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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 ...

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 ...

Tackling childhood obesity

Briefing 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 ...

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 ...

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

Studiu 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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) ...