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European Public Health Alliance


European Public Health Alliance. Health and ... has increased by 10-40 % in Europe in the last decade, in the UK ... Fireworks a case study of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: European Public Health Alliance

European Public Health Alliance
  • Health and the internal market
  • Presentation by Tamsin Rose, General Secretary, 8
    September 2004
  • A network of 102 non governmental and
    not-for-profit organisations across Europe
    working on health and health-related issues. Our
    mission is to improve the health of European
    citizens and to increase their participation in
    EU policy-making

Structure of the presentation
  • - Health status in Europe
  • - Risk factors and health trends
  • - Lifestyle factors and disease trends
  • - EU role as a regulator
  • - Some questions to debate

The good news
  • Major improvement in health over 150 years. A
    doubling of life expectancy achieved by
  • Hygiene (water, air, food)
  • Legislation, eg on safety seatbelts and helmets,
    control of pollutants
  • Prevention vaccination and screening
  • Information and education
  • Improved healthcare technology and treatments

The bad news
  • Much of current ill health and early death is
  • Extensive health inequalities
  • New health threats (HIV, SARS, drug resistant TB)
  • Demographic changes
  • Rising healthcare costs

Is modern life killing us?
  • Majority of deaths are lifestyle related
  • Cardiovascular disease improve diet, increase
    physical exercise, stop smoking, reduce alcohol
    consumption, reduce stress
  • Cancer as above but also tackle environmental
    pollutants (air, water, soil contamination,
  • Tobacco, alcohol, food, chemicals and consumer
    products are all goods regulated by the EU
    internal market

Consumer products safe?
  • Pesticide residue in fruit and vegetables
  • Pthalates in childrens toys
  • Flame-retardants in household furniture
  • Chemicals in hair dyes, cosmetics and tattoo inks
  • Anti-bacterial and microbicides in mattresses

What causes death and ill health?
Future expectations of health
Obesity a clear example of manufactured risk
  • Obesity has increased by 10-40 in Europe in the
    last decade, in the UK it has doubled
  • 75 of salt in our diet comes from processed
  • Soft drinks are the leading source of added
    sugars in the US diet. Increase in diabetes and
    obesity has coincided with a 61 leap in
    consumption by adults and a doubling of
    consumption by children between the late 70s and
    mid 90s. Uk evidence kids drink an average of 4.7
    litres of soft drink per week, of which only 10
    are fruit juice or water.
  • Most alco-pops contain as many calories as sugary
    soft drinks, link between binge drinking and
  • Fat per 100g is a lot cheaper than other sources
    of energy

The context of food consumption
  • 800 to 1 ratio For every 1 pound spent on
    health education on promoting healthy diets, 800
    is spent by the food industry 95 of which are
    for products that encourage weight gain
    (confectionary, snacks, fast food.)
  • Fruit industry spends only 2 on advertisements
    of the amount spent by snack industry
  • Food advertisements were shown more frequently
    during children's programmes (45-58 of all
    advertisements) than during adult programming
  • The overwhelming majority of the foods advertised
    during both adult (86) and children's (95-99)
    programmes were high in fat, sugar and/or salt.

Fireworks a case study of regulating harmful
  • Minimum safety requirements for products
  • Limit availability (points of sale)
  • Limit accessibility (age limits)
  • Limit visibility (bans on advertising)
  • Warnings (on packets)
  • Restrictions on use (timing, space)
  • Public education campaigns
  • Enforcement and policing
  • Can we use this logic for tobacco, alcohol,
    unhealthy foods?

Sharing responsibilities
  • The individual's challenge to live a healthy
    life, in the face of a rising gradient of
    societal pressure to live unhealthily.
  • While ultimately individuals must meet this
    challenge themselves, government can play a role
    both by providing individuals with support as
    they climb, and by lowering the gradient against
    which they are climbing.

Some points to debate
  • Health as a human right but also as a duty to
  • What are we prepared to pay for quality
    healthcare systems
  • Is poor health an acceptable price to pay for
    consumer choice
  • How should corporate profits on unhealthy
    products be balanced with health costs