Bearing in mind that an unhealthy diet while young can have long lasting consequences throughout people’s lives, various Member States have introduced measures to address this such as regulations on products as well as education and awareness raising campaigns. With recent talks of increasing the EU’s competences in the field of health, what should be done, to further ensure children’s right to a healthy life?

Submitted by: Alex Bos (NL), Nele Brom (NL), Marjolein Groot (NL), Timin Mahajan (NL), Bart Nio (NL),  Yağmur Şahin (TR), Max Valkenburcht (NL), Jente Vredenbregt (NL), Maximo van Dijk (NL), Ali-Maeve FitzGerald (Chairperson IE)

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Noting that childhood obesity can have long term effects on physical health with obesity resulting in 8% of premature deaths worldwide annually,
  2. Alarmed by the many psychologically damaging effects obesity can have on children, such as:
    1. the increased likelihood of developing an eating disorder or mental illnesses like depression, body dysmorphia and anxiety,
    2. the increased rates of bullying,
  1. Concerned with the decreasing trend in physical activity seen in recent years in European children,
  2. Emphasising the need for guardians to facilitate a healthy and positive environment in the homes of European children, 
  3. Applauding the success of the EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity 2014-2020 in decreasing childhood obesity rates across the EU,
  4. Acknowledging that the restrictions on advertising unhealthy food to youth outlined in the EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity 2014-2020 were not as successful as initially envisioned, 
  5. Deeply alarmed by the growing influence fast-food chains have on the health and diet of young people,
  6. Noting with concern the positive correlation found between obesity rates and lower socioeconomic status,
  7. Gravely concerned by the inaccessibility of healthy foods to families of a lower socioeconomic background due to price differences between nutritious and unhealthy foods,
  8. Aware of the differences in educational policy regarding a healthy and nutritious lifestyle across the EU,
  9. Recognising the lack of awareness about existing EU programs to tackle childhood obesity in schools, 
  10. Conscious of the negative effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on childhood obesity, caused by:
    1. a decrease in physical activity due to legal lockdown restrictions across Member States,
    2. the closure of schools and educational facilities and in turn educational health programmes;

Changing School Environments

  1. Invites Member States to promote physical activity across all educational institutions by:
    1. incorporating a greater variety in the physical education curricula in primary and secondary schools,
    2. encouraging participation in schools’ sports clubs funded by the Erasmus+ Sports Programme;
  1. Calls upon the European Commission to subsidies healthy school meals by increasing funding to the European Healthy School Lunches Initiative;
  2. Urges Member States to promote a positive relationship with children and healthy eating in schools by: 
    1. organising gardening and agricultural awareness classes and excursions,
    2. teaching healthy cooking classes to students from the age of eight,
    3. providing counselling services to children suffering from bullying and mental health issues caused by obesity,
    4. educating parents on the benefits of healthy eating through educational evenings;
  1. Recommends the European Institute for Innovation and Technology in Health to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practices in tackling childhood obesity between Member States;
  2. Directs the European Commission to propose an improved Action Plan on Childhood Obesity 2021-2026 incorporating the most successful elements of its predecessor; 

Supporting Families to Adopt Healthier Habits

  1. Encourages Member States to implement a ‘sugar tax’1 on foods containing added sugar;
  2. Requests the European Commission to increase funding to the European Food Banks Association to provide healthy and fresh foods to families with a lower socioeconomic status;
  3. Urges the European Commission to propose legislation to restrict the targeted advertising of unhealthy foods to children between the hours of 6AM and 11PM through television and social media advertisements; 
  4. Requests Member States include mandatory nutritional information such as calorie counts on all fast food menus;
  5. Supports Member States in the promotion of healthy eating in supermarkets by:
    1. including healthy and affordable recipes in supermarket flyers and magazines,
    2. reducing food waste by selling food discarded for not reaching suppliers’ appearance standards at a lower cost;
  6. Authorises the European Commission to fund innovative technological projects aiming to promote physical activity through the Horizon Europe Fund and mobile apps or other streaming services.


  1. Sugar Tax : a tax imposed upon foods and beverages containing added sugars to increase their retail price.