What next for European action on childhood obesity?

Scope and objectives

On Thursday, 23 March 2023, the EESC NAT Section is organising a public hearing on "What next for European action on childhood obesity?" which will feed into the exploratory opinion requested by the upcoming Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

This event will bring together key representatives from several European institutions, organisations and academia on the effectiveness of current strategies and the possible actions and contributions that various stakeholders could provide to address the childhood obesity epidemic.

No registration is required. The event will be webstreamed on the EESC's dedicated webpage and interpreted into EN; FR; ES. Save the date in your agenda and watch it live! Viewers will have the opportunity to engage in the debate using Slido, with the code #EndingObesity.


The World Health Organization (WHO) defines childhood obesity as one of the most severe public health challenges of the 21st century. According to the European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI round 5), 29% of children aged 7–9 years were found to be living overweight. The prevalence of obesity in Europe was 14% in boys and 10% in girls. This trend is alarming because obesity tends to track into adulthood, where it drives non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including early diabetes, several cancers, and cardiovascular disorders, which are by far the largest cause of death and disease burden in Europe.

Obesity is described as a chronic relapsing disease by the European Commission. European policy framework provides several entry points for action on childhood obesity, ranging from the Farm to Fork Strategy to the European Child Guarantee and Europe's Beating Cancer Plan, which commits to evaluating the EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity (2014-2020) and introducing follow-up actions. 

The European Commission has an important role in supporting, aligning, and guiding the activities of EU countries in implementing obesity policies. Addressing childhood obesity is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 3, to guarantee a healthy life, promote everyone's well-being at all ages, and improve the health status of all Europeans in the future

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