Tackling childhood obesity

10-03-2017

Childhood obesity remains a considerable public health problem in the European Union (EU). While multiple factors play a role, the global increase in overweight children is mainly linked to a shift in diet towards foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar, paired with a decline in physical activity. Essentially, children today are growing up in an environment that is conducive to weight gain and obesity. Excess weight in children is associated with a number of serious health consequences. These include early onset of obesity-related chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, as well as psychosocial complications. The European Commission supports Member States' efforts to take on childhood obesity in a number of ways, including the EU action plan on childhood obesity 2014-2020, which is up for review this year. The current Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU has identified tackling childhood obesity among its priorities for health, and intends to present draft Council conclusions on the issue. A technical report on public procurement of food for health in schools, jointly drafted with the Commission, has just been released.

Childhood obesity remains a considerable public health problem in the European Union (EU). While multiple factors play a role, the global increase in overweight children is mainly linked to a shift in diet towards foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar, paired with a decline in physical activity. Essentially, children today are growing up in an environment that is conducive to weight gain and obesity. Excess weight in children is associated with a number of serious health consequences. These include early onset of obesity-related chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, as well as psychosocial complications. The European Commission supports Member States' efforts to take on childhood obesity in a number of ways, including the EU action plan on childhood obesity 2014-2020, which is up for review this year. The current Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU has identified tackling childhood obesity among its priorities for health, and intends to present draft Council conclusions on the issue. A technical report on public procurement of food for health in schools, jointly drafted with the Commission, has just been released.