Recommendations for bolder joined-up action
It is estimated that, by 2035, 18% of girls and 20% of boys globally will be overweight or obese, increasing their risk for heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory conditions. The rising rates of childhood obesity is a symptom of how we are failing our children and young people. While policy responses stress individual responsibility and choice, they ignore that our societies increasingly incentivise us to eat more and move less, all while food is getting unhealthier.
All sectors, including food, finance and market actors, have a collective duty to ensure that children and young people can grow up in settings that support their health and wellbeing.
Today, the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) holds a High-Level Meeting on Childhood Obesity. The event offers an opportunity to highlight the urgency of, and drive forward more comprehensive action to curb obesity trends. We urge the Spanish Presidency to call for immediate progress on a bold new EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity.
"Food is a source of nutrition, but also pleasure. Children have a right to grow up in societies that produce affordable, healthy and sustainable food, promote a balanced approach to eating, and encourage physical activity."
Programme Manager, EuroHealthNet
EuroHealthNet’s policy recommendations
The EuroHealthNet Partnership strongly endorses the outcomes of the EU Joint Action BestReMap (2020-2023), which involved 24 EU Member States. Based on this and our other work, EuroHealthNet recommends building a new EU Action Plan. The plan should draw on the wealth of knowledge and evidence available, across governance levels and sectors, on how to reduce childhood obesity. This includes:
The EU Joint Action Best-ReMaP helped create environments that offer healthy food by improving the quality of food. Its final report will soon be available. Best-ReMaP’s work will be taken further by the Joint Action PreventNCDs.
Schools4Health aims to introduce, strengthen and sustain the health promoting school (HPS) model and other whole-school approaches to health. The project will work with schools to transfer and implement good practices in healthy nutrition, physical activity, and mental health.
Upcoming Schools4Health seminar: getting the foundations right
EuroHealthNet will organise a European Seminar on Schools4Health on 31 January 2024 in Brussels. The event will demonstrate the need for investments in whole-school approaches and enabling policy conditions.
The seminar will draw on the current state of play, and highlight good examples to inspire further action to improve educational environments and the wider community Childhood obesity and healthy school environments will be a cross-cutting theme.
Save the date! For further information, please click here.