World Obesity Day 2024: Let’s talk about obesity and all the solutions that are already out there

Posted On: 4th March 2024

TDMR Europe welcomes World Obesity Day (WOD) 2024 taking place today, 4th March. This year’s campaign theme is ‘Let’s Talk About Obesity And…’ and is aimed at starting conversations between collaborators, and encouraging stakeholders to share knowledge and view obesity from a different perspective.

Research from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 59% of European adults have overweight or obesity. These two conditions are among the leading causes of death and disability, with recent estimates suggesting they cause more than 1.2 million deaths annually, which corresponds to more than 13% of the total mortality in the Region. Moreover, analysis has shown that the impact of obesity on Europe’s economy is between 0.5% and 1.6% of GDP while the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has estimated that obesity and related comorbidities account for over 8% of total health expenditure.

Echoing WOD’s 2024 theme, TDMR Europe stresses that there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach, that obesity is a complex health condition, and that its treatment requires tailored methods based on people’s individual needs.

If we are to adequately and substantially reverse obesity rates, it is crucial for politicians and decision makers to consider all options available, including scientifically proven weight loss programmes that use total diet replacement (TDR) and meal replacement products (MRP), taking into account the vast evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of these products in helping people with obesity lose weight effectively and safely and improve comorbidities, such as type 2 diabetes (T2DM).

On 23rd February, the research team that led the DiRECT trial, a landmark 5-year study that explored the use of TDR to help people with obesity and T2DM lose weight and improve their health, published the latest research results. The study not only showed that T2DM remission is possible with a TDR weight loss programme but also suggested wider health benefits including a smaller number of illnesses needing hospital admission and fewer diabetes-related conditions when weight loss is maintained, an effect with clear economic benefits.

Interviewed by the Chair of TDMR Europe, Professor Anthony Leeds, Professor Mike Lean who led the DiRECT trial together with Professor Roy Talyor, explained on EWAZ TV that the medical care costs of people who went through the TDR weight management programme “were substantially less than the people who didn’t”. “Part of it was patients who went through the programme had less serious adverse events and they ended up in hospital less often”, he added.

According to Professor Lean “new drugs being developed for obesity and T2DM are exciting, but they should not be prescribed without sound dietary weight-management”.

The DiRECT trial is among the many scientific studies that have shown the effectiveness of TDR in addressing obesity and improving comorbidities, such as cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, and obstructive sleep apnoea as well as T2DM.

TDMR Europe works to help stakeholders develop a better understanding of formula diet foods and aims to increase awareness of the scientific evidence showing the effectiveness of these products in tackling obesity and improving related comorbidities. Find out more here.

More information on the DiRECT trial can be found here.

More information on the use of TDR for weight loss and diabetes remission and prevention is available here.

Here you can find a list of studies in which weight loss was achieved with TDR.

Aris Myriskos

TDMR Europe Secretariat