The 2020 Childhood Obesity & COVID-19 Prevention and Control International Symposium was successfully held in the Western China Science and Technology Innovation Harbour (iHarbour) during September 19th-20th, 2020, in Xi’an, China. It was hosted by Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) Global Health Institute (GHI), School of Public Health, and Health Sub-Alliance of the University Alliance of the Silk Road.
The theme of the Symposium was “Prevention and Control of Childhood Obesity • Fighting against COVID-19 • Promoting Public Health”. The Symposium was held both online and onsite and included keynote speeches, four forums on Childhood Obesity Prevention and Control, and four forums on COVID-19.
Prof. Shuguo Wang, the President of XJTU, delivered a welcome message in the opening ceremony. Profs. Hong Yan, Youfa Wang, Yuexin Yang and Guihua Zhuang, together with prominent leaders from the WHO, UNICEF, China CDC and more than 60 invited domestic and international speakers, presented their scientific findings. More than 1000 delegates attended the Symposium.
Prof. Shuguo Wang highlighted that the Symposium had been held a pivotal moment when China has achieved immense success in containing its domestic COVID-19 epidemic, but the epidemic remains rampant in other parts of the world. In its fight against the epidemic, XJTU implemented the “four advancements” directed by the Chinese President Jinping Xi −− “advance at the forefront of world science and technology; advance at the main battlefield of the economy; advance at satisfying the major needs of the country; and advance at improving the people’s life quality and health”. XJTU committed to the principle of prioritizing the value of lives and assumed responsibility for the development of humanity, especially among children. This Symposium may assist the establishment of a global community of humankind with a Chinese perspective.
Keynote speech speakers:
·Dr. Francesco Branca, the Director of Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, World Health Organization
·Dr. Gauden Galea, the World Health Organization Representative in China
·Ms. Anuradha Narayan, the Chief of Health Nutrition and WASH Section, UNICEF China Office
·Prof. Yu Xie, the Academician of National Academy of Sciences
·Mr. Zhiqiang Zhang, the Former Vice Director of Food Safety Standards and Monitoring and Evaluation Division, the Chinese National Health Commission
·Mr. Zijian Feng, the Vice Director of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
·Prof. Deliang Wen, the President of Chinese Medical University
·Prof. Yuexin Yang, the President of Chinese Nutrition Society
·Prof. Youfa Wang, the Distinguished Professor of Xi’an Jiaotong University and Dean of Global Health Institute
(Prof. Shuguo Wang, President of Xi’an Jiaotong University, delivered the opening speech)
（Invited VIP guests）
Several world-class leaders and scholars delivered the keynote speeches on essential issues of Childhood obesity, such as the prevention and management of childhood obesity, the current food environment, unequal health and nutrition policies.
Dr. Gauden Galea, WHO Representative in China, Mr. Zijian Feng, Vice Director of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, delivered the keynote speeches on issues related to COVID-19. They unanimously highlighted the strategic timing of this Symposium when the world was struggling to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has come out of the shadows, and obesity, especially childhood obesity, has been a public health problem that has seriously impacted on global health over the past two decades. The Symposium stimulated relevant in-depth discussions.
(Dr. Francesco Branca, DrGauden Galea, Ms Anuradha Naraya, Prof. Yuexin Yang, Mr Zhiqiang Zhang, delivered speeches in the opening ceremony and/or keynote forum)
Prof. Youfa Wang, the President of the Congress, welcomed all the participants. He reviewed the three Belt and Road Initiative Global Health International Congresses, and delivered a keynote speech titled “Childhood Obesity Prevention and Control and Related Policies in China”.
(Prof. Youfa Wang, President of the congress, delivered speeches in the opening ceremony and keynote forum)
Dr. Jiao Xu, Director of Food and Nutrition Division of Food Safety Standards and Monitoring and Evaluation Division for National Health Commission, Prof. Luis A. Moreno, Former President of Spanish Society of Nutrition, Prof. Deliang Wen, President of China Medical University, Prof. Tieru Han, President of The Chinese Preventive Medicine Association-Chinese Society on Global Health and Former Deputy Regional Director of WHO Western Pacific Region, Prof. Jun Ma, Director, Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, Peking University, Prof. Jie Mi, Director, Division of Children Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, National Center for Children’s Health and Beijing Children’s Hospital, Capital Medical University, Prof. Jianjun Guo, Director, Integration of Sport and Medicine Innovation Research Center, Capital University of Physical Education and Sports, Prof. Xiaochun Wang, Senior Consultant of Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Prof. Joseph T.F. Lau, Associate Director and Professor, Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Prof. Weidong Wang, Associate Professor, School of Social and Population, Renmin University of China & Executive Deputy Director, National Survey Research Center and some other domestic and international experts had in-depth discussions as symposium panellists.
(A Glimpse of the Session Site)
During the Symposium, Prof. Youfa Wang, on behalf of Global Health Institute, Xi’an Jiaotong University and the working group of China Childhood Obesity Prevention and Control Alliance, issued the “China Childhood Obesity Prevention and Control Initiative 2020 -- To mobilize the whole society, improve obesity attributable environment and advocate healthy lifestyle”. The initiative aimed to encourage the whole society to contribute and collaborate on childhood obesity prevention and control. It called on to science as the basis, by means of health policy, in the practice of education as a fundamental. It initiated the actions of the government, academia, financial sector, industries, and the general society. Actions are needed to control the rise of obesity and related chronic diseases in a timely and effective manner. Actions are needed to work together to build a “Healthy China”, explore China’s experience to build a community with a shared future for human health. Further, during the closed-door meetings, experts and scholars discussed relevant work and future collaboration.
Some leaders and experts discussed the plan to establish the “the Chinese Nutrition Society Obesity Section”. It will be the first professional association on obesity prevention and control in China. It will serve a set of under the guidance of China strategy aimed at health, nutrition for countries and the needs of the development of the discipline to promote related work, including helping to integrate various social resources, promote academic exchange and scientific research and teaching work, push for healthy weight management guidelines, and promote the health lifestyle, to guide our country about obesity prevention and control work plan and organize the implementation, strengthen the cultivation of personnel, etc.
iHarbour is a major national strategic platform jointly built by the Ministry of Education and Shaanxi Province. The Symposium will provide a unique and broad online platform for international cooperation and exchange. The congress was highly regarded by its participants. It promoted interdisciplinary and international cooperation and would have a positive impact on people’s health and well-being.
(Group Photo of Some Invited VIPs)