WHO European Action Plan for Food and Nutrition Policy 2007–2012






Although almost all Member States in the European Region have government-approved policies on nutrition and food safety, the burden of disease associated with poor nutrition continues to grow in the European Region, particularly as a result of the obesity epidemic, while foodborne diseases still represent a challenge for European health systems.

Policy developments over the past few years indicate how to strategically adapt and renew the First Action Plan for Food and Nutrition Policy. This Second Action Plan establishes health, nutrition, food safety and food security goals and provides a coherent set of integrated actions, spanning different government sectors and involving public and private actors, for Member States to consider in their own national policies and health system governance and for international organizations to consider at the regional and global levels.

Proposed actions include improving nutrition and food safety in early life, ensuring a safe, healthy and sustainable food supply, providing comprehensive information and education to consumers, integrating actions to address related determinants (such as physical activity, alcohol, water, environment), strengthening nutrition and food safety in the health sector, and monitoring and evaluating progress and outcomes.

WHO/Europe commits to support the implementation of the Second Action Plan by raising awareness and promoting political commitment to address food- and nutrition-related health and health system challenges in Member States, and at the European and global levels; providing technical support for food and nutrition policy development, policy analysis and capacity building to Member States in the context of their specific health systems; monitoring the public health nutrition and food safety situation, assessing trends and reporting on implementation; and establishing synergies and integrating action within health systems governance on related public health services and strategies (such as physical activity promotion, alcohol consumption, noncommunicable and communicable disease prevention, and water safety).

In September 2007, the WHO Regional Committee for Europe approved resolution EUR/RC57/R4, which endorses the Action Plan and calls on Member States to develop and implement food and nutrition policies.