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EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity 2014 - 2020


European Union (EU)

Subject Keywords: Childhood obesity
Topic: Obesity
Type: Policy
Region: Europe

Despite action at the European level to reverse the rising trend in overweight and obesity, the proportion of the population who are overweight or obese remains worryingly high for adults and for children and young people.

The implications of overweight and obesity in the Europe are stark: the prevalence of obesity has more than tripled in many European countries since the 1980s and with this rise comes a concomitant increase in rates of associated non-communicable disease.

At present, it is estimated that around7% of national health budgets across the EU are spent on diseases linked to obesity each year. Substantial indirect costs are also incurred from lost productivity arising from work absences due to health problems and premature death. Recent estimates show that around 2.8 million deaths per year in the EU result from causes associated with overweight and obesity.

The overarching goal of the Action Plan on Childhood Obesity is to contribute to halting the rise in overweight and obesity in children and young people (0-18 years) by 2020.

To achieve this goal, the active participation of a wide range of stakeholders is necessary. The Action Plan specifies a set of operational objectives that have been designed to guide the actions of stakeholders across eight priority areas.

The actions were proposed by a number of Member States and provide a basis for countries to develop policy on tackling childhood obesity. This list is not exhaustive and aims to be flexible in order to allow for different country policies that may require different approaches, structures or specific priorities. Some countries might have systems in place (e.g. regulation) which allow them to vary upon the actions suggested below. These actions are voluntary and should be taken forward by each of the Member States according to their own circumstances and reported accordingly.



Rights: © European Union
Suggested citation:

European Union (EU). (2014) EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity 2014 - 2020 [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 25th February 2020].


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