society Working Group on NCDs, the WEF Global Future of Health and Healthcare Council, among others.
Wine and nibbles will be available for the audience before and after the talk.