Obesity to be tackled at international congress in Dublin

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Grace O Malley

The 30th European Congress on Obesity (ECO) kicks off in Dublin today, with clinicians, practitioners, physicians, nutritionists, surgeons and researchers from all over the world convening on the topic of obesity and its related conditions.

The congress is hosted by the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) and the Association for the Study of Obesity on the Island of Ireland (ASOI). The scientific and local planning committee for the congress is chaired by Dr Grace O’Malley, Principal Investigator at the RCSI Obesity Research and Care Group at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

ECO is the premier international obesity meeting to share obesity research related to basic science, prevention and management and sees professional obesity associations and a broad network convene over four days. Several RCSI academics will represent the RCSI Obesity Research and Care Group over the coming days chairing, presenting and teaching sessions, including: Dr Farzana Ferdous, Ms Niamh Arthurs, Dr Maeve O’Brien and Mr Mohammad Almulla. The work of the Group aims to support European efforts to address obesity through interprofessional education, research, PPI (patient and public involvement) and service design.

Dr O’Malley, who is a Senior Lecturer in the RCSI School of Physiotherapy and as well as Secretary of EASO, commented on the significance of hosting the 30th ESO congress in Ireland: "Recent developments in Ireland related to obesity knowledge, education and care are a testament to the work being conducted by stakeholders across education, healthcare, policy and advocacy. We have a lot of knowledge to share on our recent successes to help improve care and the treatment of individuals and families affected by obesity.

"It is an honour to welcome the global obesity community to Ireland to mark the 30th European Congress on Obesity. I am delighted that the first day of ECO2023 will focus on workshops for health professionals working in primary-, secondary- and tertiary care. These will help us to implement the recently launched Irish Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) for Adults with Obesity," Dr O’Malley said.

Developments in obesity care and research

RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences is committed to supporting health professional development through its mission to 'educate, nurture and discover for the benefit of human health'. Notable developments in obesity care and understanding in Ireland in recent years involving members of the RCSI Obesity Research and Care Group include:

Dr O’Malley also highlighted the pivotal importance and power of involving public, patient and parent advocates in research, health services planning and decision-making and at events such as ECO as she explains: "Including the voice of the lived experience is central to achieving change in health professional education and for delivery of high quality healthcare. We are delighted to have a record number of people with the lived experience of obesity attending the congress this year in Dublin. Public patient and parent advocates are part of the ECO organising committees and will feature throughout the congress as co-chairs, co-presenters and as congress delegates."

For details on the full programme, please see the ECO2023 website.