Thursday, November 11, 2010

Workshop on diet, nutrition and obesity

Yesterday I co-hosted a European Parliament workshop looking at diet, nutrition and obesity and how the work we do in the European Parliament can impact on this.

We heard from various experts, health and consumer groups about the consequences of poor nutrition, the socio-economic imbalances which result in poor nutrition and ways and mechanisms at our disposal to contribute towards better nutrition and health.

It was a really informative session and while of course there no silver bullet exists, we can ensure the decisions we take help contribute to improved diet and nutrition. Examples include providing clear and useful nutritional information on food and drink, ensuring that any health claims made can be backed up by scientific evidence, reforming the CAP to include promotion of fruit and vegetables and continuing and expanding the EU's fruit and veg scheme for schools.

During the meeting a very good point was made that when it comes to food safety, there is no argument that we should legislate to ensure safety, but when it comes to poor diet and nutrition, which can kill and make ill many more people than unsafe food, there appears to be a reluctance on behalf of many legislators to turn rhetoric into action.

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