Obesity is a major concern in Europe, with an increasing health and economic burden. Obesity has been estimated to cost the EU some €70 billion annually through health care costs and lost productivity, and additionally over-consumption of salt, sugar and saturated fats and under-consumption of fruit and vegetables cause almost 70,000 premature deaths annually in the UK alone.
Member states have initiated a variety of policy interventions to encourage healthy eating, including prohibitions on advertising certain foods to children, promotion of fruit and vegetable consumption, nutrition labelling, dialogue with food industry to improve food product composition and regulation of school meals and public sector canteens to ensure healthy food offerings. Rarely have these been evaluated in a systematic manner.
Thus, the objectives of this project are as follows:
- Assessment of the efficacy of past interventions in improving dietary and health outcomes, and identification of promising avenues for the future
- Assessment of the acceptability of potential future interventions and generation of best-practice guidelines for implementation
- Provision of policy, data collection and monitoring advice in relation to healthy eating
- Management of project to optimise scientific output and communication of scientific findings to a wide audience