Conference at the European Parliament: 5 years of the FOOD programme

The FOOD programme consortium of partners organised a high-level conference on the topic “New technologies for the promotion of healthy eating in the workplace”, that took place on October 19th at the European Parliament in Brussels. Hosted by MEP Daciana Octavia Sarbu and MEP Alojz Peterle, the conference welcomed high-level speakers from different and complementary fields: European Commission’s DG SANTE and DG CONNECT, the WHO, Universities, Health Ministries and the restaurant and food services sector.

MEP Daciana Octavia Sarbu opened the conference by stating that “we are struggling to cope with the burden of chronic diseases. Diet is a big part of the problem; but is also a big part of the solution”. Then, MEP Alojz Peterle added that the « EU can and should  provide more added-value in the field of health. The European FOOD programme is a great example of that.“ Bertrand Dumazy, CEO of Edenred, underlined in his opening speech that “a large part of the success and sustainability of the FOOD programme is due to its strong and smart partnership. It is also due to continuous monitoring, improvement and adaptation of the programme’s messages”.

In the first part of the conference, the European Commission’s executive agency managing the EU Health programme (CHAFEA) gave an introduction about the importance of EU funding in the field of health. The FOOD programme was presented in a short video that can be seen here. Then, Jo Jewell from WHO Europe raised the importance of having data such as the FOOD barometers in order to conduct adapted public health policies. Finally, Giuseppe Masanotti from the University of Perugia presented the main results of the 2017 FOOD barometers together with the main trends noticed over the years for both target groups, employees and restaurants.

Afterwards, John F. Ryan, Director for Public Health at the DG SANTE of the European Commission opened the panel discussion with a key note speech about health determinants in reaching the sustainable development goals, which was followed by a general introduction by Birgit Morlion from DG CONNECT about the digital transformation of health in Europe. The panel discussion focused on the potential of new technologies for the promotion of healthy eating. It was moderated by Jo Jewell from the WHO Europe and was composed by John F. Ryan, Birgit Morlion from DG CONNECT, Pedro Graça from the Portuguese Ministry of Health, Theodor Haratau from the Romtens Foundation and Virginie Torra, Senior Product Manager at EXKi. These speakers exchanged their points of view and perspectives on workplace health promotion, with a focus on the added-value of the use of new technologies in that field.

Martin Caraher from City University London concluded the conference by putting emphasis on the fact that “the FOOD programme creates structures in order to help people make healthy choices. It addresses different issues of the Millenium Development Goals, including poverty and sustainability”.


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