A state of emergency has been recently put on European Union agenda. In next ten years, European countries will be "on diet". The EU countries have to manage an alarming situation: high rate of obesity and overweight. It seems that all America's weight-loss problems along with diets and any kind of dieting pills crossed Ocean. European countries borrowed bad habits from Americans
Along with foods, Americans have brought whole picture to "Old continent": fad diets and related-weigh loss problems, dieting pills and dietary supplements. According to International Obesity Task Force, prevalence of obesity has grown by up by 10 to 40 percent in most European countries from 1993 to 2003. It is an alarming statement. 30% of people living in European Union are overweight and more than one in ten is now obese, according to EASO. Not surprisingly, a war against obesity has started recently. European officials are worried specifically about childhood obesity since children with "weight problems" are three to five times more likely to suffer a heart attack or even stroke before age of 65. Although this problem is not as urgent as American issue, forecasts are ruthless. The battle against obesity
When overweight and obesity are on agenda,
* fast food and modern unhealthy eating habits (too many sweets and refined foods) * a sedentary lifestyle
are often quoted. Officials of European Union are worried because obesity brings along related problems such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Unfortunately,70.000 cases are added each year, while heart disorders are already leading cause of death in European Union: half of all deaths are caused by heart disease.
Since issue became so urgent, EU was prompted to apply a "fight-plan" against obesity for next ten years. Experts have decided in recent European Congress of Obesity that new fight-front should proceed on four major ways:
1. governments 2. NGOs 3. food industry 4. consumers themselves.
Additionally, two pathways can be involved in this effort:
* television * computer industry.
They are to induce and educate nationwide a well-balanced eating regimen and promote physical activity and regular exercise (schools included). A direct and sharp link to new way of eating (fast food, biscuits, high carbohydrate foods, fatty products) hasn't been established precisely. It is argued though that giving up old healthy habits proved a significant overweight factor. Thus, obesity has been declared "public enemy number one" in European Union. Portugal case study