Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
The Commission is aware of the serious burden that diabetes represents across the European Union and of the growing prevalence of both types 1 and 2 of diabetes.
The Commission focuses its action on addressing the main risk factors of diabetes such as nutrition and lack of physical activity and by supporting research on diabetes. The ‘Strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity-related health issues’(1) adopted by the Commission in May 2007, identified children as a priority group, as childhood is an important period to learn the life skills necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The EU Fruit School Scheme(2) launched in 2009 further encourages good eating habits in young people by providing them with fruit and vegetables at school. Over 8.1 million children in over 54 000 schools benefited from the Scheme since its launch.
In addition, the Commission has launched a reflection process on chronic diseases together with Member States and stakeholders. This process — while not disease specific — will identify areas where there are gaps and added value for further action at EU level.