The Bulgarian Presidency Conference on healthy nutrition for children has just ended with unacceptable statements intended to accuse “industrial” food as a major cause of obesity.
The Italian food industry certainly cannot passively listen to such false declarations, after having made the quality of its products the main pillar of the health of our country where the average life expectancy of 82.7 years is among the highest in the world.
We cannot accept sterile teachings that are not based on scientific evidence from Bulgaria, a country where the average life expectancy is the second lowest at EU level with 74.7 years (almost 6 years below the European average and 8 years less than ours) and where the figure of 14.4% of obese adults is growing rapidly, especially among adolescents (OECD data on Eurostat source).
Italy, classified by OECD as the second country with the lowest rate of obesity in Europe (below 10%) is certainly not hearing lessons of balanced lifestyle from Bulgaria where the state of health is among the lowest due to behavioural risk factors including one of the highest alcohol abuse in Europe, poor diet and lack of physical activity.
We cannot longer assist to the inability of some governments, especially if they have the responsibility of the EU Presidency, to make food education and good health policies for their citizens, preferring to criminalize food products made by the companies and making them wickedly responsible for the obesity in their countries.
In recent years, following a constant taking on of responsibility towards consumers, the Italian food industry, in collaboration with the Government, has qualitatively improved its products without distorting them chemically, as someone would have preferred. We therefore expect that the EU Institutions, such as the European Council and its current Presidency, deliver constructive statements aimed at implementing useful and forward-looking policies.