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Parliamentary questions
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30 May 2018
E-002946-18
Question for written answer E-002946-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Demetris Papadakis (S&D)

 Subject:  Childhood obesity
 Answer in writing 

According to the most recent findings of the WHO Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI)(1), southern European countries have the highest rate of childhood obesity. Cyprus is in an unenviable position at the top of the tables regarding overweight children (43% of boys and 43% of girls), with 21% of boys and 19% of girls being classified as obese.

Specific action commensurate with the seriousness of the problem must be taken immediately, since child obesity, which has now reached epidemic proportions in the western world, is a chronic condition and a major public health issue, being associated with a wide range of disorders and heavy costs both now and in the future. Furthermore, increased childhood obesity now means a greater risk of adult obesity in the future.

In view of this:

What measures is the Commission taking to help Member States nip the problem in the bud, for example by means of educational initiatives (raising awareness of health issues at school and elsewhere and consultation of health professionals), better information (food labelling, monitoring of advertising content), the promotion of healthier diets and the provision of more wholesome food and increased opportunities for physical activity?

Has it investigated marketing practices that encourage the consumption by children of foods with a high fat, sugar or salt content?

Do any European programmes (such as Horizon 2020, for example), address the problem of obesity, especially among children? If so, what funding is earmarked for them and what areas of activity do they cover?

(1)http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/372426/wh14-cosi-factsheets-eng.pdf?ua=1

Original language of question: EL 
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