European countries are off-track in reaching the 2020 targets for obesity reduction

The WHO Europe published in January 2018 its latest edition of ‘Public Health Panorama’, focusing on obesity and unhealthy diets in Europe.

At the midway point of implementing the European Food and Nutrition Action Plan 2015-2020,  this issue displays concrete and efficient solutions that have been implemented in different countries of the European region. It covers a wide range of topics going from taxation of sugary drinks to public procurement actions for health promotion.

These inputs from the field will help policy-makers fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals as they commit for the first time governments to address all forms of malnutrition and prevent avoidable premature mortality from non-communicable diseases. Indeed, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a Decade of Action on Nutrition in 2016 to trigger intensified action to ensure universal access to healthier and more sustainable diets – for all people.

However, the latest results from the Global Burden of Disease Study show that unhealthy diet is still responsible for one in every five deaths globally and that European countries are off-track in achieving the targets set.

The European FOOD programme celebrated its 5 years of existence in 2017. It continues to thrive in 9 European countries and is developing to new ones. Its growing network of FOOD restaurants helps making the healthy choice the easy choice and hence contributes to the achievement of the European Food and Nutrition Action Plan’s public health goals.

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