A Commission’s green paper on tackling obesity forms the basis for a public consultation on the promotion of healthy diets and physical activity in the EU.
The Commission adopted a green paper on tackling obesity on 8 December 2005. It acknowledges that the obesity epidemic has many causes and that a diversified approach to tackle the problem is therefore necessary. Action is needed in terms of nutrition, promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyles.
The paper presents the Commission’s initial ideas on how to tackle obesity and lays the base for a detailed consultation with EU institutions, member states and civil society. The aim is to to gather information for a European level action on obesity to complement, support and coordinate existing national measures.
The document considers, for example, the following questions:
- how to integrate the promotion of healthier lifestyles into other EU policy areas;
- how can the Commission’s new Health and Consumer protection programme contribute to the fight against obesity;
- what role does self-regulation in the food and advertising industry play.
In the United States, obesity has risen at an epidemic rate during the past 20 years and the percentage of overweight children has tripled since 1980. Although still far less of a problem in Europe, statistics show that the divide between the US and Europe is narrowing.