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SMOB statement for the world obesity day 2024

To our Patients,
To the loved ones of people living with obesity,
To our Colleagues in healthcare,

Obesity care has seen considerable improvements in the past years. Pharmacotherapy and bariatric-metabolic surgery can now offer several treatment options that are secure and efficient.
However, as it often happens when medical progress evolves fast, good practice recommendations and treatments with proven efficacy may be questioned in favor of ‘miracle treatments’, that promise a lot, but often yield little.

In this context, all of us in the SMOB felt the urge to share some reflexions:

  • Obesity is not a series of bad choices, but nothing else than a chronic disease that shortens life-expectancy, decreases quality of life and requires a lifelong treatment. Once this is realized, the first step is made to seek for meaningful treatment.
  • Medication and minimally invasive procedures (surgical and endoscopic) are priceless tools we have to fight obesity. These treatments are not competing. In contrary, they are complementary and should be considered as such.
  • Interdisciplinarity and availability of the obesity care team are the key to long-term success. Costs are covered by the health insurance and there is no justification to pay extra. You don’t need just one, sometimes overpriced, specialist. You need a team with a coherent treatment plan, who will be there for you through the whole process.
  • Fast is not necessarily best when you engage in your bariatric medicine/surgery path. Time is needed to understand and treat a chronic disease such as obesity.
  • Tourism to get bariatric surgery quickly done often ends with the patient returning to the point they flew from. Only, in the return bags there are now a surgical procedure and occasionally complications to carry on with.
  • Constant innovation with obesity treatment is one of the missions of all specialists treating this disease. But in order to implement new technologies and treatments to everyday care, what we need is not advertisement, but scientific evidence.

As members of the Swiss Society for the Study of Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (SMOB), we commit ourselves daily to assuring that high-quality care is provided to patients living with obesity throughout Switzerland.
If obesity is an issue that concerns yourself, your loved ones or your patients, search for a SMOB-accredited center near you. We are here to help patients living with obesity and to fight the stigma against people struggling with it.

On behalf of the SMOB Board.