Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, launched a new Healthy Eating Campaign for European school children. Under the slogan “Eat it, Drink it, Move it” three roadshows will tour seven European countries, giving children a chance to take part in educational activities and games. The European Commission also launched an interactive website, competitions and other events with one key goal in mind – to change children’s eating habits for the better. To help get the message across, Belgian tennis champion Justine Henin and 8 year old Guinness record holder Rosolino Cannio will be lending their support.
"When we look around and see the number of overweight children, it is clear that we must act now," said Mariann Fischer Boel Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development " School Fruit and School Milk are two steps in the right direction, and with the healthy eating campaign we also deliver the message that “it's fun to be fit” right to the school gate."
EU Health Commissioner, Androulla Vassiliou said "The Healthy Eating Campaign complements our efforts to curb childhood obesity in Europe within the framework of the EU strategy on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Health. It is of utmost importance that all EU policies contribute to the efforts that aim at strengthening and supporting healthier environments for all citizens."
The Healthy Eating Campaign will run alongside the EU’s School Fruit Scheme and School Milk Scheme – important initiatives for a more balanced diet and healthier eating habits amongst children.
The Healthy Eating Campaign takes the message: Eat it, Drink it, Move it right into schools. Over the course of eight weeks, the roadshow will travel through Belgium, France, the UK, Ireland, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland. Each roadshow will visit two schools a day. In total the healthy eating activities will reach 18 000 kids in 180 schools. The message to deliver is: Eat well, because it’s fun to be fit.
In parallel with the roadshow, an interactive treasure hunt game will be running over the 8 weeks on the EU's Tasty Bunch web site, where all EU schoolchildren aged 8 to 15 could try to win a number of sports items.
A recent Eurobarometer survey showed three quarters of respondents “totally agreeing” that “there seem to be more overweight children these days than five years ago". Indeed, around 22 million kids are overweight in the EU, of which 5 million are obese.