Alina has lived with overweight and obesity since adolescence, and for twenty years was not offered appropriate support. Then she found her local patient organisation and became an advocate. Here is her story.
Hello, my name is Alina Constantin. I live in Bordeaux, France, and I have lived with overweight and obesity since my adolescence.
My obesity is linked to metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.
My pre-obesity became obesity in my twenties, although I tried having a healthy lifestyle, including physical activity and dietary control, as we were advised back then.
I felt alone for more than twenty years, because I had environmental challenges and I did not receive appropriate medical support, since my obesity was considered a choice, more of a moral failure and lack of willpower. This led to internalised stigma, preventing me to seek medical assistance on a long run.
So, today I advocate for lifetime obesity management.
I first found support in a local patient organisation, four years ago. We mainly offer moral support and adapted physical activity for people living with obesity in our region.
I also joined the Ligue Contre l’Obésité, which is a French national obesity organisation, in order to contribute to communication and advocacy programmes.
I am also very proud to be a member of ECPO – which stands for European Coalition for People Living with Obesity – and support collective action throughout Europe.
I can only say, I never feel alone anymore.
The World Obesity Day is the perfect occasion to showcase actions from all advocates and stakeholders addressing the major public health issue that obesity is, as well as stigma for people living with obesity.
France has yet to recognise obesity as a chronic relapsing disease, and therefore, provide the necessary means for research and offer the appropriate treatment for all people concerned. Pre-obesity and obesity concern 45% of the French population.
I hope people feel empowered to live their best life with obesity and come join the patient organisations all over the world. It is a great place to start and feel connected.
The most important thing I learned from experience was that I had to act in order to contribute to change mentalities that took a toll on me in the past.
Like this year’s slogan says, “Everybody needs to act.”
Thank you for watching this video. Bye.
By Alina Constantin.
The Ligue Contre l'Obésité is holding the Connected Challenge, showcasing more than 75 local events in France and overseas territories. Find out more on their dedicated website: https://journeemondialecontrelobesite.com.
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