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Healthy diet for a healthy life

Faced with the increase in obesity in the European Union (EU) and in conditions related to obesity, the European Commission invites Member States to take common measures to tackle this phenomenon.


Commission Recommendation No 2010/250/EU of 28 April 2010 on the research joint programming initiative “A healthy diet for a healthy life”.


Through this Recommendation, the European Commission invites Member States to develop and implement a common strategy for the prevention of diet-related diseases.

What are the risks related to poor diet?

Overweight and obesity may lead to conditions such as:

  • cardiovascular disease;
  • hypertension;
  • type 2 diabetes;
  • strokes;
  • certain cancers;
  • musculo-skeletal disorders;
  • certain mental health conditions.

However, these risks could be reduced if individuals were to adopt healthy behaviour, particularly in terms of diet. If lifestyle risk factors were eliminated, around 80 % of cases of heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes, and 40 % of cancers, could be avoided.

Which measures are Member States invited to put in place?

In order for research in the area of diet-related diseases to be more effective, the Commission invites Member States to develop and implement a strategic research agenda based on a common approach to the prevention of diet-related diseases.

The agenda shall contain an implementation plan establishing priorities and timelines and the action, instruments and resources required.

The strategic research agenda and implementation plan shall include the following actions in particular:

  • identifying and exchanging information on relevant national programmes and research activities;
  • identifying areas or research activities that would benefit from coordination or joint calls for proposals or pooling of resources;
  • exchanging information, resources, best practices, methods and guidelines, while establishing clinical studies;
  • exporting and disseminating knowledge, innovation and interdisciplinary approaches;
  • creating a network between existing specialised centres.

Member States shall set up a common management structure to establish common conditions, rules and procedures for cooperation and coordination. They shall also monitor implementation of the strategic research agenda.


Overweight and obesity have increased greatly among European Union citizens over the past three decades. This trend is becoming more pronounced with time. The Competitiveness Council which met on 3 December 2009 recognised the need to launch a joint programming initiative to be led by Member States and facilitated by the Commission.

Last updated: 22.06.2010
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