Nutrition and physical activity

Pilot projects funded by the European Parliament

Pilot projects are designed to test the feasibility and usefulness of specific activities. They are used to try out different approaches, develop evidence-based strategies, identify good practices, and provide policy guidance for the benefit of possible future initiatives in the area of nutrition and physical activity.

Feel free to browse the ongoing or recently concluded projects below.

My healthy family

My healthy family was an EU project tested in Hungary and Poland in 2015 which aimed to encourage vulnerable population groups to eat more fruit and vegetables. This was done by distributing free fruit and vegetables and, getting well-known chefs to share recipes, nutritional information and to provide cooking lessons.

More than 23,500 people (7,000 households) from four regions took part, Észak-Alföld and Észak-Magyarország in Hungary, and Kujawsko-Pomorskie and Podkarpackie in Poland. Particular attention was paid to reaching out to children, older people and pregnant women.

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We love eating

This project aimed to promote a healthy lifestyle in seven EU cities using games, recipes, leaflets, posters to encourage children, pregnant women and older people to eat more fruit and vegetables, drink more water and take up physical exercise.

2,158 individuals in Granollers, Ronques, Bradford, Deventer, Poznan, Banska Bystrica and Cluj Napoca provided feedback attesting to an overall increased awareness of the benefits of a healthy diet, and physical activity.

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This project promoted healthier diets and regular physical activity before, during and after pregnancy. It targeted mothers and expectant mothers from disadvantaged groups in particular, reaching out to close to 1million pregnant or breastfeeding women in:

  • Prague (Czechia)
  • Manchester (United Kingdom)
  • Murcia (Spain)
  • Varna (Bulgaria)
  • Odense and Kolding (Denmark).

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Taste booster

Infographic about the implementation of the project, click to enlarge

In 2012, the European Commission launched the ‘Taste Booster’ pilot project testing ways to best encourage pregnant women, children and older people to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables in regions with primary household income below 50% of the EU average.

The project was carried out through a series of cooking lessons in schools, community centres, hospital maternity wards in Kosice and Poprad (Slovakia), Roman and Medigidia (Romania) and Lovech and Troyan (Bulgaria).

Participants prepared recipes containing fresh fruit and vegetables under the guidance of chefs and nutritionists. At the end of each session they were provided with a kit containing ingredients and recipes, allowing them to recreate the experience at home.

Between 2012 and 2014 an estimated 5,000 individuals participated in 1,000 cooking sessions and events, and up to 98 tonnes of fruit and vegetables were consumed and distributed.

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This EU-funded joint action reviewed scientific evidence and policies to create a comprehensive evidence-base for more effective and efficient action to tackle challenges related to nutrition and physical activity and to help prevent non-communicable diseases among vulnerable people, and disadvantaged groups in particular.

The project began in February 2016 through a series of interviews with individuals and organisations active in the field of nutrition and physical activity, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the OECD, academic experts, and non-profit organisations.

The review will be carried out on eight areas:

  • Preconceptions and behaviours
  • Effectiveness and efficiency of health interventions in nutrition and physical activity
  • Calorie sources and physical activity undertaken by EU citizens
  • Impact of fruit juices and sweetened beverages on health
  • Impact of high fructose syrups on health
  • Links between school and work performance and obesity
  • Possible early indicators for changes in population obesity levels
  • Nutrition and physical guidelines for specific population groups.

Over its two-year duration, this project will involve:

  • Comprehensive literature reviews of published scientific literature
  • Interviews with experts to obtain feedback and input to policy recommendations
  • Development of case studies, highlighting initiatives at EU, national or local level
  • Expert workshops, to discuss and validate the results of the literature reviews

Eight reports and dissemination brochures will be produced, one for each objective, summarising the main results.

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