Unhealthy diets are one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. The tip of the iceberg is the dramatically increasing proportion of people suffering from obesity and overweight in Europe. Recognising the importance of diet quality, many campaigns promoting healthy eating and physical activity have been launched in an attempt to reverse the obesity trend, but few have been assessed.
In this context, the strategic objectives of the EU-funded EATWELL research project are:
- To assess the efficacy of past interventions in improving dietary and health outcomes, and identification of promising avenues for the future;
- To assess the acceptability of potential future interventions;
- To provide policy, data collection and monitoring advice in relation to healthy eating and generate best-practice guidelines for implementation.
The nine EATWELL consortium partners, comprised of leading European universities, public health institutes, communication organisations and food industry representatives will share their complementary expertise in consumer behaviour, nutrition, economics, communication and health policy to provide a solid scientific basis to improve policy interventions promoting healthy eating habits in Europe.
Overall the consortium aims to:
- Provide a benchmark for diet and health related policy interventions in Member States, the EU and elsewhere, to have an overview on the past interventions;
- Generate knowledge on the impact of interventions on consumers’ attitudes, knowledge, behaviour, diets and health in the short and long term;
- Develop practical procedures for assessing the cost-effectiveness of policy interventions to determine if the financial investments led to significant health improvements for European citizens;
- Make recommendations on the data that should be collected to enable effective evaluation at the time new interventions are launched;
- Determine lessons the public sector can learn from the experiences of the private sector in the promotion of healthy eating;
- Assess public, private and other stakeholder acceptance of alternative forms of intervention and how these vary by socio-demographics and by nation;
- Develop a best-practice intervention guide for effective planning, achievement and evaluation of future policy interventions at EU and Member State level and their transferability across cultures.
The results generated through EATWELL will be publicly available and will ultimately provide state-of-the-art science on nutritional campaigns launched in the European Community, as well as best practice guidelines for future research, industry and policy-makers.
Click here to listen to the podcast interview with EATWELL’s coordinator, Professor Bruce Traill from Reading University, outline the project’s important research aims and objectives.
Interview with Jessica Aschemann-Witzel from Aarhus University, Denmark about the findings of her work investigating; how can private sector marketing techniques help improve public health? Click here to listen to the podcast.
Interview with Bhavani Shakar, leader of EATWELL’s work on the estimation of diet policy effects. Click here to listen to the podcast.
For more information: www.eatwellproject.eu