Consumer Co-ops Fight Obesity (2016)
The newest compilation of our members' endless efforts to battle obesity in Europe!
Obesity is an undisputed major public health challenge of this century, with a prevalence that continues to rise in Europe. According to Eurostat data, almost one in six adults is considered to be obese, i.e. having a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 30. This does not include all those European citizens that are considered overweight, or pre-obese, i.e. with a BMI between 25 and 30. As such, it is disquieting to note that the obese and overweight segments of the population together represent more than half of the population in the WHO European region. Children are not spared. One out of three 11-year-olds in the European region is overweight or obese. This is particularly alarming when considering that 60% of children that are overweight before puberty become overweight or obese adults.
Overweight and obesity are not self-standing medical issues as there is co-morbidity with many conditions, e.g. psychological problems, physical disabilities, as well as non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer.
Euro Coop represents 19 national associations of consumer co-operatives across Europe, operating as retailers democratically-controlled by consumers, who are also members of the co-op. The overarching goal of consumer co-operatives is to meet the needs and expectations of their consumer-members. As such, co-ops have in-depth knowledge of consumer habits and act in their interest for example, by promoting healthy lifestyles. It is therefore not a surprise that much of consumer co-operatives’ efforts are devoted to addressing the issue of adult and childhood obesity. Euro Coop is a founding member of the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health and as such is committed to tackling current trends in diet and physical activity.
We are excited and proud to showcase our members’ continuous efforts to tackle this important public health issue, and we therefore encourage you to take a look at this 5th Edition of our Obesity Report, which gathers the most significant examples of concrete initiatives undertaken by our members in order to encourage healthy habits among consumers and to prevent and address overweight and obesity. As widely acknowledged, a magic bullet does not exist for combating obesity. Therefore, our members have diversified their initiatives in order to tackle obesity from different angles: product reformulation, food labelling, responsible advertising and marketing, education campaigns, and encouraging physical activity.
We hope that this Report will be of interest to the great variety of stakeholders committed to tackling obesity.
Enjoy your reading!