BRUSSELS—European Union states have agreed to an action plan to tackle childhood obesity through 2020. The action plan includes initiatives, such as reformulation of processed foods to contain lower levels of fat, sugar and salt; restricting marketing to children; and “making the healthier choice the easier choice" through taxation and/or subsidies.
In relation to marketing restrictions, it is recommended that limits to marketing should be extended beyond television and should include in-store environments, promotional actions, internet and social media activities. The plan comes as childhood obesity rises in Europe, with 1 in 3 children aged 6 to 9 years being overweight or obese. Member states estimate that 7% of healthcare budgets is spent on treating weight-related health problems.