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World Obesity Federation launches new award to promote healthy conferences

World Obesity Federation launches new award to promote healthy conferences
October 20, 2015

World Obesity Federation has launched its Healthy Venues Award to encourage venues all around the world to support conference organisers, delegates and their staff in making healthier choices and to help minimise the negative health impacts of conference-going, using the opportunity of people stepping outside their routine to nudge them towards healthier choices.

The Healthy Venues Award is part of World Obesity’s Action Initiative which seeks to stimulate and support practical actions that will help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight and reverse the global obesity crisis. The award focuses on steps that venues can take to support healthy eating and to encourage more activity. It promotes working in partnership, looking holistically at the attendee experience, from healthy meals through to encouraging people to use the stairs rather than lifts.

Research has shown that unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Being active can be difficult when in an average lifetime a 25 to 60 year old spends around 87,562 days at work and a large percentage of this time is spent in meetings.

A survey of event planners carried out by World Obesity Federation found that some of the challenges faced when planning healthy menus for conferences include low availability and high price of healthy options, just two of the elements that this award seeks to improve.

The elements of the Healthy Venue Award are broken down into three components - workplace health, healthy catering and promoting activity and is awarded at three levels- bronze, silver and gold - with corresponding criteria for each.

Introducing the initiative, World Obesity Federation, Head of Events, Natasha Joyner, stated “by becoming a Healthy Venue and promoting healthy eating and increased physical activity you can be sure that you are not only providing the best facilities for your clients and visitors, but that you are also helping to transform the entire conference into a healthy and enjoyable experience.

“With the growing number of events happening, Events Planners are constantly looking for a ways to stand out. With Healthy Venue accreditation, you not only create a unique selling point, but you offer attendees ways of improving their workplace sedentary lifestyle and fulfil CSR requirements”

Venues awarded Healthy Venue status have committed to:

• Providing healthy food options across their menus 
• Providing water around the venue, free of charge
• Helping event planners design meetings which promote less sedentary behaviour
• Supporting event planners in incorporating physical activity into their programmes 
• Promoting active travel to and from their venue
• Promoting and supporting health amongst staff

World Obesity will be working with a range of Champions and Advocates to engage with potential venues, planners and relevant event industry groups.

World Obesity Federation, a membership organisation representing professional members of the scientific, medical and research communities from over 50 regional and national obesity associations. Through our membership we create a global community of organisations dedicated to solving the problems of obesity.

The Healthy Venues Award forms part of World Obesity’s Action Initiative, a mechanism for stimulating action to help reduce obesity across a wide range of industries, in particular those that are not usually involved with health.

For more information see www.worldobesity.org

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