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Europe’s food industry remains committed to promoting healthy choices on World Health Day

Date

10 Apr 2012

Sections

Agriculture & Food

(Brussels, 7 April 2012) On the occasion of World Food Day, Europe’s food and drink manufacturers reaffirm their commitment to improving healthy eating choices for consumers. With this year’s World Health Day focussing in particular on active and healthy ageing, the food industry continues to work to provide Europe’s older citizens, with the nutrition they need to promote healthy life years.

Europe faces a rising tide of non-communicable diseases, many of which may be prevented through adequate nutrition, combined with healthy lifestyles. This is a particularly important issue given Europe’s ageing population and since nutrition is vital for both active and healthy ageing. With this in mind, FoodDrinkEurope takes part in several initiatives such as the EU-funded Nu-Age research project which works on new dietary strategies addressing the specific needs of the elderly population to respond to healthy ageing in Europe as well as the more established EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health.

In addition, within the framework of the recently launched European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, the industry strongly supports the European Commission’s view that promoting healthy lifestyles may foster the development of healthy ageing and reduce the incidence of frailty and the number of years of dependency. A key example of this is the Partnership’s focus on fighting malnutrition, which producers have taken steps to combat.

Equally, actively working on a voluntary basis through fora such as the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, food and drink producers have innovated and reformulated many of their leading products to significantly reduce salt, whilst continuing to respond to consumers’ tastes, and ensuring the highest standards of food safety and stability.

Marta Baffigo, Chair of the FoodDrinkEurope Diet Task Force, explains: “Food and drink manufacturers continue to make significant advances in delivering healthier products and encouraging better eating habits. This year’s World Health Day is a chance for us to reiterate our commitment to seniors in particular in terms of healthy eating options.”

Preliminary results of FoodDrinkEurope Independent Monitoring Surveys (1)  proved to be very encouraging, with 43% of those companies surveyed (both direct and indirect members of FoodDrinkEurope) and 83% of FoodDrinkEurope core companies having innovated the nutrient composition of their foodstuffs over a 4-year period.

Furthermore, the industry continues to make progress in terms of offering a greater choice of portion sizes, giving consumers more control over their own nutritional intake. Manufacturers have also worked with the European institutions on implementing new labelling rules and have made significant steps in terms of responsible marketing.

We remain committed to working with all relevant stakeholders to give consumers a greater choice of products and the information and tools to make informed choices. Our continued participation in the European Innovation Partnership and other similar initiatives demonstrates our commitment to healthy nutrition for Europe’s older citizens.

 (1) Study carried out by APCO Insight and covering industry actions over 4 years between 2004 -2007 and subsequently, during 2008.

– ENDS-



For further information:

Lisa McCooey, Deputy Director General/ Director of Communications

Tel.: +32 2 514 11 11, Mob.: +32 476 911 300

l.mccooey@fooddrinkeurope.eu

 

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