Eurobesitas – Switzerland

by | Mar 23, 2021 | Switzerland

Eurobesitas is an association of patients suffering from obesity in Switzerland.

But first of all, why the name Eurobesitas, when it is a Swiss national association? Eurobesitas Europe was the first European obesity patient association founded in 1993, bringing together 15 European countries (including Belgium, Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland, Austria, Portugal for example). Our organization was born in Switzerland in 1994 and was the first association of its kind in Switzerland; it joined Eurobesitas Europe the same year. Then, the European organization disappeared, due to lack of sponsoring, and Eurobesitas Switzerland remained.

Eurobesitas works in an independent, multidisciplinary and cooperative way. It was created specifically for people suffering from overweight/obesity and/or those with eating disorders and their families. It allows patients who wish to do so to be put in touch with obesity specialists, clinicians, physiotherapists, physical educators specialized in adapted activities, nutritionists, dieticians, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists, teachers, etc.)

Our projects are to provide support and effective help to each member to define his or her own needs in order to regain self-esteem, self-affirmation and well-being, to restore his or her self-image and to define his or her own life goals in order to be able to lose weight progressively in a realistic and sustainable way. This is done with a mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral and bio-psycho-sensory approach:

  • Address cognitive restriction, i.e., help to eat according to one’s food sensations, of everything, without guilt,
  • Recognize emotional suffering and increase tolerance to emotional discomfort in order to cope with impulsive eating,
  • Work on acceptance, self-esteem and self-affirmation.

Well-being depends on the management of our emotions. Accepting our emotions, accepting that thoughts that we don’t like can pass through us, without struggle, without seeking control through food, that is the secret. This is what allows us to eat with full awareness 

Our objectives are to give members:

  • an active listening and answers to all questions,
  • to give the means to start a weight loss as effective as possible, in the long term,
  • to help them acquire nutritional knowledge related to physical and psychological aspects, and to integrate them into their daily life,
  • to respect the will to lose weight, to stabilize it or to not change anything
  • to give the possibility to express one’s feelings, as well as those of the family
  • to develop didactic material for young people as well as for adults, in order to better understand this complex disease and to manage it in the best way
  • we also offer free therapeutic education workshops for our members, both in terms of eating behavior (feeling hunger and satiety, pleasure of eating, emotional eating, mindful eating…) and adapted physical activity given by specialists from the Institute of Science and Sport of the University of Lausanne, the body in all its states, body awareness, Sophro-Bio-Dynamic relaxation courses, autogenic training (Schulz), meditative techniques, hypnosis or the Feldenkrais method, yoga… psychological aspects (dealing with stigmatization and its consequences on the health of those who suffer from it, on self-image, self-esteem, eating disorders, my life path and now…),…

“The body is seen as a collaborator in healing, not a hindrance to well-being” L. Gamba

Our missions are :

  • to fight against stigmatization, discrimination in all its forms and grossophobia
  • to make the stigmatization of people suffering from obesity an offence by law
  • to improve the management of obesity
  • to contribute to the recognition of obesity as a disease at both the political and health insurance levels
  • to ensure that multidisciplinary programs that treat adults suffering from obesity are covered and that it is finally reimbursed.

On the other hand, we have created a video for March 4, 2021, World Obesity Day suppored par ECPO and WOD. This video demonstrates a stigmatizing medical consultation, followed by an empathic one, and then reveals the deleterious consequences of stigmatization on the patients who undergo it (indeed, there are still too many doctors and health care personnel who stigmatize obesity patients!) It was filmed in my office and the scenario is based on real, current and very real experiences of members of Eurobesitas. The actors, non-professionals, are members of Eurobesitas. We were able to broadcast it widely on social networks on March 4, on the French-speaking Swiss television, on the planète santé platform, and in other articles. I was able to obtain and finance a version with German subtitles and another with English subtitles. It will already be used for training purposes for doctors and health care personnel at the University Hospitals of Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich and Basel, among others, but also in Portugal, Germany, Slovenia and Sweden. An audio version in Portuguese has already been viewed by almost 20’000 people in Portugal.

Here is the link where you can download it: