Childhood obesity increases in the European Union (EU) at a rate of 400,000 new cases a year. In the whole of the EU population, 204 million people are overweight and 61.4 million can be considered obese. Obesity accounts for up to 7% of health spending twenty-five.
These data were released yesterday by the Commissioner of Health and Consumer Protection, Markos Kyprianou, who participated in a conference with representatives of the food industry, beverage, consumer and health experts from the EU and U.S. to exchange best practices on how to combat obesity.
"The initiatives aimed at combating obesity among young people have to be taken from all levels and taking into account all the stakeholders: schools, families, society, public authorities and health and food industries and beverages, "said Kyprianou.
In his view, education and information are the two keys to beating the "epidemic of obesity." Consumers "need to receive the necessary information, accurate and not misleading food that they consume, by labeling easier to understand and do not cheat," he said.
In this sense, Kyprianou said the EU legislative framework that currently regulates the labeling of food products approved 16 years ago, so it is "obsolete" and "ineffective" when it comes to inform and educate consumers. He reminded that the European Commission launched a consultation through a Green Paper to modernize it.