Food and Health Inequalities in European Union

Aileen Robertson

    Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review


    Food and Inequalities in European Union
    Dr. Aileen Robertson, Public Health Nutritionist at the Metropolitan University College, Copenhagen.
    Dr. Robertson focused on food and inequality in light of the increased prevalence of overweight and obesity in Europe. On average over 50% of Europeans are overweight and 20% are obese. However average percentages hide the exponential rise in overweight and obesity among lower socio-economic groups, where levels can be more than 5 times greater than those in the higher income populations. This results in increasing health inequalities, especially in women, leading to inequalities being transferred from generation to generation. Therefore “we can’t just tax “junk” food, high in fats, sugars and salt. Taxes alone just make products more expensive, whereas taxation in combination with removal of VAT e.g. on vegetables, fruits and fish will support healthier diets being less expensive”. Dr. Robertson identified five areas to be addressed: 1) better coordination and coherence between public health, agricultural and environmental communities; 2) local and national governments to play a leading
    role in creating markets for sustainable food, including through public procurement; 3) more democratic sustainable food systems with fairer prices to producers; 4) realise that food and nutrition policies are at the heart of achieving all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the COP21climate goals; 5) a ‘Health in All Policies’ approach applied to CAP reform to reduce the amount of cheap energy from sugars and saturated fats available in the European diet. Also, Europe-wide legislation is needed both to restrict the marketing of unhealthy foods to children and to label the “country of origin” of sustainable products.


    • Sundhed, ernæring og livskvalitet