Archive for June, 2016

Update on EU action on Food product Improvement

During the informal Health Council meeting convened on the 18th of April, Member States committed to :

  • Develop national plans for food product improvement to be ready by the end of 2016.
  • Assess existing benchmarks for salt and saturated fats at national level.

The next health Council meeting will take place on the 17th of June, when conclusions will further reflect on achievements made on the issue during the Dutch EU Council Presidency and provides for next steps. Draft Council Conclusions are available here.

Roadmap food product improvement

Member States have already committed to continue working in close collaboration with the European Commission and to cooperate with the forthcoming Slovak (1 July 2016 – 31 December 2016) and Maltese (1 January 2017 – 30 June 2017) Presidencies of the Council, to progress on food product improvement.

EU action on health-related aspects of nutrition and physical activity: latest developments

news éOn the 6th of April, the European Commission’s High Level Group on Nutrition and Physical activity held a meeting during which the UK Childhood Obesity and Food Policy and the French nutrition policy were presented, before the European Commission highlighted the latest developments of the EU action on audiovisual commercial communications of foods targeting children.

The joint meeting of the High level group and the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health convened on the same day particularly addressed the issues of childhood obesity in the EU Member States and Food product improvement from the Dutch EU Presidency’s perspective. EU Health Commissioner Andriukaitis urged members of the group and the platform to strengthen their collaboration in order to effectively implement the EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity and to support national actions on food reformulation, especially on added sugars.

The plenary meeting of the Platform on the 7th of April “Diet, physical activity and health – a European platform for action” was the occasion to engage in a multi-stakeholder discussion on combined and integrated action to address the issue. Focus topics of the discussions included responsible marketing and advertising, audiovisual commercial communications, media literacy, health literacy and consumers’ food choices, and diabetes, with a special attention given to childhood.

During the meetings, the needs to improve health literacy amongst the population, promote healthy diets – especially targeting the youngest population groups – and develop responsible marketing communication strategies were presented as key action points to promote healthy living in Europe and prevent the occurrence of diseases.

More information here.

The Platform and the High Level Group recently met on the 2nd and 3rd of June. Issues discussed during the meeting included the new EU School Scheme, EU policy on chronic diseases, and food reformulation. An overview of the commitments in the areas of “Food reformulation” and “consumer information including labelling” was provided during the Platform’s meeting. For both, it was reported that the total number of active commitments has slightly decreased since 2013, with no new commitment in 2016 as of the date of the meeting. The active commitments in 2016 are implemented by the food industry and associations, and the general public is the largest target group, followed by children and young people.

More information here.

Slovenia organises national consultation on diabetes on World Health Day 2016

téléchargementOn the occasion of the World Health Day 2016, which focused on beating diabetes, the Slovenian Ministry of Health and the National Assembly co-organised a consultation on diabetes in the country.

Because the disease affects over 6% of the population in Slovenia, the Government has developed a national programme for the period 2014-2020 aimed at controlling diabetes, in collaboration with health professionals and patients. The programme focuses on reducing the prevalence of the disease in the country, enhancing early detection, preventing complications and reducing diabetes-related deaths.

A project prepared with the national Association of Diabetes Societies, one of the major nongovernmental organizations active in the field, will be launched during the year.

During the event, the Health Minister Milojka Kolar Celarc particularly highlighted that the number of patients receiving medication has been increasing by 12.5% from 2010 to 2014 in the country.

According to the WHO, Slovenia is a good practice example for its centres for health promotion, located in health care settings. Coming into the scope of the Government’s priority to improve basic health care services, the centres have been welcomed by patients for providing better and easier access to services and treatments for vulnerable population groups.

To scale up prevention programmes in the country and develop such centres for health promotion, the country received €14.5 million from the EU’s Cohesion Fund.

More information here.