Does the Solution to the Obesity Epidemic Require a Total Rethink?

Amélie Baracat-Empereur, Director of Government Affairs, EU, at Herbalife, discusses this important question in light of expanding obesity rates.
Amélie Baracat-Empereur

By Amélie Baracat-Empereur

Director of Government Affairs, EU, at Herbalife

24 Apr 2023


According to the World Health Organization, almost 60% of adults worldwide are either overweight and obese, despite many of the health interventions and policies that have been put in place to tackle the problem. Added to this, not a single EU Member State is on track to reach their targets of halting the rise in obesity by 2025.

In the latest episode of Herbalife’s ‘Nutrition for Life’ podcast series, Professor Maria Hassipidou from the International Hellenic University, and co-chair of the EASO nutrition working group, together with Professor Paul Gately from Leeds Beckett University, discuss what more can be done and whether we need to approach this problem differently.  Whether it’s challenging the prevalence of energy dense food in our environments, encouraging manufacturers to reduce sugar and fat content in their products or working directly with individuals to encourage better nutrition and physical activity, it’s clear that we need a range of concurrent actions in place if we’re going to seriously turn the tide.

At Herbalife, a leading global nutrition company, we believe that good nutrition, and therefore good health, goes beyond awareness and science; it also requires the creation of an environment that puts good nutrition within easy reach of people, so that it becomes the norm and not something you have to seek out. Healthy balanced meals, made from scratch, are always the preferred option but our modern lifestyles don’t always make this possible. This is why the nutrition industry has been delivering innovative alternatives such as ‘nutrition on the go’ and food supplements.

Not a single EU Member State is on track to reach their targets of halting the rise in obesity by 2025

Amélie Baracat-Empereur, Director of Government Affairs, EU, Herbalife

There isn’t a single path to good nutrition; it comes in various forms that mirror our different lifestyles, needs and tastes which means keeping an open mind to non-traditional food products, being pragmatic and moving away from previously held dogmas if we want to have an impact on obesity rates. Herbalife’s team of 300 scientists and nutritionists have been on a mission to put good health within easy reach by offering convenient plant-based nutrition products that deliver the nutrients people need to fuel their daily activities.

Supportive communities also have the power to be effective. By surrounding yourself with a community of like-minded people who want to live a healthy active lifestyle, you can significantly increase the odds of reaching your goals. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that people who regularly walk in groups have lower blood pressure, resting heart rate, and total cholesterol. Exercise also leads to a reduction in body fat and Body Mass Index (BMI).

Herbalife’s independent distributors play these roles in their local communities, motivating others and encouraging regular physical activity. As coaches to their customers, they help them to make healthy choices and stay on a path to better wellness, using tools, training and materials developed by our experts in nutrition, health, and fitness.

Let’s make good nutrition the social norm in Europe and really get to grips with obesity. We welcome and encourage EU policymakers to adopt a strategy that embraces new thinking, encourages innovation and ensures that making healthier choices is easier.  This includes gathering knowledge on people’s eating habits, the motivations behind their lifestyle choices and future trends, and working with all stakeholders to make the changes needed. 

Associated Organisation