Brussels, 9th November 2006
European Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said: “These commitments are good examples of concrete and verifiable action undertaken by industry to tackle obesity and overweight. The EU Platform is producing results. I would therefore like to congratulate the companies that made these commitments, encourage them to build on their good work, and invite others to do the same – and more. It’s only by working together that we can hope to halt and begin to reverse the growing obesity epidemic in Europe.”
The commitments ‘named and praised’ by Commissioner Kyprianou were presented by the European CEOs of the companies concerned:
Commissioner Kyprianou welcomed the commitments as good examples of the progress of the Platform. He emphasised that a key element of building the credibility of the Platform, and one of the reasons that these commitments were considered good examples, is that their implementation is monitored in a transparent, accountable and participative way.
The Commissioner also set out his thoughts on work in progress in the area of nutrition and healthy diets ahead of the EU-WHO Conference in Istanbul (15-17 November 2006). One core output of the conference is expected to be the adoption of a European Charter on counteracting obesity. The next step for the Commission is a possible Communication on Nutrition and Healthy Diets in 2007.
Obesity in Europe
The rising prevalence of obesity across the EU is a major public health concern. Obesity causes a range of chronic diseases including diabetes, cancers and heart disease. Unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity are a leading cause of avoidable illness and premature death in Europe. Figures prepared for the World Health Organisation (WHO) by the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) show that one in five children in Europe is overweight with an additional 400,000 children becoming overweight each year.
EU Platform for action on diet, physical activity and health
The EU Platform for action on diet, physical activity and health has brought together key players from industry, NGOs, doctors’ associations and consumer groups to enter into binding but voluntary commitments as part of an effort to halt and reverse obesity trends.
Since its launch in 2005 a total of 146 commitments for new actions to fight
obesity have been made and are being implemented by Platform members. They range
from the promotion of healthy lifestyles to the provision of greater nutritional
information and the restriction of advertising to young children.
For more information on EU policy on nutrition and obesity:
For more information on the EU Platform for action on diet, physical activity and health please visit:
For more information on the Istanbul conference on obesity please visit:
 C&C (Ireland); The Coca-Cola Company; Coca-Cola Enterprises; The Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company; Gerber Foods Holdings Ltd; GlaxoSmithKline; Orangina Group (formerly Cadbury Schweppes European Beverages); Pepsi Beverages Europe and Unilever.
 Obesity in Europe – 3 International Obesity TaskForce March 2005