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Nutrition and Physical Activity: Project leaders meet to better promote healthy lifestyles

27 January 2009

Project leaders and public health experts engaged in actions that promote and collect data on physical activity and nutrition met in Luxembourg on 26 and 27 January 2009.

The purpose of the meeting was to create stronger links among different public health projects co-funded under the EU Health Programme and to serve as a forum where experts can learn from each other and benefit from their experience.

The participants represented various initiatives that draw together close to 400 organisations from across the European Union - NGOs, research institutes, government agencies and private companies - which are active in the field of nutrition and physical activity.

The participants shared the results of projects, talked about their activities, and discussed questions of methodology and challenges in managing pan-European projects. With meetings such as this the EAHC aims to significantly improve the quality of co-funded projects, including their outputs and outcomes.

The meeting proved also that the projects are an important contribution to the implementation of the Commission's White Paper on a Strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity-related Health Issues.

Examples of the projects

Cycling to health: LifeCycle

The key objective of our project is to introduce physical activity into people's daily routine. Jogging or going to fitness classes takes additional time. But if you use the time to commute to work or school to cycle you will cover the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity per day without losing much more time. So, by changing mobility patterns we want to make people healthier.
Claus Köllinger, Austrian Mobility Research FGM AMOR, project coordinator

More about this project in project database

Bringing children on board: ShapeUp

The project promotes a healthy and balanced growing up. What is innovative, is the idea that kids themselves, with their teachers' help, reflect on their life styles, on what they eat and how they spend time, analysing the situation and proposing concrete actions to live a healthier life. For example, they can change the menu in the school canteen or decide what vending machine they want to have. In the course of the project, kids learn how to debate and negotiate and they become the owners of the idea of a healthy lifestyle. They also see that change is not easy.
Tatiana Mora, p.a.u. education, project coordinator

More about this project in project database


Tackling obesity in the workplace: GPOW

The project will elaborate the guidelines for preventing obesity in the workplace. We have identified that it is stress, long working hours, a sedentary type of job and bad lunch choices that lead to obesity. One of the groups especially at risk is people in management functions. It is difficult to tackle such health determinants. However, what our guidelines will include is the call for awareness rising among the workers and their employers and work on the work environment, such as healthier food in the office cafeteria. 
Afroditi Veloudaki, Prolepsis, project coordinator

More about this project in project database


Early start to health life: Periscope

The project PERISCOPE, that is Pilot European Regional Interventions for Smart Childhood Obesity Prevention in Early Age, is working to prevent obesity in 3 to 6 year-old children. We have collected information on how parents feed their children, what kids' early eating and physical activity habits are and how they are further developed in the kindergartens. It is at this early age that children develop lifestyle patterns that have very bad and often irreversible consequences.  That's why we are designing and implementing innovative practices to develop and maintain healthy lifestyle behaviors in preschool children.

Margherita Caroli, Scientific Coordinator, Periscope project

More about this project in project database


Presentations of the projects present at the meeting

  • ACTIVE - Animation for Children to Teach and Influence Values and views on healthy Eating and physical activity
  • ALPHA - Instruments for Assessing Levels of Physical Activity and related Health Determinants
  • EHNR II - European Nutrition and Health Report 2009
  • EUNAAPA - European Network for Action on Aging and Physical Activity
  • FOOD - Fighting Obesity through Offer and Demand
  • FOOD PRO FIT  - A new tool for small and medium-sized companies to reformulate processed foods and meals.
  • GPOW - Guidelines for the Prevention of Obesity in Workplace
  • HEPS School Kit  - Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in Schools
  • IDAMES - Innovative Dietary Assessment Methods in Epidemiological Studies and Public Health
  • IMPALA - Improving Infrastructure for Leisure Time Physical Activity in the Local Arena
  • Inform - Campaign against child and adolescent obesity
  • LifeCycle - Promotion of healthy mobility behaviour throughout the entire life time using a life long approach on cycling
  • MOVE EUROPE - Promoting Healthy Lifestyles at the Workplace
  • Obesity Governance - Partnership, healthy eating and innovative governance as tools to counteract obesity and overweigh
  • PANACEA study
  • PASEO - Building Policy Capacities for Health Promotion through Physical Activity among Sedentary Older People
  • PATHE - Physical Activity Towards a Healthier Europe
  • PERISCOPE - Pilot European Regional Interventions for Smart Childhood Obesity Prevention in Early Age
  • PoHeFa - Policy, Health and Family Learning
  • POL MARK - Policies on marketing food & beverages to children
  • Presidency-Baton - Disease Prevention & health promotion in the area of physical activity and nutrition
  • SHAPE UP - A school-community approach to influence the determinants of a healthy and balanced growing up