A healthy mind in a healthy body - How to promote a healthy environment in schools?
Healthy, active lifestyles and good dietary habits start in childhood. Schools have an important role to play in influencing young people and guiding them to adopt behaviours that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
The EU Action Plan on childhood obesity identifies schools and pre-schools as key settings to promote healthier environments, while more recently the Tartu Call emphasises the importance of promoting healthy lifestyles among children and young people and supporting schools in creating and developing partnerships. The WHO too defines a health-promoting school as “one that constantly strengthens its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning and working”.
Scientific evidence shows that regular physical activity boosts health and wellbeing. Studies also demonstrate that portion control and reformulation can make a difference alongside education and better awareness of healthy habits.
EURACTIV organised this Workshop to explore the subject further and discuss tangible actions to support schools and communities in realising a healthy school environment for all young people across the EU. Questions included:
- How can we work together to make healthier school environments a reality?
- How do we ensure that the healthy option is the easy option?
- What role for governments, communities and the food and drink industry in supporting schools to achieve their goal?
- What are the best practice actions to get youngsters moving and reduce calories in the diet?
- How can we best monitor progress to make sure we are on the right track?