John Dalli, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, addressed Member States’ representatives (the High Level Group on Nutrition and Physical Activity) and stakeholders (the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health). He commended the achievements of governments and Platform members in addressing unhealthy diets and physical activity in the EU since the adoption in 2007 of an EU Strategy to address obesity and overweight related issues.
Commissioner Dalli urged European governments and stakeholders to step up efforts to make healthy options available and promote physical activity for all ages. He also highlighted areas where public and private synergies can produce tangible results such as food reformulation and responsible
The members of the two groups gathering for this meeting include government representatives from 29 European countries (EU-27, Norway and Switzerland) and European-level umbrella organisations representing the food industry, health organisations, the medical profession and public health community and other civil society non-government organizations. An unhealthy diet and physical inactivity are two of the four risk factors for developing non-communicable diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The European Commission has endorsed the recent 2011 United Nations political declaration for the prevention and control of non communicable diseases, which calls for global action to reduce the burden of these largely preventable diseases. EU action, including initiatives by these two groups, will help to further implement this agenda.
The Commissioner’s speech is available on his website.