In response to a worldwide epidemic of obesity and mental health disorders, the Canadian Obesity Network (CON-RCO) and the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO) in partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) organized a Hot Topic Conference on Obesity and Mental Health, in Toronto, Canada June 26th-28th.
As part of the event, hundreds of participants ratified the Toronto Charter for Mental Health and Obesity, a detailed call to action for health system funders, researchers and health practitioners to deal with this emerging issue. The Charter lists specific calls to action for governments and health providers to reduce the global burden of obesity and mental illness, chief among them:
• Mandatory education for health professionals on how to treat obesity and co-morbid mental illness.
• Immediate affirmative action by policy makers and funders to prioritize research and mandatory evaluation of interventions.
• Conducting a cost-analysis of mental illness co-morbid with obesity
• Compiling standards for responsible media coverage of obesity management and healthy body image.
The Toronto Charter for Mental Health and Obesity and presentations from the conference are available here.