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Current developments on health promotion and public health in Europe. Walter Baer European Commission Health and Consumers DG 5. Steirische Gesundheitskonferenz Graz – 22 June 2010. Overview. 1. Role of Community on health 2. Current and future health challenges

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current developments on health promotion and public health in europe

Current developments on health promotion and public health in Europe

Walter Baer

European Commission

Health and Consumers DG

5. Steirische Gesundheitskonferenz

Graz – 22 June 2010

  • 1. Role of Community on health
  • 2. Current and future health challenges
  • 3. EU Health strategyand Health Programme
  • 4. Activities in the field of health determinants
  • 5. Children and Young People
evolution of health action

Evolution of health action

specific public health role created in 1992 by the Maastricht Treaty – and still developing

but health has always been an important part of Community policies

the public health article
The public health article
  • Support to Member States through networks and projects
  • Policy actions
  • Legislation to set European standards

Blood pressure



High Body Mass Index

Fruit and vegetable intake

Physical inactivity


Urban air pollution

Lead exposure

Occupational carcinogens

Illicit drugs

Unsafe sex

Occupational particulates

Occupational risk factors for injury

future challenges current strategies
Future Challenges - Current Strategies

Health investments in the Structural Funds

Health information and Health Portal

European Centre of

Disease prevention

Organe Donation

Interactions with WHO

Pharmaceutical Forum

White paper on Nutrition

Communication on Alcohol

Tobacco control strategy

Health services Initiative

preventable deaths and illness
Preventable deaths and illness
  • 35,000 young people aged 15-24 years die each year (EU15)
  • Accidents commonest cause of death (65%), followed by suicide
  • 15 to 20% mental disorder
overweight and obesity in the eu scene setter
Overweight and Obesity in the EU: Scene setter
  • Obesity levels in the EU have risen by between 10-40% over the past decade.
  • Range of obesity prevalence in EU countries is from 10% to 27% in men and up to 38% in women.
  • Number of EU children affected by overweight (BMI >25) is estimated to be rising by more than 1,300,000 a year, of these 300,000 are becoming obese
  • Across the entire EU25, overweight affects almost 1 in 4 children
  • By 2010 estimated that 26 million children will be overweight and 6.4 million will be obese
  • Obesity accounts for up to 7% of health care costs.
  • In the EU, 9.6% of disability-adjusted life-years are lost due to poor nutrition, obesity and physical inactivity (compared with 9% due to smoking).
white paper on a strategy on nutrition overweight and obesity related health issues
White Paper on a Strategy on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity related health issues
  • Better informing the consumer, such as through better labelling on food products
  • Making the healthy option available, such as making fruits and vegetables available to schools
  • Encouraging physical activity, such as by encouraging community initiatives or by raising awareness of Community funds to develop the physical environment to encourage walking/cycling and other forms of activity
  • Focus on priority groups and settings, such as children and schools
  • Developing the evidence base to support policy making, such as by carrying out research into behaviour change in relation to food and nutrition
  • Developing monitoring systems, such as by working with the WHO to identify effective local actions
  • Weekly smoking rates: 2% among 11- year-olds, 8% among 13-year-olds, and 24% among 15-year-olds
  • prevalence of weekly smoking among 15-year-old girls higher than that of boys in 18 mainly western European countries, in the others, girls are catching up
  • Eurobarometer among 15 – 24 year olds: 57% have never smoked, 8% used to smoke but have stopped and 35% are smokers.
  • Starting age: 10-12 years, boys ealier than girls
tobacco policy
Tobacco policy
  • Legislation
    • Advertising, Warning messages and pictures
    • Products
    • Link to international work (FCTC)
  • Prevention work: Youth campaigns
    • 2002-2004: ‘Feel free to say no’
    • 2005-2008: ‘HELP’ - 72 Mio €
    • 2009-2011: ‘HELP 2.0’ – 16,84 Mio € for 2009
  • Network tobacco control initiatives
  • Exchange Best Practice and develop European projects
help anti tobacco campaign
Help - anti-tobacco campaign

Focus on:

    • Prevention
    • Cessation
    • Passive smoking


    • Young people aged 15 to 24
    • Young adults aged 25 to 35

Motto: providing help and support by delivering information on

    • health and social problems related to tobacco consumption,
    • tips and advice not to start, help to quit, on passive smoking
    • EU actions on tobacco control and national actions
  • Conducted in partnership with communication experts, tobacco control professionals and Youth representatives.

Help - anti-tobacco campaign

  • Integrated communication campaign in 27 Member States with a comprehensive action scheme including:
      • Media: TV spots on 96 national and Pan-European channels
      • Internet: e-mail coaching, viral marketing (Nicomarket), banners and video placements
      • Help website available in 22 languages
      • A series of national events (CO measurements, Youth Manifesto promotion)
  • After 3 years of the campaign (since March 2005):
      • 172 million Europeans remember seeing the TV campaign
      • 3.9 billion contacts via the media campaign (TV + Online)
      • 60% of young Europeans remember having seen at least one TV film
      • 77% of all Europeans and 83% of the under 25 target like the adverts.
      • 5.2 million visits to the Help website
      • Over 640 events run Europe-wide, and 210,000 CO tests performed
      • Over 104,000 subscribers to the e-mail coaching programme
      • Over 5,000 articles and reports in the media to date
mental health dimensions
Mental Health – dimensions
  • Health: at least 11% of population experience mental disorders. Each year, there are about 90,000 deaths from mental and behavioural disorders and 60,000 from suicide
  • Economic: a loss of 3-4% of the EU‘s GDP. Main factor: productivity losses through absenteeism and reduced work performance.
  • Social: Disadvantaged groups face a greater risk of mental illness. People with mental disorders may face stigma, discrimination and social exclusion.
mental health
Mental health
  • 2005: Helsinki conference – WHO/EU
  • 2005: Green paper consultation – open and structured
  • 2008: European Pact and conference
    • Suicide and depression
    • Young people and education
    • Workplace
    • The elderly
  • 2008:Eurobarometer on Mental Health of Children and Young People
  • 2009: Thematic Conference on the promotion of mental health and well-being of Children and Young People
recommendations for educational settings and learning
Recommendations for Educational Settings and Learning
  • Including social and emotional learning programmes and life skill education at pre-school and school settings
  • Development of national action plans on mental health promotion in educational settings
  • High quality and easily available psycho-social support for pupils, students and teachers
  • Assure cooperation between educational settings, parents and communities
  • Non-formal and informal learning opportunities developed within, around and outside educational settings
  • 25% of men and 10% of women consume too much alcohol
  • 30% of 15 year old girls 37% of 15 year old boys report being drunk twice or more
  • 7,5% of all ill health and early death in EU
  • 195,000 premature deaths per yearin EU
  • 60 acute or chronic diseases caused by excessive alcohol consumption
  • up to 25% of male premature deaths and up to 10% of female premature deaths caused by excessive alcohol consumption
  • 2006: Communication on alcohol-related harm
    • Young people and children
    • Road traffic and drink driving
    • Adults and the workplace
    • Information and awareness raising
    • Evidence base
    • Work across policies and with Member States
  • 2007: Alcohol and Health Forum
  • 2009: 1ST Progress Report on the implementation of the EU alcohol strategy
the way forward
The way forward
  • Comprehensive approaches – looking at young personalities
  • Life skills? Resilience? ‘Kinder stark machen’?
  • Partnerships for health across society and locally
  • Work with young people and their organisations
  • Schools are key
projects from the public health programme some examples
Projects from the Public Health Programme – some examples
  • Shape Up – towards a European network for obesity prevention in children
  • CSAP – Child Safety Action Programme
  • ENHPS I & II – European Network of Health Promoting schools
  • EPODE (Together Let's Prevent Childhood Obesity)
  • In Form – Campaign against obesity in children and adolescents
  • Smokefree Class Competition
  • Ten D by Night (Dark, Dance, Disco, Dose, Drugs, Drive, Danger, Damage, Disability, Death)
  • SWEET Project – Better control in paediatric and adolescent diabetes in the EU
Involve young people more closely in EU health policies

Strengthen youth partnership in the decision making process

Involve other sectors across EU policy areas and at national level on the implementation of prevention programs targeted at young people

Support Member States' activities on the health of young people

The Youth health initiative: aims

the youth health initiative
The Youth health initiative

A roadmap on Youth health:

4 priorities on

Empowerment and participation

Inequalities and vulnerability

Communicating health

Mainstreaming these principles across EU health policy

the youth health initiative1
The Youth health initiative

Empowerment and participation (e.g.):

Development of a strategy to improve young people's sexual health

Involvement of young people and a youth event during the 5th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health

Organisation of a Youth-health specific event in Torino, European Youth Capital 2010

Communicating health (e.g.)

Establishment of a Clearing House of activities and projects on alcohol and youth health

Workshop on tobacco control and information with the medical student working group established within the HELP 2.0 campaign

the youth health initiative2
The Youth health initiative

Inequalities and vulnerability (e.g.):

The European Conference on Injury prevention and safety promotion

Workshop, in cooperation with the European Youth Forum, on how to reach and engage unorganised Youth and to raise their awareness on health issues

Workshop on drugs and young people

Tools (e.g.)

Further development of actions on social networks (already in Facebook (

Development of an electronic network on youth health

Further development of the Youth Health website

further information
Further Information

Public Health Portal

SANCO Web Site