World Health Day: workplaces have a key role to play to prevent depression

April 7th is the World Health Day. This year, the WHO puts a highlight on depression, with a campaign aiming at sensitising people on this disease that is reaching more and more people worldwide. Indeed, today, more than 300 million people live with depression (+18% between 2005 and 2015). It is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide.

The continuing stigma associated with mental illness was the reason why we decided to name our campaign Depression: let’s talk,” said Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO. The campaign therefore aims at raising awareness of people suffering from depression, but also from their surrounding peers: family, friends, colleagues and employers …

Workplaces are key for the detection and prevention of depression. As stated by the European Alliance for Mental Health Employment and Work, “addressing depression in workplace settings means preventing psychosocial workplace risks, promoting resilience and wellbeing, enabling early detection of poor mental health, supporting rehabilitation of workers facing mental ill health, and reducing stigma”. Moreover, the WHO has identified strong links between depression and other noncommunicable diseases. Depression increases the risk of substance use disorders and diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, but the opposite is also true. Promoting healthy lifestyle on the workplace, which is the aim of the FOOD programme, therefore contributes in preventing physical but also mental health disorders.




avril 7, 2017   No Comments

Cardiovascular diseases remain a key health issue in the EU

The European Heart Network released its European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics report for 2017. Today, cardiovascular diseases account for 37% of all deaths in the European Union (EU), that is to say 1.8 million deaths every year. Over the past 25 years, the absolute number of cardiovascular diseases cases has grown in the EU: 6 million new cases were recorded every year. Today, a total of 49 million people live with this kind of disease, costing €210 billion a year to European economies.

Dietary factors make the largest contribution to the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) of all behavioural risk factors. Consuming more fruits and vegetables is acknowledged as having a real protective effect. In the EU, fruit consumption has grown overall, whereas vegetables intake has remained stable. Their levels of consumption vary from country to country. Fruit consumption was most commonly consumed in Portugal, where 67% of men and 75% of women reported consuming fruit at least daily, and least common in Romania (26% of women and 32% of men). Vegetable consumption was most common in Belgium, where 75% of men and 82% of women reported consuming vegetables at least daily, and least common in Germany among men (25%) and Romania among women (31%).Regarding the consumption of fat, it has remained relatively stable over the past two decades in the EU.

As figures show, cardiovascular diseases remain a key public health issue in the EU. Unfortunately, one does not notice significant change in dietary habits of European citizens towards healthier food intake. The FOOD programme contributes to cardiovascular diseases prevention by promoting healthier eating habits and a more balanced food offer in 9 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden).

mars 10, 2017   No Comments