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Obesity is a disease you should talk to your doctor about – Zdrowie Wprost

Obesity is a disease you should talk to your doctor about - Zdrowie Wprost

The lack of understanding of obesity as a disease translates into the belief that it is a conscious choice of the patient and the result of his weak will or inappropriate lifestyle, which is detrimental to this group of patients. Meanwhile, talking openly with your doctor can be a turning point in the long and often ineffective process of trying to lose weight and recover.

The campaign’s heroes, including actor Cesare Shack and Justina Mazur, stress the podcast that a doctor should be the first person a patient should seek help from. It happens that patients often do not know what to expect from representatives of the health care system, and they face misunderstanding and even stigmatization in this environment as well. In response to these needs, on the initiative of the Institute of Patient Rights and Health Education and the Polish Society for the Treatment of Obesity, the “Charter of Rights of Obese Patients” is being created, which is an attempt to regulate the current situation of obese patients. Obese patients in the Polish health care system.


Obesity is the epidemic of the twenty-first century. The number of patients is constantly and dynamically increasing. In Poland, more than 8 million adult Polish adults are obese, and we are also the fifth in the world in terms of the number of overweight children. The data is particularly troubling in the context of the impact of obesity on our health. It is the only disease that leads to more than 200 different complications, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and even cancer. According to OECD data, life expectancy in Poland will decrease by four years by 2050 – this is the second worst result in the world. Expenditures related to overweight, obesity and related complications over the next 30 years are expected to amount to more than 4% of Poland’s GDP.



“The increase in the number of patients observed in recent years has had a real impact on the extension of waiting lines for various specialists. Often the complications of obesity are treated as independent disease entities. Obesity is not treated as the main disease, but only its effects – complications There is a great need for activities aimed at educating the public as well as the clinicians themselves in the areas of obesity prevention, diagnosis and treatment” Professor’s comments. Doctor Hub. n. med. Paweł Bogdański, Head of the Department of Obesity, Metabolic Disorders and Clinical Nutrition, Karol Marcinkowski Medical University in Pozna, President of the Polish Society for the Treatment of Obesity (PTLO).

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Campaign heroes photo gallery

In order to start an honest conversation about obesity, an outdoor exhibition of photos of her heroes was planned as part of this year’s edition of the campaign. From June 7 to 21, 2022, it will be shown at the open-air exhibition at ul. Agrykola at the Royal Łazienki Park in Warsaw. Then, from June 21 to July 5 2022, the exhibition will be on display in Krakowskie Przedmieście next to St. I.

The exhibition features profiles of four obese campaign heroes who, thanks to their participation in the initiative, are telling their stories and want to encourage other obese people to take action and start talking to a doctor, and find out how difficult it can be. This challenge. The heroes are Agnieszka Liszkowska-Hała, fitness trainer and social activist, Cezary ak, actor, Justyna Mazur, podcaster, and Adam Gajewski, IT specialist. The third edition of the campaign carries a message addressed to all people suffering from obesity, but also to the general public, explaining that obesity is a disease in which thanks to the help of a doctor and the implementation of a coordinated treatment plan in cooperation. With a dietitian, psychologist and physiotherapist, it is possible to effectively treat this serious disease and prevent the development of many health complications of obesity.

I am an example of how not to choose obesity. Suffering from the disease alone does not lead to anything, and had it not been for my curiosity and my desire to search for the appropriate diagnosis, I would not have known the cause of my illness. Thanks to a referral to a doctor for help and specialized examinations, I heard about a diagnosis – obesity caused by problems with hormonal balance. As a physically active and health conscious person it was a shock to me, but since then we have been able to take purposeful action – says campaign hero Agnieszka Liszkowska-Hała.

Charter of Rights of Obese Patients – As Support for Patients

The current health care system does not have a systematic list of rights for obese patients. In order to support patients, a “Charter of Rights for People with Obesity” will be prepared within the third edition of the “Speak Honestly About Obesity” campaign. The primary goal is first and foremost to extract patient rights from the complete catalog closest to the problems of obese patients. The document should become a real support for obese patients while using health care services in Poland.

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“The mission of the Institute for Patient Rights and Health Education is to support systemic solutions aimed at improving the condition of patients and influence the formation of pro-health attitudes in Poles. Epidemiological data on obesity in our country clearly show that we are dealing with its increasing volume. The main objective that will guide the creation of the “Charter of Rights of Patients” “Obesity” is educating patients themselves and the medical community. We are committed to improving patients’ quality of life by making them aware of diagnosis and treatment options, as well as that every patient, regardless of body weight resulting from obesity, deserves respect and understanding” – comments Igor Gryziak, Vice President of the Institute for Patient Rights and health education.

The document will contain 10 basic rights of the patient, which guarantee not only his access to assistance, but also the obligation of medical staff and health institutions to respect them.

We need systemic solutions, building a clear, transparent and open system for obese patients. I am constantly asked about the necessity of bariatric treatment, not to mention bariatric surgery, which is still often treated as a cosmetic procedure, rather than a lifesaving operation. No one questions the treatment of diabetes, yet 90% of cases are the result of obesity. Patients should have access to information about where to go for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of obesity, and be aware of their rights and treatment options in line with recent medical knowledge and achievements in this field” – points out Dr. n. med. Mariusz Wyleżoł, Vice-President of the Polish Society of Obesity Therapy (PTLO) and Head of the Warsaw Center for Comprehensive Treatment of Obesity and Bariatric Surgery at the Cherniakowski Hospital in Warsaw

Diet and exercise are an important part of obesity treatment. However, in most patients, it is not enough to effectively reduce and maintain body weight. In the case of other diseases, the diet is in addition to the doctor’s recommendations, in the first place the appropriate drug therapy is selected for the patient’s state of health. As evidenced by research conducted as part of the Let’s Talk About Obesity campaign, 87% of Poles who want to lose body weight turn their steps first to a dietitian.

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Changing the diet appropriate to the patient’s health is an indispensable element in the treatment of obesity, but it must be remembered that it is a certain component of the therapeutic process that must always be directed by the doctor. Obese patients should first see a doctor and undergo a comprehensive diagnosis. After this stage, an effective and coordinated treatment plan can be prepared for the patient with the entire treatment team, which should include a physician, dietitian, psychiatrist and physiotherapist – comments Dr. Wanda Paltazza, Clinical Dietitian.



Campaign information:


The goal of the Speak Honestly About Obesity campaign is to build public awareness that obesity is a disease that needs treatment. The campaign was started by the Polish Society for the Treatment of Obesity (PTLO), and the sponsor was Novo Nordisk. In June 2022, the third edition of the campaign was launched. As part of the initiative, educational communication activities will be carried out, whether a photo exhibition of the heroes of the campaign or large-scale activities in the digital space. The website www.ootylosci.pl, which is a valuable source of information and support for people affected by this disease, will also be updated. There are also planned social media activities, a radio ad taping, collaborations with influencers and a series of educational podcasts about obesity.


Campaign partners are: CHLO Bariatric Society, Institute of Patient Rights and Health Education, Polish Society of Family Medicine, Polish Society of Cardiology, Polish Society of Lipidology, Polish Society of Hypertension, Polish Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Polish Society of Public Health, Polish. Pharmacoeconomics Association. The Social Insurance Corporation sponsored the campaign.


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