Thursday, 04 March 2021 16:08

PEN EU Food-EPI report

How can EU-level policies be improved to create healthier food environments in the EU?

Overweight, obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases are major public health challenges in the European Union (EU), caused by changes in dietary and physical activity patterns. Current food environments (e.g. easy availability of energy-dense, fat- and sugar-rich, and ultra-processed foods) are an important factor contributing to this public health problem. Governmental policies have the potential to improve these food environments, making a healthy choice easier.

As part of Work Package 1 Policy mapping and EPI development, PEN researchers examined EU-level policies influencing food environments. The researchers asked 29 international and independent food- and health experts to assess the strength of EU level policies based on 26 policy indicators, divided into seven categories: food composition, labelling, promotion, prices, provision, retail and trade and investment. The experts also looked at 24 indicators covering infrastructure support domains, divided into six categories: leadership, governance, monitoring, funding, platforms for interaction, and health-in-all policies. The research applied the Healthy Food Environment Policy Index (Food-EPI), an internationally standardised food policy assessment tool. The EU is missing out on opportunities to support member states to create food environments that make the healthy choice the easy choice. The research calls for 37 specific actions reflecting more ambitious policies which the EU could put forward to support healthy food choices in EU member states.


Find the final EU Food-EPI report, as well as other documents here.



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