Free fruit and vegetables for schoolchildren in EU
The European Union’s EUR 90 million-proposal will provide free fruit and vegetables to schools in Europe to help tackle child obesity.9 July 2008
BRUSSELS - The European Union will aim to spend EUR 90 million a year to provide free fruit and vegetables to schools across the continent to tackle child obesity, official said Tuesday.
An estimated 22 million children in the EU are overweight because of bad eating habits. More than 5 million of these are clinically obese and this figure is expected to rise by 400,000 every year, according to the EU.
A healthy diet plays a key role in reducing obesity and avoiding cardiovascular and other diseases stemming from excess weight in later life.
"You only have to walk down any high street in Europe to see the extent of the problems we face with overweight kids. Let's do something about it," EU farm commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said in announcing the program.
The European Parliament and EU member states have to sign off on the plan, which will be co-financed by individual governments.
The World Health Organisation recommends a daily net intake of 400 grams of fruit and vegetables per person. The majority of Europeans fail to meet the target, the EU said.
[AP / Expatica]