Ireland becomes the first country of many to use Canada’s exhaustive 2020 clinical practice guidelines as the foundation for a new national approach to treating obesity

EDMONTON, October 25, 2022 – Canadian expertise in obesity prevention and treatment has made the leap across the Atlantic, as Ireland unveils new Adult Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) for obesity treatment rooted in CPGs published by Obesity Canada and the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons in 2020. 

Ireland’s CPGs were unveiled in Dublin today by the Association for the Study of Obesity on the Island of Ireland (ASOI). ASOI worked with the Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ICPO) and the Health Service Executive National Clinical Programme for Obesity in a year-long adaptation process to add Irish context to the Canadian recommendations. More than 70 specialists from across Ireland collaborated using a well-established CPG adaptation process to ensure the guidelines are aligned with the Irish Model of Care for Obesity and approaches to providing services within the Irish healthcare system. 

Like the Canadian CPGs, the Irish guideline is patient-centred and designed to provide healthcare practitioners and patients with an evidence-informed roadmap for practical obesity care, while also advocating for increased access to available treatments. The CPGs are the result of an international adaptation pilot program launched by Obesity Canada in 2021; the program is also underway in Chile, which will publish its adaptation in November. More countries are expected to adapt the Canadian CPGs in 2023 and beyond. 

“The original Canadian CPG authors did a tremendous amount of work creating scientifically valid clinical practice guidelines, assessing a half million peer reviewed papers using a robust evidence assessment framework (GRADE),” says ASOI Chair Dr Cathy Breen. “That work was foundational to the Irish CPGs – in just over a year, we were able to add Irish research and tailor the existing recommendations for the Irish population and health system context and nuances. It was a time- and resource-saver, and the end product is practical, evidence-based clinical guidance people in Ireland can trust. It’s been an incredible opportunity for us and will drive changes in obesity care nationally”

Obesity Canada’s Scientific Director, Dr. Mary Forhan, Chair/Graduate Chair, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, adds: “We are thrilled that other countries are able to leverage the Canadian CPGs and create unique guidelines of their own very efficiently. As more countries adapt the CPGs, the international evidence base for treating and preventing obesity will grow significantly, which will benefit every country exploring how to best serve people living with obesity.”

A summary of the Irish guidelines is published in the journal Obesity Facts, found here

Eighteen supplementary chapters will be available on the ASOI website. 

The Canadian CPGs are available here. Chapters on pharmacotherapy and medical nutrition therapy were updated last week.  

More information or to arrange interviews: 

In Canada: Nicole Pearce, Obesity Canada, / +1-780-492-8361 

In Ireland: Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731 /

About Obesity Canada

Obesity Canada-Obésité Canada is Canada’s authoritative voice on evidence-based approaches for obesity prevention, treatment, and policy. Our mission is to improve the lives of Canadians affected by obesity through the advancement of anti-discrimination, prevention, and treatment efforts.