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Members European Parliament call to include nutrition and nutritional care in all EU health programmes


30 Sep 2020


Health & Consumers


Brussels/Amsterdam/Madrid, 1 October 2020. Today, at the EU4Nutrition LIVE event, Members of European Parliament (MEPs) Mr Marc Tarabella, Mr Aldo Patriciello, Ms Sara Cerdas and renowned European experts called upon the European Commission and EU Member States to include nutrition and nutritional care in all EU health programmes and recommendations for national health policies.

Marc Tarabella (S&D, Belgium) stated: 'In COVID and cancer, nutritional care is key in disease prevention as well as treatment. The ambitions on beating cancer and the current COVID pandemic require the EU to play a stronger role in healthcare'.

MEP's and experts strongly support a full fledged and well funded EU4Health programme as recently proposed by EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. However, the desired health benefits and patient outcomes can only be achieved by including nutrition and nutritional care.

EU4Health, the Farm to Fork strategy and the Europe’s Beating Cancer plan provide ample opportunities hereto. Adoption by the EU Member States in their national health policies is key to create local impact and improve daily health care practice.

Chair of the event Olle Ljungqvist: 'If you are serious about health, you should be serious about nutrition'[1]

Matthias Schuppe, Team Leader Cancer Task Force at DG Santé: 'To beat cancer we need a holistic, citizen and patient centred approach addressing the whole disease pathway in an integrated way including prevention, screening, treatment and follow up care’.

MEP Aldo Patriciello (EPP, Italy), Co-Chair of the EP Challenge Cancer Intergroup stated: 'Extensive scientific evidence shows that nutrition is one of the decisive elements for the prevention and good treatment of oncological diseases.'

With the Europe’s Beating Cancer plan and COVID-19 as examples, speakers recommended EU and national policy makers to

  • secure nutrition information, education and access for citizens/patients
  • foster shared decision making by well informed patients and professionals
  • promote multidisciplinary collaboration and sharing good nutrition practices across Europe
  • include nutritional care education in curricula of health professionals.
  • increase European collaboration towards prevention, research and treatment of disease.

The EU4Nutrition LIVE event, organised by the European Nutrition for Health Alliance (ENHA), attracted hundreds of international patient representatives, health care professionals and decision-makers. It featured speakers from European patient organisations (EPF, ECPC) and Europe’s leading professional societies in clinical nutrition (ESPEN), geriatrics (EuGMS) and dietetics (EFAD).

Watch the event on-demand

The European Nutrition for Health Alliance (ENHA) is the leading multi-stakeholder nutritional care community. Through its Optimal Nutritional Care for All campaign, it drives implementation of prevention, nutritional screening and follow up care in 19 European countries.


[1] Olle Ljungqvist, Professor of Surgery, Nutrition & Metabolism, Örebro University, Sweden and Frank de Man, Executive director, European Nutrition for Health Alliance