Malta hosts 10th meeting on the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI)


On 20–21 February 2017, representatives of more than 32 Member States from the WHO European Region, together with experts from WHO collaborating centres, partner institutions and observers, gathered in Sliema, Malta, for the 10th meeting of the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI). The initiative, coordinated by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, has established a Europe-wide standardized system for routinely measuring trends in overweight and obesity in primary school children aged 6–9 years.

At the meeting, participants reflected on 10 years of building a robust surveillance system and shared experience on collecting data on overweight and obesity in children. Eighteen countries presented their preliminary results from the fourth round of COSI data collection – up to 39 countries expect to collect data on a total of more than 300 000 children for this round during 2016/17. The meeting also explored new ways to analyse the data to help deepen understanding of the obesity and overweight epidemic in this age group and discussed how the findings can most effectively be used to inform and promote policy action.