Nutrition and physical activity

Overview

In order to achieve overall health and well-being, every person needs:

  • A healthy diet
  • Regular physical activity
  • Healthy body weight

Unhealthy diets and physical inactivity may lead to a huge health and budgetary burden.

Making small changes to your eating habits and taking up regular physical activity can make a big difference to your health, decreasing the risk of developing chronic diseases. Lifestyle improvements can also be directly related to improvements of children's attainment at school and of workers' productivity.

What is the EU doing?

Acting on nutrition and physical activity is essential for health promotion and disease prevention and in some areas only EU coordination can ensure results.

The 2007 strategy on nutrition, overweight, and obesity-related health issues.

  • Encourages partnerships, involving groups working in the fields of nutrition and physical activity, the private sector, governments, the European Commission and the World Health Organisation (WHO);
  • Sets out a series of challenges to the food industry, civil society and media, by calling for widespread efforts on improving food products recipes, responsible marketing and labelling, and promotion of physical activity, among others;
  • Sets out the Commission's plans to strengthen monitoring and reporting, in collaboration with the WHO, through initiatives such as the Nutrition Policy Database or the International Inventory of documents on physical activity promotion

Related EU initiatives

Coordination

Funding and support

The Commission funds several initiatives addressing nutrition and physical activity through its Public Health Programme. It also manages pilot projects funded by the European Parliament to test novel practices.

 
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