The WHO calls for prevention programs from Austria until 2020.
Vienna "Morbid obesity is a time bomb in the field of health, health and health," said at a press conference Johannes Steinhart, president of the Federal Curia of Licensed Doctors and vice-president of the Austrian Medical Association. This should now be resolutely neutralized by the action plan against obesity. In collaboration with nutritionists at MedUni Vienna, a set of strategic measures and health policy proposals has been developed. "Our goal is to accelerate its policy implementation to curb the spread of obesity," Steinart said.
Every third child is obese
Background: In its "European Action Plan for Food and Nutrition" (2015-2020), the World Health Organization (WHO) also calls on the Austrian Government to adopt By 2020 appropriate concepts against obesity. "In practical terms, through appropriate preventive measures by 2025, among other things, the magnitude of overweight among children should not increase and it would be necessary to achieve a reduction in premature mortality due to morbid overweight, "said Steinhart. In addition, health systems should be developed to promote healthy nutrition.
Cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and respiratory diseases are already responsible for 77% of the burden of the disease and 86% of premature mortality in Europe. "The main risk factors include overweight and overconsumption of high-calorie foods, saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, sugar and salt, as well as under-consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, "said Univ. Prof. Kurt Widhalm, pediatrician and president of the Austrian University Institute of Nutritional Medicine. In European countries, according to WHO, one in three children aged six to nine is obese. "This number is expected to double by 2025".
A study recently published in "Nature" shows that for the first time in the world, body mass index growth has been greater in rural than in urban areas. "The need for consistent preventive measures, which until now tended to focus on the urban area and on an urban lifestyle, must therefore be extended to the whole country," Widhalm said. "In order to meet the requirements of WHO, we recommend a number of immediate measures," said Steinhart. The central element is the founding of a council of experts in medical nutrition in cooperation with the Ministry of Health. A short, light and short-term team of Austrian and international experts with scientific participation from MedUni Vienna should, whatever the interests of the parties and the interests of the industry, respond to WHO's request: Develop concepts to control obesity in children and adolescents evaluate the results.
This advice should also scientifically support other useful measures, such as education and information campaigns. "Many prerequisites for a successful approach have already been created and need to be grouped together and used in a structured way," said ÖÄK Vice President. For example: last year, the Medical Association developed a health passport for young people on the model of the mother-child passport, covering the period from seventh / eighth to sixteenth / seventeenth. And lifestyle and nutrition issues play a central role. Steinhart: "This project is in front of the Ministry of Health, it is now the health policy to pick it up and implement it"
Message to the new caisse
In Steinhart's opinion, the funding of the necessary measures could easily be achieved through the tax on alcohol and tobacco. For prevention, health policy currently spends only 2.1% (2017) of health spending, so much remains to be done. Systematic prevention of adiposity on a broad basis would not only save a lot of suffering, but also huge tracking costs for nutrition-related diseases or risk factors, such as hypertension, cholesterol high, diabetes, stroke and heart attacks. "This is also our very clear message to those responsible for the creation of the Austrian Health Insurance Fund," said Johannes Steinhart: "Prevention and early intervention in case of overweight among Children and teens is a great example of significant investments in health and prevention of secondary diseases. "
"Many prerequisites for a successful approach have already been created."