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EHFA Brussels Bulletin

18 April, 2014

Headline news from across Europe brought to you by the
European Health and Fitness Association 

Brussels - 15th April, 2014
The future of research on childhood obesity: What more do we need to know?
On 10th April EHFA attended a one-day meeting – between researchers, research funders, policy officials and NGOs – to examine the next steps in child obesity research in Europe, an event hosted by the International Association for the Study of Obesity.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of the first results of the ToyBox Study, which aims to build and evaluate a cost-effective kindergarten-based, family-involved intervention scheme to prevent obesity for preschool children. The ToyBox Study is a joint initiative of several academic research institutes across Europe, coordinated by Yannis Manios, Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the Harokopio University (Athens, Greece).
A a number of other EU projects and future proposals were also presented and debated in the meeting, with representatives from influential European NGOs describing the gaps in the existing research.
For more information click here

European Commission launches consultation on the European Professional Card
The European Commission is currently holding a public consultation on the introduction of the European Professional Card (EPC), with the aim of seeking further views on issues such as the application procedures or the fees from the authorities responsible for recognition of professional qualifications in the EU countries.
The public consultation is open until 2 June 2014 and is mostly addressed to professional organisations and national authorities responsible for the recognition of the professional qualifications of nurses, doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, engineers and mountain guides.
The EPC is a key element of Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications. The amending directive took effect on 17 January 2014, and the EU countries are expected to implement it by 18 January 2016. The point of the EPC is to make it easier for professional qualifications to be recognised and for members of a regulated profession to practise elsewhere in the EU.
For more information click here

Benefits of «green exercise» for kids shown in new study
According to a Coventry University study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health this week, children who are exposed to scenes of nature while exercising are more likely to experience health-enhancing effects after activity. The study also revealed that after the green exercise, children's post-activity blood pressure was significantly lower than it was without the simulated forest environment, indicating that the nature scenes promoted positive health effects.
These conclusions were drawn after asking asked kids aged 9-10 years to complete a series of 15 minute moderate intensity cycling activities – one whilst viewing a video of a forest track synced to the exercise bike and another with no visual stimulus.
For more information click here

MHealth consultation places greater emphasis on the use of mobile devices in the health sector
Mobile health is becoming an important issue for the European Commission with the launch of a public consultation which is asking European citizens to suggest innovative ways through which health could be promoted using mobile devices.
The consultation on mobile health, or mHealth, is open until June 2nd. By strengthening the level of access for citizens to health, lifestyle and wellbeing applications using mobile and hand-held devices, the Commission aims to work towards the promotion of healthier lifestyles in order to prevent illness, and promote healthier lifestyles, which would alleviate the strain on our health services to a certain degree.
“I personally use a sports-band on my wrist to measure how active I am from day to day, so I am a great supporter of mHealth already” said Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda. This call is the first step towards building the EU into a leader in the area of mHealth, while also allowing for the development of the current health system into one which is more modern, effective and sustainable.
This is certainly a focus on prevention rather than cure and it is one which will, hopefully, encourage citizens to prioritise and manage their health in a simpler and more-efficient manner. In addition to this, it may serve as a platform for the technology industry to focus on creating innovative applications to literally put our health in our hands.
For more information please click here

Contact Us
If you would like further information on any of these topics, please contact;
Colm O’Callaghan, EU Policy Officer at:
or José Costa, EU Policy Officer at


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