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Sports Called In To Help With Fat Crisis

  • May 31st, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

eu-flag-reduced-larger7.pngEuropean sports organisations will be brought into a campaign to try to get people to eat in a healthier way and get more exercise.

The European Commission has just produced a White Paper (30.5.07) signalling its plans to co-ordinate actions by industry, governments and public organisations, in response to alarming statistics on eating and health.

It says poor diets and low levels of physical activity account for six of seven leading risk factors for ill health in Europe — including heart disease, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke and some cancers.

The figures have been produced by a Eurobarometer survey made across the 27 EU countries, showing that half the adult population is overweight or obese.

The problem has been increasing, especially in Southern Europe where people have been abandoning a leaner “Mediterranean” diet in favour of more fast food.

Some 21.7-million children are carrying too much weight, provoking calls for urgent changes.

“To reintroduce activity as an entertainment, as fun and games, is a challenge for the system, as those who need it most avoid it more,” said the EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou.

Children were both not eating well enough, and spending extended time “watching television, in front of computer screens, or playing video games.”

He said EU actions would be to continue developing agreements with the food industry, which had been cooperating, especially with reduction of fat content and salt; get sports bodies to use their influence to encourage physical activity with a focus of children; and use advertising codes to contain the promotion of unhealthy eating.

Reference:

European Commission, A Strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity Related Health Issues, White Paper, Brussels, http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_determinants/life_style/nutrition/keydocs_nutrition_en.htm (30.5.07)

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