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Cardiovascular Diseases and Lifestyle

15-01-2019

This document summarises the presentations and discussion taking place at the workshop organised by Policy Department A on the limits and opportunities of the Cardiovascular Disease and Lifestyle, held at the European Parliament, in Brussels. The aim of the workshop was to inform the Members of the ENVI Committee and all participants on the relationship between cardiovascular and related diseases and a number of lifestyle choices in the context of the European Union, and to have an overview of the ...

This document summarises the presentations and discussion taking place at the workshop organised by Policy Department A on the limits and opportunities of the Cardiovascular Disease and Lifestyle, held at the European Parliament, in Brussels. The aim of the workshop was to inform the Members of the ENVI Committee and all participants on the relationship between cardiovascular and related diseases and a number of lifestyle choices in the context of the European Union, and to have an overview of the global and EU policy landscape addressing these challenges.

Autor externo

Mariana Dates, Micol Tedeschi, Mai Webber

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.

Trans Fats – Overview of recent developments

14-03-2016

'Trans fats' or 'trans fatty acids' (TFAs) are a type of unsaturated fatty acids that have been widely used in the food industry since the 1950s. There is now broad scientific consensus that high consumption of trans fats significantly increases the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), and may also be associated with increased risk of other cardiovascular diseases, obesity and type 2 diabetes. The main dietary source of industrial trans fats are partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. The World ...

'Trans fats' or 'trans fatty acids' (TFAs) are a type of unsaturated fatty acids that have been widely used in the food industry since the 1950s. There is now broad scientific consensus that high consumption of trans fats significantly increases the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), and may also be associated with increased risk of other cardiovascular diseases, obesity and type 2 diabetes. The main dietary source of industrial trans fats are partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. The World Health Organization argues that the removal of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from the food supply would result in substantial health benefits. After determining in June 2015 that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) were no longer 'generally recognized as safe' for use in human food, the United States Food and Drug Administration requested food manufacturers to remove them from products by June 2018. The European Union does not have legislation regulating the content of trans fats in food products or requiring their labelling. Thus, should a product contain partially hydrogenated oils (and hence, possibly TFAs), its label will indicate this, but it will not indicate the exact amount of trans fats present. Four EU Member States have set legal limits on industrially produced trans fats in foods and there has been growing pressure to establish this as an EU-wide practice. In a report on trans fats published in December 2015, the European Commission concluded that a legal limit for industrial TFA content would be the most effective measure for tackling the problem. Stakeholders have generally welcomed the Commission report, while stressing that thanks to voluntary reformulating efforts by the industry, TFA levels in foods are already quite low.

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.

Autor externo

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

Proceedings of the Workshop on "Trans Fats"

15-01-2014

This report summarises the presentations and discussions at the Workshop on ‘Trans Fats’, held at the European Parliament in Brussels, on Tuesday, 5 November, 2013. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the risks posed by trans fats in human health and to exchange views on the existing solutions to this issue. The workshop was hosted by MEP Ms Glenis WILLMOTT (S&D, UK), Co-chair of the Health Working Group within the ENVI Committee.

This report summarises the presentations and discussions at the Workshop on ‘Trans Fats’, held at the European Parliament in Brussels, on Tuesday, 5 November, 2013. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the risks posed by trans fats in human health and to exchange views on the existing solutions to this issue. The workshop was hosted by MEP Ms Glenis WILLMOTT (S&D, UK), Co-chair of the Health Working Group within the ENVI Committee.

Autor externo

Stephanie BODENBACH (DG Health and Consumers, European Commission), Valeriu CURTUI (European Food Safety Authority), Steen STENDER (Copenhagen County Hospital in Gentofte, University of Copenhagen) and Søren LANGKILDE (Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Denmark)

Trans Fatty Acids and Health : a Review of Health Hazards and Existing Legislation

14-11-2008

Trans fats are found in commercial baked goods, fried foods, frozen foods, margarines, red meat and dairy products. There is a considerable body of scientific evidence that associates their ingestion with cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, blindness, cancer and others. In view of this evidence, measures have to be taken to reduce their intake. Policies that restrict and regulate their intake have been implemented in Denmark and Switzerland and some cities and states in the US have adopted ...

Trans fats are found in commercial baked goods, fried foods, frozen foods, margarines, red meat and dairy products. There is a considerable body of scientific evidence that associates their ingestion with cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, blindness, cancer and others. In view of this evidence, measures have to be taken to reduce their intake. Policies that restrict and regulate their intake have been implemented in Denmark and Switzerland and some cities and states in the US have adopted regulatory approaches. In the Netherlands and the UK, industry has adopted voluntary measures. Canada and the US have adopted mandatory labelling requirements, which brings up issues related to equity, since the capacity of individuals to interpret labels and make purchasing choices relates to their socio-economic status, particularly in a context where foods free of industrial trans fats may be more expensive. In contrast, the ban in Denmark has eliminated them from all food products, apparently with negligible effects on the economic situation of the food manufacturing and restaurant industry. Based upon the evidence of negative health impacts of industrial trans fats and the success of the ban in various locations, this study recommends that a ban be considered at EU level.

Autor externo

Alexandra Krettek, Stefan Thorpenberg and Göran Bondjers (Nordic School of Public Health through MILIEU Ltd., Brussels, Belgium)

Who Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

02-01-2006

Autor externo

Dr Frederic C. Daoud, MSc, Epidemologist Medalliance, Paris, France

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