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Honorary President Rogge underscores role of sport in fighting obesity at World Health Summit

23 Oct 2014
Olympic News

IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge urged that more be done to promote active and healthy lifestyles among young people, as obesity and physical inactivity remain two of the main risk factors for non-communicable diseases, during a keynote speech at the World Health Summit in Berlin (Germany).

Rogge, representing International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, highlighted the important role sport and Olympism can play in the education of young people and improving their health and fitness.

“Sport strengthens not only the body, but also the mind,” stated the Honorary President. “It is also an ideal way to integrate minorities into the mainstream of society and it teaches the essential values of the Olympic Movement: the pursuit of excellence, respect and friendship.”

However, he expressed his grave concern that too many young people today are physically inactive, leading to obesity and various diseases. President Rogge stressed that sport and physical activity play a great role in addressing this worrying societal trend.

During his speech, the IOC Honorary President also warned: “The practice of sport also comes with certain risks such as doping, injuries and overload. The IOC addresses these risks through an exemplary collaboration with the International Federations (IFs) and the National Olympic Committees (NOCs).”

Promoting health through sport

The protection of athletes’ health and encouraging people across the globe to lead active and healthy lifestyles are key priorities for the Olympic Movement. As physical inactivity remains an important threat to the general health of societies across the globe, the IOC has moved beyond primarily handling anti-doping activities in the world of sport to taking an active role in the promotion of health through sports participation.

The IOC also works closely with a number of United Nations agencies, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), with which a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2010. Our shared mission is to encourage healthy lifestyles and grassroots sports activities worldwide, and thus reduce the risk from non-communicable diseases such as obesity. 

About the World Health Summit

Bringing together opinion leaders, decision makers and stakeholders from all health-related fields, politics, civil society, academia and the private sector, the World Health Summit is an annual event that attracts over 1,200 participants from all over the world, acting as both a forum and a framework to address the scientific and global health agenda.

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