Nutrition and physical activity
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.
- 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
- Action plan on childhood obesity
- Food labelling
- Health and Nutrition Claims
- Promotion of fruit and vegetables consumption
- Audiovisual Media Services Directive
- FP 6 projects
- FP 7 projects
- Horizon 2020
- Urban planning and active transport
- European regional development fund (ERDF)
- EU Work Plan for Sport (2014-2017)
- 2013 Council Recommendation on promoting Health-Enhancing Physical Activity across sectors
- 2014 Council Conclusions on Nutrition and Physical Activity
- 2008 EU Physical Activity Guidelines
- European Week of Sport
- Tartu Call for a Healthy Lifestyle
- Health at work
- The High level group on nutrition and physical activity ensures coordination of action between governments of EU countries.
- The EU platform for action on diet, physical activity and health gathers key stakeholders from civil society for the promotion of healthy diets and physical activity.
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.