An analysis of the economic, social and environmental impact of the rising prevalence of overweight and obesity in the European Union

Inception report

by Maureen Lankhuizen, Wija J. Oortwijn, Jonathan Cave, Flavia Tsang

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The European Commission, Directorate-General Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO) has asked RAND Europe to contribute to the Commission’s impact assessment of the White Paper on nutrition and physical activity strategy that will be published in spring 2007. This White Paper sets a comprehensive approach to reduce the prevalence and incidence of diet and physical activity related conditions (such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer etc). The authors examined the nature and extent of the problem posed by diet and physical activity related conditions in Europe, which provides the rationale and focus for the associated policy initiative. In addition, they developed a conceptual approach that discusses how diet and physical activity is linked to macroeconomic development. This approach was then used to examine the future impacts of different policy options. This report focuses on clarifying the definitional issues, assessing availability and quality of evidence, the methodological approach and the evidence strategy for the evaluation.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    The problem of rising prevalence of overweight and obesity in the European Union

  • Chapter Three

    Methodological approach

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for DG SANCO within the framework contract for evaluation, impact assessment and related services and was conducted by RAND Europe.

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