Publications and data


European Commission. “EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity 2014-2020” (2014)

The purpose of this initiative is to demonstrate the shared commitment of EU Member States to addressing childhood obesity, set out priority areas for action and a possible toolbox of measures for consideration and propose ways of collectively keeping track of progress. The Action Plan recognizes and respects Member States’ roles and freedom of action in counteracting childhood obesity.


European Commission. “2008-2013 EU funded actions to support the EU Public Health priorities. Nutrition and Physical Activity Actions addressing Obesity” (2014)

Obesity is a complex issue that requires integrated actions across sectors. This compendium helps point the way. The publication demonstrates a number of specific actions that were taken to prevent or reverse the emergence of obesity in Europe.


WHO. “Global status report on noncommunicable diseases” (2014)

This global status report on prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), is framed around the nine voluntary global targets. The report provides data on the current situation, identifying bottlenecks as well as opportunities and priority actions for attaining the targets. The 2010 baseline estimates on NCD mortality and risk factors are provided so that countries can report on progress, starting in 2015. In addition, the report also provides the latest available estimates on NCD mortality (2012) and risk factors, 2010-2012.


OECD. Obesity Update (2014)

It presents an update of analyses of trends and social disparities in obesity originally presented in OECD’s report “Obesity and the Economics of Prevention: Fit not Fat”, published in 2010.


WHO Europe. Nutrition Publications

Key publications on nutrition, disease associated with poor nutrition, healthy foods, food security and obesity.


WHO Europe. “Obesity and inequities. Guidance for addressing inequities in overweight and obesity” (2014)

This policy brief on obesity describes practical actions to address health inequities in relation to one of the priority public health challenges facing Europe. It provides a framework that policy-makers at national, regional and local levels can apply to their own unique context, to help them consider the processes by which inequities occur and suggest policy interventions to address them.


WHO Europe. “The equity action spectrum: taking a comprehensive approach. Guidance for addressing inequities in health” (2014)

This is one of a series of policy briefs that describe practical actions to address health inequities, especially in relation to tobacco, alcohol, obesity and injury, the priority public health challenges facing Europe.


WHO Europe. “The challenge of obesity in the WHO European Region and the strategies for response. Summary” (2007)

This book includes the European Charter on Counteracting Obesity (which lists guiding principles and clear action areas at the local, regional, national and international levels for a wide range of stakeholders) and summarizes the concepts and conclusions of the many technical papers written for the conference held in 2006 by a large group of experts in public health, nutrition and medicine.


WHO. Global Health Observatory (GHO) data. Risk factors

Data and information on physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and metabolic/physiological changes (raised blood pressure, overweight/obesity, raised blood glucose and raised cholesterol).


WHO. “Global Status Report on Non-Communicable Diseases 2010

Description of the global burden of chronic noncommunicable diseases, their risk factors and determinants. This report sets out the statistics, evidence and experiences needed to launch a more forceful response to the growing threat posed by noncommunicable diseases. It takes an analytical approach, using global, regional and country-specific data to document the magnitude of the problem, project future trends, and assess the factors contributing to these trends.


WHO. Global strategy on diet, physical activity and health. Documents and publications

Key resources related to: diet, physical activity, the WHO Global Strategy, childhood overweight and obesity, healthy foods.


WHO. Global strategy on diet, physical activity and health. “Interventions on Diet and Physical Activity: What Works” (2009)

"What Works" provides policy-makers and other stakeholders with a summary of tried and tested diet and physical activity interventions that aim to reduce the risk of chronic noncommunicable diseases. It is presented as three complementary documents (one summary report and two background documents).


KMPG. “Early childhood intervention – an overview of best practice” (2014)

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government engaged KPMG to conduct a program of market soundings, focus groups and research activities to inform options available for transitioning Early Intervention small education groups to the community sector.


McKinsey Global Institute (MGI). “Overcoming obesity, an initial economic analysis. Discussion paper” (2014)

This study offers an independent view on the components of a potential strategy. MGI has studied 74 interventions (in 18 areas) that are being discussed or piloted somewhere around the world to address obesity, including subsidized school meals for all, calorie and nutrition labeling, restrictions on advertising high-calorie food and drinks, and public-health campaigns.


International networks and projects


European Commission. Nutrition and physical activity

This section on health in the EU has been created as a trustworthy gateway to a wide range of information and data on health-related issues and activities at both European, national and international level. The content is produced by the European Commission, the Member States of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA), plus EU candidate countries; by international organisations; and by pan-European non-governmental organisations in the area of public health.


COSI. European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative

It is a harmonized surveillance systems, providing measured and comparable data on rates of overweight/obesity among primary-school children (6-9 years). The COSI system does not aim to replace countries' existing health, anthropometric and dietary surveillance systems or those in the planning stages; on the contrary, the COSI approach has a strong potential to be integrated into existing systems if possible.


EConDA - Economics of Chronic Diseases

The EConDA project aims to aid EU Member States to develop, select and implement more cost-effective policies to improve chronic disease prevention and impact upon populations with the highest rates of premature deaths from chronic diseases and reduce health inequalities.


Equity Action - Joint action on health inequalities

Joint Action between the EU and Member States, it aims to reduce health inequalities by helping to improve policies at national and regional level and harness the contribution of stakeholders.


HBSC - Health Behaviour in School-aged Children research network

The HBSC research network (44 countries and regions across Europe and North America) is an international alliance of researchers that collaborate on the cross-national survey of school students: Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC). It collects data every four years on 11-, 13- and 15-year-old boys’ and girls’ health and well-being, social environments and health behaviours.


INFORMAS - International Network for Food and Obesity / Non-communicable Diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support

It brings together a number of public-interest organisations and researchers aiming to monitor, benchmark and support public and private sector actions to create healthy food environments and reduce obesity and non-communicable diseases.


RICHE - Research Inventory for Child Health in Europe

A resource created under a Framework 7 project and enriched by its members, to make accessible knowledge on child health comprising recent scientific publications, grey literature and research projects, and creating a virtual research community.


We Love Eating

The We Love Eating project celebrates healthy food as a delightfully essential part of a healthy lifestyle. It provides tips and activities to be shared with citizens, empowering them to make their lives and communities healthier.



A pilot project is an initiative of an experimental nature designed to test the feasibility and usefulness of action. It is meant to try different approaches to address a problem and identify good practices for the benefit of possible future initiatives in the area of nutrition and physical exercise.


My healthy family

EU Project to encourage children, older people and pregnant women in Hungary and Poland to eat more fruit and vegetables. The project puts the family at the centre of its activities as food is very much a social activity and the family is often the birth place of healthy habits.



The project aims to follow-up the reformulation of the manufactured foods in order to promote healthier ways of life and reduce major diseases and injuries, assisting citizens nutrition through working in tight contact with small and medium-sized enterprises, food industries associations, consumers associations, public authorities and NGOs.


FLABEL - Food Labelling to Advance Better Education for Life

The project aims to establishing the role of, and identifying what can be achieved when, communicating nutrition information to consumers via food packaging labels.


EATWELL - Interventions to Promote Healthy Eating Habits: Evaluation and Recommendations

The EATWELL project aims to provide European Member States with best practice guidelines to develop appropriate policy interventions that will encourage healthy eating across Europe.


European initiatives


HEPP - Health Inequity Pilot Project

This pilot project contributes to maintaining an EU and Member State focus on health inequalities and helps to mainstream measures to address them. The project has a particular focus on alcohol, nutrition and physical activity, related to the socio-economic gradient and disadvantaged areas.


Consumers, Health, Agricolture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA)

The Agency implements the EU Health Programme, the Consumer Programme and the Better Training for Safer Food initiative and provides a professional service in performing the tasks and activities entrusted to it by the European Commission, and it works closely with the Health and Food Safety Directorate General.


European Commission. Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing, The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - Horizon 2020

The specific objective is to improve the lifelong health and wellbeing of all. In addition, high-quality and economically sustainable health and care systems, and opportunities for new jobs and growth are the aims of support to research and innovation in response to this challenge.


European Commission - DG Health and Food Safety. Social Determinants and Health Inequalities

In all countries the level of disease and age that people die are strongly influenced by factors such as employment, income, length of education and ethnicity. The EU is working directly (through EU policy) and indirectly (through national authorities and stakeholders) to reduce such health inequalities.


Regulation (EU) N. 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers

This provides a new consolidated structure to the legislation and includes, for the first time, the controls on nutrition labelling. Implementation is mostly from 13 December 2014 although compulsory nutrition labelling is only applicable from 13 December 2016.


WHO Europe. Health determinants

WHO Europe works in many interrelated areas – including gender, prison health and the socioeconomic determinants of health – to provide an evidence-based, systematic and accountable approach to reduce health inequalities among people in the WHO European Region.


Initiatives in Member States


Gesund ins Leben - Netzwerk Junge Familie (Healthy Start - Young Family Network) - Germany

The network unites all relevant organisations, scientific societies and other associations, that deal with healthy lifestyle in young families or expecting parents.


Programme national nutrition santé (National nutrition and health programme) - France

Presents the objectives strategies and actions planned for the 3rd 5-years  French national nutrition Programme.


Mangerbouger - France

The web site (in French) which gives many practical tools and information about nutrition to the population and professionals. Directly linked to the National Nutrition and Health Programme and managed by the public French institutes for prevention and health education.


Nutrition, prevention et santé des enfants et des adolescents en Aquitaine - France

A regional programme in the south west part of France .



The Oqali project aims at monitoring changes in processed foods supply available on the French market, by measuring nutritional quality evolution, over time (nutritional composition and labelling information). The implementation of Oqali has been entrusted to a research institute, INRA (French national institute for agricultural research) and to a food safety agency, ANSES (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety).


Genitori più (ParentsPlus) - Italy

The Ministry of Health supported programme promotes 8 actions in order to guarantee a better health, more protection and more safety to children and to the community.