Victoria has secured the International Congress on Obesity (ICO) 2022, a pivotal business event to tackle the world-wide obesity epidemic. The announcement follows the Australian Government's commitment to reducing the nation's obesity levels with the establishment on an Expert Steering Committee to help progress the Government's 10-year National Preventative Health Strategy.
The bid was secured by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) in partnership with leading scientific organisation - Australia & New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS) and with support from the Victorian State Government and Tourism Australia's Business Events Bid Fund Program.
Taking place in 2022 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), this significant conference will contribute to creating a healthier nation and break down barriers for healthier lifestyles, with a focus on research, treatment and the prevention of obesity.
The latest data shows the proportion of Australians who are overweight or obese continues to climb with two thirds (67.0%) of adults now overweight or obese (12.5 million people), with almost one quarter (24.9%) of children aged 5-17 years overweight or obese.
The meeting is held biennially and is auspiced by the World Obesity Federation. The ICO 2022 will bring together over 1,500 global leaders across the fields of science, medicine, research and policy together to showcase the latest research on all aspects of obesity.
Globally recognised as Australia's knowledge and innovation capital, Melbourne was selected as the best prospect for a successful congress with its vibrant medical and research community and the potential to use these to form international alliances to reduce the burden of obesity.
The Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said: "This is a major win for Melbourne and reinforces the city's standing as a business events destination of choice. Business events are extremely valuable to our economy, with the average business events visitor spending at least twice as much as a leisure visitor."
"As a country, we have a distinguished track record of hosting large-scale international business events, and I am pleased that the Morrison Government's Bid Fund Program is continuing to assist in the conversion of new business for Australia which provides a boost to our economy."
Melbourne Convention Bureau Acting Chief Executive Officer Julia Swanson added: "This success is a result of Melbourne's status as Australia's knowledge and innovation capital, combined with the unified 'Team Melbourne' approach that helps us to continuously deliver business events of this calibre."
"Melbourne is recognised as a first-choice destination in hosting global events in the medical field and attracting the world's best minds to gather to think differently, develop new solutions and deliver real change to reduce the prevalence of obesity."
Australia & New Zealand Obesity Society President Jane Martin said: "The success was a result of Melbourne's appeal as a liveable city, combined with the strong scientific and research focus on obesity that exists in Victoria. This, together with the world-class facilities and experience that we can offer for international delegates were pivotal in securing the bid."
"This congress will allow us to showcase Melbourne's obesity research hubs, the city's commitment to healthy lifestyles, its vibrancy and all that it has to offer, including its parks, recreation and strong food culture"
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