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Towards better nutrition in Europe: Evaluating progress and defining future directions

Articles   |   29 March 2020 Date   |  

Autores: Joao BredaLea Samantas Nash Castro, Stephen WhitingJulianne WilliamsJo JewellKaia EngesveenKremlin Wickramasinghe

This paper provides a snapshot of the implementation of the WHO European Food and Nutrition Action Plan 2015–2020 among Member States in the WHO European Region. The focus is on the level and degree of implementation of selected policies recommended in this regional framework to promote healthy nutrition and prevent diet related noncommunicable diseases including obesity. Data was gathered through online and off-line versions of the Global Nutrition Policy Review questionnaire in 2017, through appointed focal points from the ministries of health. Almost all (94%) countries in the European region responded to the questionnaire, although not all responses were equally detailed. Significant progress has been made in some areas of public health nutrition, such as within school food policies, product reformulation, and implementation of trans fat regulations. However, if countries are to achieve global NCD targets, more ambitious policies with appropriate breadth and depth are needed. This is mainly the case for consumer-friendly front-of-package labelling, restrictions on marketing of foods to children as well as policies to protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding and appropriate complementary feeding practices. Lastly, it is crucial to prioritize robust monitoring, surveillance and evaluation systems in order to understand the effect of these actions and to guide timely and appropriate adjustment of policies.

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