Obesity is a chronic, progressive, non-communicable disease that has become one of the biggest threats to Europe’s health affecting a quarter of adults in the region[i] and accounting for around 11% of health expenditure annually.[ii] That is why five EFPIA member companies have come together in the EFPIA Obesity Platform to improve the lives of people with obesity.

Our vision is a Europe where people living with obesity receive early diagnosis and timely access to effective treatment and care as part of a comprehensive approach that starts with primary prevention and covers the entire patient pathway. We want a Europe where obesity is a health system priority and recognised for what it is: a chronic, progressive, non-communicable disease that has become a major public health challenge for health systems and society.

Our mission is underlined by our unwavering commitment to improving the lives and health of people living with obesity and related comorbidities. In addition to the severe impact of obesity on health and well-being, people with obesity face significant barriers, including stigma, in accessing the care and management services they need. This risks further exacerbating health and socio-economic inequalities among people living with obesity as well as impacting societal costs of obesity in terms of productivity loss and higher costs from managing the consequences of late diagnosis.

Obesity is a chronic relapsing disease[iii] that diminishes every aspect of health and is linked with 1.2 million deaths annually.[iv] Left unaddressed, obesity can become responsible for over 200 serious complications, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and 13 types of cancer, necessitating more extensive and costly interventions.[v] Its multifactorial aetiology spans genetics, environment, socioeconomic, behavioural and psychological influences making prevention and treatment complex endeavours.[vi]

Obesity not only poses immediate health risks to individuals but also burdens European health systems and economies. The World Obesity Federation (WOF) estimated that the cost of obesity to health services in the European region amounts to EUR 201,446 billion annually.[vii] Obesity also results in several indirect costs such as impaired productivity, lost life years and reduced quality of life. The combined direct and indirect costs of obesity are estimated at 3.3% of total GDP in OECD/EU27 countries, a figure that is expected to grow.[viii]

The multifaceted causes of obesity underscore the need for a patient-centred and holistic approach to obesity care.

Our goal is to address these challenges by:

  • Partnering with stakeholders within and beyond the obesity community to co-create holistic policy solutions, spanning from prevention (both primary prevention of obesity and secondary prevention of complications) to management and care to improve the lives of people with obesity, reduce inequalities and alleviate the pressure on health systems.
  • Partnering with health systems to ensure people with obesity have timely and equal access to effective treatment and comprehensive patient-centred, multidisciplinary obesity care.
  • Partnering with stakeholders to raise awareness and amplify the evidence of the increasing impact of obesity on health, society


[i] WHO (2022). European Region report on obesity. Available here (Accessed 29/02/2024).

[ii] World Obesity Federation (2020). Obesity: missing the 2025 global targets. Available here. (Accessed 29/02/2024).

[iii] European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (2021). Definition of pre-obesity and obesity. Available here. (Accessed 29/02/2024).

[iv] Supra note i.

[v] Deborah B. Horn et al., (2022). What is clinically relevant weight loss for your patients and how it can be achieved? A narrative review. Postgraduate Medicine, vol.134, no.4, pp. 359 -375.

[vi] WOF (2017). Obesity: a chronic relapsing disease. A position statement of the World Obesity Federation. Available here (Accessed 29/02/2024).

[vii] Supra note ii.

[viii] OECD (2019). The heavy burden of obesity: the economics of prevention. Available here. (Accessed 29/02/2024).