Better food and nutrition in Europe – Progress report (2017)

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This report on progress achieved in the WHO European Region and Member States in implementing the European food and nutrition action plan 2015–2020 presents selected epidemiological data on the nutritional status of populations throughout the Region and on implementation of policies recommended in regional and global frameworks to promote healthy nutrition and prevent obesity. The data contained in the report are derived from the responses of Member States to the WHO Global nutrition policy review questionnaire. Implementation of key policies has improved significantly in recent years. Substantial progress has been made in areas such as school food, food product reformulation, fiscal approaches and surveillance of childhood obesity. Areas in which implementation is lagging and which therefore require more attention include front-of-package labelling and comprehensive marketing restrictions. Other areas in which work might be reinvigorated or extended include support for breastfeeding and good complementary feeding practices. The report identifies some differences among countries in the breadth and depth of policies. Reformulation is a good example: some countries have taken a minimal approach and others a more ambitious one. More ambitious approaches in food and nutrition policy might be required in the years to come if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets, agreed upon by governments throughout the European Region.