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European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA)
News article4 March 2022European Health and Digital Executive Agency, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety1 min read

Tackling obesity with the help of Global Obesity Observatory

World obesity day

Obesity is a rising concern in Europe. It significantly increases the risks of developing other diseases, such as type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, hypertension and certain types of cancer.

The rate of people affected by obesity in the EU has been growing in the past decades.

Eurostat estimates that in 2019 over half of adults in Europe were overweight (36% pre-obese and 17% obese)[1].

The European Commission is tackling obesity through several programmes and initiatives.

Europe's Beating Cancer Plan aims to raise awareness of and address key risk factors of cancer, which also include obesity. The ‘HealthyLifestyle4All’ campaign launched in 2021, promoting sport, physical activity and healthy diets, also contributes to the goals of the Cancer Plan.

The 2022 EU4Health work programme tackles obesity, and in particular childhood obesity, under the actions to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCD). The aim is to target NCDs by increasing awareness, sharing knowledge and developing best practices.

Global Obesity Observatory

The Global Obesity Observatory is an online, interactive database of information about the prevalence and epidemiology of obesity. This tool is used by policymakers and has the potential to substantially shape and inform decision-making.

The development of the Observatory was supported by the project OBTAINS-E2 (OBesity Training And Information Services in Europe), which received funding under the 3rd Health Programme (2014-2020), predecessor of the EU4Health programme.

In addition to the support to the Observatory, the project provided access to weight management services and contributed to the EU priorities on disease prevention and healthy lifestyles.


Since 2003, the first, second and third health programmes have implemented the EU health strategy.

The latest EU health programme, EU4Health, is the EU’s largest one to date in monetary terms, with a budget of €5.3 billion in current prices. EU4Health provides funding to national authorities, health organisations and other bodies through grants and public procurement, contributing to a healthier Europe.

Relevant links

EU policy on obesity

HealthyLifestyle4All Campaign

Healthier Together initiative

Farm to Fork Strategy



Programme Sector
  • Health
  • EU4Health
  • EUCancerPlan
  • HealthUnion
  • Public health