Working on raising awareness, formulation and innovation, nutritional information, and variety of choice are the main considerations that FDE, the association that represents the interests of Europe's food manufacturers, wants all parties and stakeholders to come together for.
The call for action was raised at the European Business Summit, as part of a panel entitled Sustainable Living: Foresights for 2050, and is open to all parties willing to pursue and contribute to the objective.
"Despite progress in some countries and in some (sub-)population groups, the prevalence of obesity and overweight in Europe remains high. Alongside healthy and active lifestyles, nutritionally balanced diets are key to good health," said the association.
Cut calories by 10%
Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released a report stating one in three European adolescents is obese and now FDE wants to reduce European consumers’ overall calorie intake by 10% by 2020.
Gilles Morel, president of FDE said they are calling upon public authorities, retail, catering, farmers, restaurants, consumers, dieticians, healthcare professionals and non-governmental organisations to join the initiative.
Morel said the European food and drink industry needs to optimise the nutritional composition of food, meals and diets in order to achieve the target, as well as focusing on portion sizes and portion control.
Teamwork is fundamental
However, FDE says the target can only be achieved through collaboration.
"Obesity and non-communicable diseases are everyone's responsibility. There is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution and no 'silver bullet'. This is why today's societal challenges related to nutrition and health can be better tackled through a multi-stakeholder approach and by means of a holistic set of complementary actions, transcending political positions and truly start joining forces where interests align," it said.
The organisation say the initiative could also open doors for new business.
The promotion of fruits, vegetables, hydration, wholegrains, vitamins and minerals, as well as healthy ageing will also be included in the initiative.
The organisation say the difference between this call for action and its Framework Commitment in the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health is that the call for action is a forward-looking plan, whereas the framework commitment provides a broad picture of existing actions undertaken by FDE and its members.