Air Quality
Approximately 90% of EU citizens are being exposed to one of the most harmful atmospheric pollutants at levels the World Health Organisation considers a danger to their health. New WHO research results show that air pollution can be dangerous even at concentration levels lower than the present limits. According to the European Environment Agency this pollution causes none less than 400 000 premature deaths each year in the EU. This particularly affects vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, children, the elderly, people suffering from severe respiratory disease and low-income groups. Moreover, the World Health Organisation’s Cancer Agency has confirmed that air pollution may cause long cancer. The Impact Assessment published by the European Commission mentions health-related external costs ranging between €330 billion and €940 billion per year, which is the equivalent of 3 to 9% of the European GDP. Costs include not only the impact of ill-health on those who experience it, but also economic costs related to lost workdays, loss of well-being and of life quality and expectancy. Childproof and COFACE Families Europe have jointly proposed an amendment for the protection of vulnerable groups, in particular children, for the effects of air quality on their health. In drawing up national programmes, Member States should take into account best practices in addressing, inter-alia, the most harmful pollutants under the scope of this Directive with respect to sensitive human population groups.

Preventing Childhood Obesity
Childhood obesity is on the rise in Europe. Depending on the country, between 19-49% of boys and 18-43% of girls are overweight or obese. Many factors explain such a phenomenon: less physical activity, unhealthy diets and eating habits. COFACE Families Europe has developed a tool to help raise awareness about the impact advertising may have on the eating behaviours of both adults and children. Through a two hour session targeting teachers and trainers, COFACE provides all the necessary knowledge and tools to organize parent evenings or even school lessons about how advertising can influence eating habits. The training includes a professionally designed powerpoint, a trainer’s guide, practical activities and an online portal which includes all the material needed to carry out a training.


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