EFAD: European Parliament must take obesity seriously

24 May 2016

EFAD - the European Federation of the Association of Dietitians - says that it strongly supports the initiative of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) and calls upon the European Parliament to take obesity seriously.

EFAD: European Parliament must take obesity seriously

Obesity is rising to alarming levels in Europe, notes EFAD (the European Federation of the Association of Dietitians). In most countries, more than 50% of the adult population is overweight and 15% are obese. In children the prevalence has raised greatly: one in four and in Southern European countries one in three children is overweight or obese. Estimates are that these figures will rise dramatically in European countries in the coming years, EFAD says, pointing out that individuals that are overweight or obese are likely to develop a multitude of related illnesses that will reduce the quality of life and may even shorten the life span.

This is well known among scientists and health professionals, EFAD points out, saying that what is needed now is the awareness of politicians in Europe, the media and the general public that overweight and obesity are serious health problems. Individuals that suffer from obesity need competent support from trained health professionals. Society needs prevention strategies at local, national and European level to tackle the obesogenic environment.

EFAD says it is working together with other stakeholders, with Member States, the European Commission and food industry on a process to reformulate foods and drinks in Europe in order to offer more and healthier choices to consumers. The food industry is further called upon to cooperate in developing a labelling system that can be understood by the general population, to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

Dietitians are key to fostering positive dialogue in the implementation of public health policies to combat obesity, EFAD believes. The European Dietetic Action Plan (EuDAP), is a commitment by EFAD to collectively take actions that will improve health for all.

“In Europe EFAD and its members have clearly stated their commitment to action for health improvement through nutrition across the social gradient,” said Anne de Looy, President of EFAD. “Whether it is in healthcare, food provision/service (restaurants), research, industry, public health or in the homes of individual citizens, dietitians will work with their national food and nutrition plans and colleagues to implement the European Dietetic Action Plan 2015-2020, which focuses on driving health improvements through food and nutrition, with the aim of achieving better nutrition and sustainable health.”

The geographical range and specialist expertise of EFAD members gives its dietitians a unique insight and perspective for improved health solutions, the organisation believes. They remain a key contributor to the health debate, and driving positive and sustainable outcomes for the future of European citizens and beyond.

EFAD strongly supports the initiative of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) and calls upon the European Parliament to take obesity seriously.