Wednesday, July 8, 2009

[EQ] Focusing on obesity through a health equity lens

Focusing on obesity through a health equity lens


A collection of innovative approaches and promising practices by health promotion bodies in Europe to counteract obesity and improve health equity


A new report from EuroHealthNet has underlined the need to consider all social backgrounds when confronting the obesity epidemic in Europe.


This report has been compiled by EuroHealthNet. The work is funded under the Equity Channel special project of EuroHealthNet, which is part of the International Collaboration on Social Determinants of Health, initiated by the Department of Health for England.  July 2009


Available online PDF [198p.] at:


“……………The report, “Focusing on Obesity Through a Health Equity Lens”, has been produced to demonstrate the link between health inequalities and rising rates of obesity, and how existing measures to tackle the condition might be able to take this into account.


The report is being published for the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, which aims to encourage voluntary action by governments, business and NGOs.


The author of the report, Yoline Kuipers, identified over 70 projects, from the international level to local community initiatives, producing results which reveal an over-emphasis on lifestyles and behaviour rather than consideration of the economic and social factors which hinder efforts to reduce obesity.


A focus on health inequalities is vital. If there are too few safe green spaces in some communities, exercise becomes too difficult. If there are too few shops selling affordable nutritional foods, health eating is problematic. If some people have poor reading skills, detailed labels on food packets make little difference.



The report:


- describes innovative approaches and promising practices to reduce obesity by health promoting bodies in Europe at local, regional, national and European level;


- is an identification of work where the initiatives address different socio-economic groups with a specific focus on lower socio-economic communities, and therefore contribute to reducing health inequalities…………”



Table of contents


1. Obesity and Health Inequalities

1.1 Obesity in Europe: The current situation and its long-term vision

1.2 Health inequalities and the Social Determinants of Health

1.3 Health inequalities in relation to obesity

2. Projects at European Level

2.1 (School) Children in Europe

2.2 Overall European population

3. Projects at National Level

4. Projects at Local level

4.1 Nutrition Projects.

4.2 Physical Activity Projects.

4.3 Combined Projects

5. Overview of Responses

6. Conclusions and discussion

7. Index

8. References


To download the report, please visit the EuroHealthNet website at


For further information, please contact Yoline Kuipers,  Project Officer, EuroHealthNet

Email: Tel :  00 32 2 235 03 20 (ext 27)



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