Approaching Expo 2015, experts are sounding the alarm: the impact on health and related healthcare costs could be devastating
Milan, April 9th, 2015 – A new survey commissioned by Elanco’s ENOUGH Movement and conducted by SWG on 2,000 people across Italy, Germany, France and UK, shows that – based on their own general perception on food habits and behaviours as well as of their countrymen – about 50% of the interviewees say they cannot follow a sufficiently varied nutritional diet. In particular, fish, beef and pork are among foods often absent from people’s diet.
“This gap is not only due to personal choices or preferences but, above all, it is imposed by economic reasons” says Dr. Maurizio Pessato, SWG President.“The greatest critical areas are Italy and France. In Italy, where the economic crisis had a strong impact, the perception is that the reduction of consumption applies to all kinds of meat, with the most striking decline in veal meat (79% Italy and 62% France) and beef (78% Italy, 68% France)”.
The majority of the interviewees across the European countries involved in the survey, believe that consumption habits and behaviours have profoundly changed; dietary habits have been redefined by reducing the consumption of most expensive foods in favour of less expensive ones. The access to food and its sustainable availability is seen as a true issue whose impact can be measured already today. In Italy, that perception is certainly the strongest with 84% of the interviewees supporting this view. According to the survey, Europeans see two different but complementary paths to tackle the issue – considering both global and individual responsibility. While food waste reduction, and educational plans are seen as priorities, the use of innovative technologies and trade processes are also seen as important. Overall, 2 out of 3 interviewees are in favour of higher investments in research and technology, in order to face the problem of food sustainability and to improve the efficiency of farming production.
The impact of poor quality calories. and of food-behaviour on the health of Europeans is already an issue, especially in regard to obesity. In Europe, obesity rates have tripled since the 1980s and the share of Italian children who are overweight or obese is now 35%. The costs are alarming, with almost three million Europeans dying each year due to diseases associated with being overweight. The rate of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, is significantly growing as these diet-related diseases consume 7% of national health budgets.
This complex scenario of food insecurity and malnutrition – a problem not only in emerging countries but also in Europe - is one of the areas highlighted by the ENOUGH Movement. The initiative, promoted by Elanco, a global leader in animal health, advocates for global food security, ensuring everyone’s right to high-quality nutrition, especially rich in proteins and affordable food today and into the future. The Movement aims to defend people’s right to access and to choose their food.
“It is estimated that by 2050 there will be nine billion people living on earth,” said Ramiro Cabral - Leader for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Elanco. “The challenge of the ENOUGH Movement (#Feedthe9) is to make the production of meat, eggs and milk sustainable and affordable through research and development of innovative approaches to the farming process. This means improving food production, in particular proteins, while using fewer resources. The collaboration of all stakeholders in the farming system, together with technological innovations in the production process, will be the key to global success.”
A better and healthy world is possible if people and organisations act now. Learn more and join the ENOUGH Movement to act now at: www.enoughmovement.com.
Follow the ENOUGH Movement on social networks: Twitter: @Elanco and #FeedThe9; Elanco Facebook; Youtube
SWG European Survey, March 2015;
“Dimension of Food Security in Europe”, Enough European Report, Elanco, 2015.
Elanco is a global innovation-driven company that develops and markets products to improve animal health, food animal production and companion animal care in nearly 70 countries. Elanco, a division of leading pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company, employs approximately 7,000 people worldwide, with offices in more than 40 countries. Additional information about Elanco is available at www.elanco.com.