Promoting healthy lifestyles – which interventions are most effective?

shutterstock_740241994-1 [Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock]

According to latest Eurostat estimates from 2014, 51.6% of the EU’s population (18 and over) is overweight.

Healthy, active lifestyles and good dietary habits start in childhood. Schools and parents have an important role to play in influencing young people and guiding them to adopt behaviours that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Governments, communities and the food and drink industry also have an important role to play.

Studies have shown that regular physical activity boosts health and wellbeing and should be considered as effective health interventions. Combined with portion control and food reformulation, analysts say the desired results could be achieved.

WHO insists that taxing sugar is an effective way to have a positive health impact.

Analysts also claim that evidence-based policy making and the ability to rely on clear methodologies to monitor progress are essential.

In this Special Report, EURACTIV analyses the existing challenges policymakers face when it comes to healthy lifestyles in the EU, as well as the several initiatives that have been taken ranging from food reformulation to action at school level.

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