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Together For Health Strategy 2008- 2013

Following successful lobbying from the European Nutrition Health Alliance this morning the ENVI (Committee on the environment, public health & food safety in European Parliament) voted to include malnutrition as a key priority in the 2008-2013 EU Health Strategy.

All the malnutrition amendments were adopted or absorbed into compromise amendments which will now be taken forward.

ENHA’s work has ensured that the policy document recognises that:

*Whereas increasing rates of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatic diseases, mental illness, overweight and obesity problems, along with malnutrition and inadequate nutrition, and HIV/AIDS, the poor quality of the environment and the re-emergence of certain diseases associated with growing social inequalities, as well as new challenges are increasingly threatening health in the European Union and beyond, thus increasing the need for prevention and formal and informal health and care provision as well as the rehabilitation after sickness,

*Whereas malnutrition, which affects a significant number of EU citizens, including an estimated 40% of patients in hospitals and between 40% and 80% of older people in care homes, costs European health care systems similar amounts to obesity and overweight;

In addition the main body of the policy document:

*Welcomes the intention, in the spirit of health for all, to promote health and disease prevention among all age groups; stresses the need to highlight key health related issues, such as nutrition, obesity, malnutrition, physical activity, consumption of alcohol, drugs and tobacco and environmental risks, including air pollution, both at the workplace and at home, and in compliance with the principle of quality between men and women, while taking into account the role of gender, providing support for healthy ageing and reducing the burden of chronic illnesses;

*Urges the Commission to take a more holistic approach to nutrition and make malnutrition, alongside obesity, a key priority in the field of health, incorporating it wherever possible into EU-funded research, education and health promotion initiatives and EU-level partnerships;

*Believes that action to promote healthy lifestyles in families, schools, hospitals, care homes, workplaces and places of leisure is essential to successful disease prevention;

*Calls on Member States, along with regional and local authorities, to use the cooperation mechanism to improve the exchange of best practice; calls on the Commission to be proactive in producing guidelines and recommendations based on such good practice;

The plenary vote is expected in October 2008.

To view the original White Paper visit http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_overview/Documents/strategy_wp_en.pdf

To view ENHAs suggested amendments please download the PDF below.

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Documents:

Call for urgent action on malnutrition (PDF)

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