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Demographic outlook for the European Union 2020

02-03-2020

Demography matters. The economy and the labour market, but also social protection, intergenerational fairness and healthcare, the environment, food and nutrition are all driven by demography. The population of EU countries has grown substantially – by around a quarter since 1960 – and currently it stands at almost 450 million. The numbers are now beginning to stagnate however and are expected to decline from around the middle of the century. With the world population having risen still more substantially ...

Demography matters. The economy and the labour market, but also social protection, intergenerational fairness and healthcare, the environment, food and nutrition are all driven by demography. The population of EU countries has grown substantially – by around a quarter since 1960 – and currently it stands at almost 450 million. The numbers are now beginning to stagnate however and are expected to decline from around the middle of the century. With the world population having risen still more substantially and growth continuing, the EU represents a shrinking proportion of the global population. The EU population is also ageing dramatically, as life expectancy increases and fertility rates fall below past levels. This has serious implications across a range of areas including the economy, healthcare and pensions. Free movement within the EU and migration from third countries also play an important role in shaping demography in individual Member States and regions. The 'in-focus' section of this year's edition of the demographic outlook examines food and nutrition-related demographic challenges. It shows that, even if improving food quality and healthier eating habits lead to higher life expectancy, the EU still has to tackle the harmful consequences and prevent the causes of diet-related chronic conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This paper is the third in a series produced by EPRS on the demographic outlook for the European Union.

Living in the EU: Education and Health

30-04-2019

The European Union complements national health and education policies, in particular those with a cross-border dimension. The main responsibility for health and education, however, lies with the governments of its Member States. This combination explains the spread in government expenditure on national welfare policies among the Member States, and in particular in individual direct payments for health. In terms of the gender gap in the area, women with tertiary education still suffer employment gaps ...

The European Union complements national health and education policies, in particular those with a cross-border dimension. The main responsibility for health and education, however, lies with the governments of its Member States. This combination explains the spread in government expenditure on national welfare policies among the Member States, and in particular in individual direct payments for health. In terms of the gender gap in the area, women with tertiary education still suffer employment gaps. Moreover, national differences in the number of hospital beds available and people suffering from obesity, mainly concentrated among elderly people, also stand out.

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 ...

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.

Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture

20-12-2016

This study reviews existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health from an EU perspective, with a focus on public health. The development of environmentally sustainable and healthy food systems is an international priority. The study examines how organic food and organic agriculture can contribute to this in relation to public health. Human and animal studies directly addressing the health effects of organic food are reviewed. Furthermore, evidence linking principles ...

This study reviews existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health from an EU perspective, with a focus on public health. The development of environmentally sustainable and healthy food systems is an international priority. The study examines how organic food and organic agriculture can contribute to this in relation to public health. Human and animal studies directly addressing the health effects of organic food are reviewed. Furthermore, evidence linking principles and rules of organic production to human health effects is discussed.

Reformed scheme for fruit and milk in schools

01-03-2016

During the March 2016 plenary session, a debate and vote will be held on the draft regulation establishing a new aid scheme for the supply of fruit and milk in schools. If adopted, the scheme will bring new impetus to efforts to encourage school children to eat healthily.

During the March 2016 plenary session, a debate and vote will be held on the draft regulation establishing a new aid scheme for the supply of fruit and milk in schools. If adopted, the scheme will bring new impetus to efforts to encourage school children to eat healthily.

Eat for Health

08-12-2015

This paper summarises the presentations and discussions of the Workshop ‘Eat for Health’ held at the European Parliament in Brussels on 13 October 2015. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the eating habits and trends in Europe as well as the options for policy makers, industry, professionals and citizens to promote a healthier diet. The importance of a healthy diet was underlined with scientific findings that observed an association between nutrition and many diseases, particularly obesity and ...

This paper summarises the presentations and discussions of the Workshop ‘Eat for Health’ held at the European Parliament in Brussels on 13 October 2015. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the eating habits and trends in Europe as well as the options for policy makers, industry, professionals and citizens to promote a healthier diet. The importance of a healthy diet was underlined with scientific findings that observed an association between nutrition and many diseases, particularly obesity and diabetes. It was agreed that a variety of foods and foods rich in high quality nutrients constitute a healthy diet. Activities of the EU Platform and High Level Group on Diet, Physical Activity and Health show that Member States are willing to tackle the issue. The issues around labelling, reformulation and stricter marketing rules regarding food were discussed. These actions should result in giving consumers complete and correct information about food and beverage properties. Challenges remain and more efforts should be made to create a healthy environment and stimulate healthy diets among Europeans. This workshop and the respective document were prepared by the Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

Parlamendiväline autor

Paola BANFI, Lyssa BODE and Manon EMONTS (Milieu Ltd, Brussels, Belgium)

New scheme for fruit and milk in schools

22-05-2015

During the 27 May 2015 plenary session, Members will be asked to vote on a report prepared by the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, amending the European Commission's legislative proposal on a new single scheme for fruit and milk in schools. The proposal aims to merge two separate existing schemes, one for the distribution of milk, and the other, fruit and vegetables, in schools. However, the plan remains uncertain since the Commission has put it on hold pending an evaluation of the ...

During the 27 May 2015 plenary session, Members will be asked to vote on a report prepared by the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, amending the European Commission's legislative proposal on a new single scheme for fruit and milk in schools. The proposal aims to merge two separate existing schemes, one for the distribution of milk, and the other, fruit and vegetables, in schools. However, the plan remains uncertain since the Commission has put it on hold pending an evaluation of the earlier schemes. There is also disagreement on the legal basis of the draft regulation between the Council, on the one hand, and the Commission and the Parliament, on the other.

Excess weight poses hefty public health concerns

13-05-2015

Excessive body weight ('overweight') and excessive body fat ('obesity') affect more than one in two adults in the EU and the rates have been rising steadily. The causes are genetic, behavioural, cultural and socioeconomic and are mainly driven by an unbalanced diet and physical inactivity. Furthermore, these conditions are major risk factors for serious chronic illnesses, and account for roughly 7% of EU Member States' healthcare expenditure. EU prevention initiatives broadly target nutrition and ...

Excessive body weight ('overweight') and excessive body fat ('obesity') affect more than one in two adults in the EU and the rates have been rising steadily. The causes are genetic, behavioural, cultural and socioeconomic and are mainly driven by an unbalanced diet and physical inactivity. Furthermore, these conditions are major risk factors for serious chronic illnesses, and account for roughly 7% of EU Member States' healthcare expenditure. EU prevention initiatives broadly target nutrition and physical activity.

New rules for specialised food products

06-06-2013

Foods for particular nutritional uses (PARNUTs) are currently regulated under the PARNUTs Directive, differently from other food products. Problems with the application of the Directive include overlaps with other food legislation, legal loopholes, and inconsistent national interpretation. To remedy these problems, the Commission has proposed to replace the PARNUTs Directive with a new Regulation applying to a much more limited group of foods.

Foods for particular nutritional uses (PARNUTs) are currently regulated under the PARNUTs Directive, differently from other food products. Problems with the application of the Directive include overlaps with other food legislation, legal loopholes, and inconsistent national interpretation. To remedy these problems, the Commission has proposed to replace the PARNUTs Directive with a new Regulation applying to a much more limited group of foods.

Proceedings of the Workshop on "Active and Healthy Ageing : A Challenge for the EU to Create Age-Friendly Environments"

15-11-2012

This report summarises the presentations and discussions at the Workshop on “Active and Healthy Ageing: A challenge for the EU to create age-friendly environments”, held at the European Parliament in Brussels, on Monday 8 October 2012. The aim of the workshop was to exchange views on how to face the consequences of an ageing population and to provide input into the on-going policy discussions at EU-level on active and healthy ageing. The workshop was hosted by MEP Kartika T. Liotard (GUE/NGL, NL) ...

This report summarises the presentations and discussions at the Workshop on “Active and Healthy Ageing: A challenge for the EU to create age-friendly environments”, held at the European Parliament in Brussels, on Monday 8 October 2012. The aim of the workshop was to exchange views on how to face the consequences of an ageing population and to provide input into the on-going policy discussions at EU-level on active and healthy ageing. The workshop was hosted by MEP Kartika T. Liotard (GUE/NGL, NL), Member of the ENVI Committee and Co-chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity.

Parlamendiväline autor

Klea Katsouyanni (University of Athens Medical School, EL) , Michel Hamon (University Pierre & Marie Curie, French Academy of Medicine, FR) , Jean Pierre Baeyens (University of Luxembourg, LU) , Peter Kopelman (University of London, UK) , Torsten Zuberbier (GA²LEN, Charite-Universitatsmedizin, Berlin, DE) and Jaap Koot (University Medical Centre Groningen, NL)

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