More and more people suffer from the chronic disease Adipositas. Instead of help and support they only experience insults and rejection. The iniative Gesundgewicht e.V (“english: health weight”) wants to change this and has just started the campaign. helloguide talked to co-supporter and managing director of the agency Justfrank, Maud Schock.
Why have you founded the „Initiative Gesundgewicht” and what is it about?
The “Initiative Gesundgewicht” was founded in order to help address one of the most important problems of today’s society: obesity. The rates are constantly growing but right now, obesity is not officially recognized as a disease by the German healthcare system. The lack of contact points is another big issue. The result is that patients have to do a lot of research on their own and additionally face huge financial obstacles in order to get the right treatment. So, the intention behind the initiative is to raise awareness of the issue and provide a platform that covers the needs of those seeking help.
Can you tell us something on the latest campaign?
It was our initial campaign. We wanted to establish a loud first contact so people would talk about it. That’s why we decided to promote our campaign through outdoor media. At the same time, we launched our Instagram channel to find our community there as well. Our motif’s provocative headline “ICH WEISS WAS DU DENKST” (I KNOW WHAT YOU THIINK) addresses the problem, that our society blames the victims of obesity rather than seeing them as people with an illness. The posters link to our website where we encourage those affected, to share their stories and talk to our chatbot.
Why have you integrated a chatbot on the website?
The chatbot is a very effective way of forwarding patients to the right institutions like clinics and therapy centers for example. The bot asks a couple of questions to determine, if a patient is eligible for a certain type of treatment. We already cooperate with many clinics that are specialized on obesity, so patients can directly book an appointment through our website – a real revolution.
What are your next plans for the association?
We are just getting started and there is a lot of work to do. The first reactions to our campaign where very positive and it became apparent that there is a lot of need for help. Our next step is to emphasize on education for child and youth prevention of obesity, because that’s the age when most obesity patients become overweight. If we can educate more people in their teens, we can tackle the problem at the root.