EU-Health Award rewards initiatives that help young people get a healthy start in life
European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis will present the EU Health Award on 17 October 2019 during the annual meeting of the Health Policy Platform in Brussels. This year’s award is in recognition of initiatives that help children and young people get off to a healthy start in life by maintaining a healthy bodyweight by eating nutritious foods and being more physically active.
Why was fighting obesity and overweight in young people picked as this year’s theme?
Despite action at European level to reverse the rising trends, the proportion of the population who are overweight or obese remains worryingly high both for adults and for children and young people. Especially alarming is the fact that physical activity tends to drop between the ages of 11 to 15 in most European countries. Problems related to overweight, obesity and physical inactivity tend to start in childhood and often disproportionately affect disadvantaged socio-economic groups.
Ambitious action is urgently needed to reduce not only human suffering, but also to decrease the high economic burden of obesity, strengthen national health and social systems, and promote the productivity and growth of the economy, including a healthy future workforce.
Why was EU Health Award eligibility extended to cities and schools as well as NGOs this year?
To prevent and reduce obesity in children and young adults in the European Union, we have to collaborate at different levels. The role of cities, NGOs and schools is to bring policy makers and citizens together, and they play a fundamental role in educating children about the dangers of unhealthy food and sedentary lifestyles, and advocating prevention as the best policy.
It is here where cities, NGOs and schools are called to act and interact with other actors in the children’s environment to stop this worrying trend.
Therefore, the 2019 EU Health Award puts in the spotlight the initiatives of the cities, NGOs and schools that have contributed to high standards of public health in the European Union through the prevention and reduction of obesity in children and young adults. The Jury has the challenging task of selecting only three winning initiatives, but I would like to stress that it is not winning that matters - what matters is that we all work together to address obesity.
Naturally, we wish our children happiness, health and success, but as adults, we have to do more than wish these things for them, we must make the right choices for them to prevent their being overweight or obese. They deserve our strong commitment and decisive action. Let us break the vicious cycle of childhood obesity, together and now.
Activities at EU level
European Commission – Health and Food Safety
Commissioner Andriukaitis will preside at the award ceremony on 17 October 2019 in Brussels. The platform’s annual meeting will follow, with an interactive roundtable discussion open to all, including online viewers, and the presentation of the 2019 and 2020 Joint Statements.
The EU Health Policy Platform hosts at least three Thematic Networks each years, led by health stakeholders and chosen by Health Policy Platform users. These temporary networks produce Joint Statements in a policy area of common interest. The vote closes on 6 November, 2019.
The cycle is coming to an end and the final Joint Statements will be presented in the EU Health Policy Platform Annual Meeting on 17 October 2019. You still have time to watch all the webinars from the Thematic networks 2019 and endorse their Joint Statements!
Since it was set up in 2016, the Platform has grown to more than 5,700 registered users from nearly 70 different focus areas. Join these health stakeholders, NGOs, researchers, patient organisations and others by registering to network and exchange ideas with them!
The European Commission selected three shortlisted initiatives per category of the 2019 EU Health Award for cities, NGOs and schools seeking to prevent and reduce obesity in children and young people (6-18 years old). The winners will be announced on 17 October 2019.
The EU Health Award was launched in 2015, when the topic was Ebola. Since then, it has focused on Antimicrobial Resistance, vaccination, the prevention of tobacco use and obesity and overweight in youth. Selected initiatives continue to serve a reference in these fields.
The Action Plan sets out priority areas for action and suggest possible measures. It also proposes ways of collectively keeping track of progress.
Many young people in the EU are not eating the right kind of food to support their growth and good health. The 2019 EU Health Award and this plan to distribute fruit, vegetables and milk to schoolchildren both aim to help get them on the right track and to reduce obesity.
Would you like the EU Health Policy Platform team to help you organise a webinar on the Platform? Contact email@example.com with your proposal!
Other interesting links
Just as the EU Health Award promotes exemplary initiatives in the field of health, the portal provides a ‘one-stop shop’ for good and best practices selected by the Steering Group on Prevention and Promotion. Practices may also be submitted to the portal for assessment.