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Public Health

Health-EU newsletter 237 - Focus

Tartu Call for a Healthy Lifestyle: where are we 2 years later?

Two years after the Tartu Call for a Healthy Lifestyle, the initiative launched by Commissioners Tibor Navracsics, Vytenis Andriukaitis and Phil Hogan has marked significant progress in promoting healthy lifestyles.

Commissioners Navracsics, Andriukaitis and Hogan appreciate all the work undertaken jointly over that period and welcome the results achieved, in particular:

- More budget has been allocated to promoting healthy lifestyles at EU level.

- Targeted awareness raising campaigns and activities to promote healthy diets and physical activity have been organised.

- The European Commission supported the EU Member States and civil society by collecting, compiling sharing useful evidence and implementing relevant best practices.

- The European Parliament and the Council have actively cooperated with the European Commission to promote healthy lifestyles.

- Internal cooperation has been further strengthened among European Commission services.

Considering that this is only a first step and that further work needs to be done to address this important societal challenge, Commissioners Navracsics, Andriukaitis and Hogan call on civil society and the EU Member States to:

  1. Make the best use of available EU funding to carry out relevant initiatives, in particular addressing inequalities.
  2. Use sport as a powerful tool to promote healthy lifestyles, using the potential of sport clubs, non-organised sport, as well as existing key instruments such as the European Week of Sport.
  3. Take ambitious actions to promote and establish healthy diets among EU citizens to reduce obesity and non-communicable diseases. Raise awareness, notably among youth, of the importance of healthy diets and make the best use of the EU school fruit, vegetables and milk scheme.
  4. Enhance cooperation across relevant sectors including health, sports, education and agri-food, but also research, transport, marketing and urban planning.
  5. Promote physical activity and healthy diets at the workplace, to have a positive impact on overall employee behaviour.

Activities at EU level

Nutrition and Physical Activity

European Commission – Health and Food Safety

Best practice portal

European Commission – Health and Food Safety

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Knowledge Gateway

European Commission – EU Science Hub


European Commission – Sports

School fruit, vegetables and milk scheme

European Commission – Agriculture and Rural Development


Three Commissioners present the achievements of the Tartu Call for a Healthy Lifestyle in Brussels on 19 June

Commissioners Vytenis Andriukaitis (Health and Food Safety) Tibor Navracsics (Education, Culture, Youth and Sport) and Phil Hogan (Agriculture and Rural Development) also presented certificates to 16 organisations whose interventions passed the Commission’s Best Practice Portal assessment.

Marketplace on Nutrition and Physical Activity held in Brussels 19 – 20 June 2019

Best practices were presented to Member State representatives, who could meet with project leaders and discuss how projects could be implemented in their own countries. Find descriptions of these practices in the Best Practice Portal.

Clear goals, practical steps to reach them –the TARTU Call for a Healthy Lifestyle

Find out what the goals of the Tartu Call were and how it was designed to reach them in this brochure published when the Call to encourage healthier lifestyles was launched in September 2017.

Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non- Communicable Diseases holds formal meeting

The Steering Group's third formal meeting was hosted by DG Health and Food Safety on 7 June, and was attended by the representatives of 25 Member States and Norway.

How has the EU helped people to eat healthier and to get more physical exercise?

The Commission works to help Europeans find healthier food options on supermarket shelves, to improve school meals for children, and to create more opportunities for physical activity around Europe.

Promoting healthy lifestyles – which interventions are most effective?

In this Special Report published midway through the Tartu Call for Healthy Lifestyles, EURACTIV analyses the existing challenges policymakers face when it comes to healthy lifestyles in the EU, as well as several initiatives ranging from food reformulation to action at school level.

Get the low-down on physical activity and sedentary behaviour!

This webpage by the EU Science Hub defines physical activity, provides information about its benefits and also gives recommendations about the type, duration and intensity of various activities.

Food-Based Dietary Guidelines to follow for good health

Food-Based Dietary Guidelines are science-based recommendations in the form of guidelines for healthy eating. All EU countries plus Switzerland, Iceland and Norway have these guidelines, which are presented here.

Do you eat enough fruit and vegetables daily?

According to a Eurostat survey of the EU population in 2017, only 1 in 4 people ate fruit at least twice a day. A further 37% of the EU population ate fruit once a day and the remaining 36% ate fruit either less frequently or not at all during a typical week.

Over a quarter of Europeans do not exercise at all

More than a quarter of Europeans do not practice any kind of exercise outside working hours, according to the latest figures from Eurostat.

Health Programme Projects

EUPAP – A European Physical Activity on Prescription model

Organisations from ten EU member states partner up in this 3-year project for facilitating the transfer of the Swedish best practice model for physical activity on prescription.

European Heart Network – fighting heart disease and stroke

One of the main objectives of this project is to prevent avoidable cardio vascular diseases, and it strongly focuses on promoting cost-effective promotion and prevention measures in line, in particular, with the EU strategy on diet and nutrition.

STOP - Science and Technology in childhood Obesity Policy

This Horizon 2020-funded project to tackle childhood obesity aims at expanding and consolidating the multi-disciplinary evidence base upon which effective and sustainable policies can be built to prevent and manage childhood obesity.

The European Association for the Study of Obesity – Spotlight Project

SPOTLIGHT is a cross-European research project and stands for sustainable prevention of obesity through integrated strategies. It is funded by the European Commission through its seventh Framework programme.

YOUNG50 #Stay Healthy – Cardiovascular Risk Prevention

YOUNG50 project will transfer the Italian best practice CARDIO 50 project to 50 year olds in Lithuania, Romania and Luxembourg.

Other interesting links