Nutrition and physical activity

Policy

In Europe today, 6 of the 7 biggest risk factors for premature death – blood pressure, cholesterol, Body Mass Index, inadequate fruit and vegetable intake, physical inactivity and alcohol abuse – relate to how we eat, drink and move.

Rising overweight and obesity across Europe is particularly worrying. The European Commission advocates an integrated approach, involving stakeholders at local, regional, national and European levels.

Strategy

The Commission's 2007 Strategy on Nutrition, Overweight, and Obesity-related Health Issues aims at contributing to reduce the risks associated with poor nutrition and limited physical activity in the European Union.

In 2014, the High Level Group on Nutrition and Physical Activity  adopted an Action Plan on Childhood Obesity that aims to halt the rise of childhood obesity by 2020. Council Conclusions on Nutrition and Physical Activity were adopted in June 2014. A Joint Action on Nutrition and Physical Activity, involving 25 Member States, will start in September 2015.

An overview of all relevant EU policy documents in the field of nutrition and physical activity can be found here.

Coordination

  • The high level group  – with representatives from all Member States governments – ensures rapid sharing of knowledge and good practises as well as the coordination of national initiatives in key fields such as product reformulation.
  • The EU platform for action on diet, physical activity and health  provides a forum for actors at European level wishing to act to contribute to contain and reverse overweight and obesity trends.

Promotion and support

The Commission funds several initiatives addressing nutrition and physical activity through its Public Health Programme .

It also receives additional funding from the European Parliament for pilot projects to improve future policy action in the area of nutrition and physical activity and to identify good practices that can be used to replicate these projects in other European cities or regions.

Information

Health indicators on nutrition