Report: Why the European Commission must choose the Nutri-Score nutrition label

Report: Why the European Commission must choose the Nutri-Score nutrition label

Press release, 11 May 2023EU scientists and health professionals for Nutri-Score

A group of 316 scientists and health professionals released a comprehensive scientific report explaining “Why the European Commission must choose the Nutri-Score nutrition label – a public health tool based on rigorous scientific evidence – as the harmonized mandatory nutrition label for Europe”.

The European Commission has committed, as part of its “From Farm to Fork” strategy, to propose a mandatory EU-wide harmonized front-of-pack nutrition labelling scheme applicable throughout the EU by 2023. However, strong lobbying groups are heavily mobilized to prevent the EU-wide introduction of the Nutri-Score, or to delay its adoption, or to choose a useless alternative.

This opposition stems from the joint pressure of large food companies opposed to Nutri-Score, including Ferrero, Lactalis, Coca-Cola, Mars, Mondelez, Kraft, of certain agricultural sectors, not least the cheese and processed meat sectors and their powerful European representation COPA-COGECA. They are joined by various political parties and politicians close to the lobbies, and the lobbying actions of the Italian government (accelerated since the last Italian elections). Their widespread lobbying and their public use of even the most absurd and dishonest arguments as well as fake news seems to have led the European Commission to pause its efforts to regulate front-of-pack nutrition labelling.

Despite strong and conclusive scientific and societal arguments in favour of the Nutri-Score, recent statements of some Commission officials hinted that the Commission might not retain Nutri-Score because it would be too “polarizing”. There is no scientific or public health argument for this position, but a spurious argument instead: Nutri-Score would not be acceptable because it would be opposed by some economic and political lobbying groups. The Commission has invoked a “complex” situation, whilst we know that its hesitation stems from Italy’s violent opposition, which defends the commercial interests of some of its agri-food industry sectors. They have proposed their own non-interpretive label, Nutrinform, which is very similar to the industrial GDA/RI model launched in the 2000s, whose inefficiency to guide consumer choices has been well established by numerous studies. The Commission is holding a worrying discourse, ignoring current scientific evidence regarding front-of-pack nutrition labels in the EU context and the clear advantages in having one harmonized front-of-pack nutrition labelling scheme throughout the European Union that works for consumers.

Considering the risk of postponing the adoption of a mandatory front-of-pack nutrition label at European Union level or the adoption of a nutrition label not based on scientific evidence, 316 scientists and health professionals working in the fields of nutrition, obesity, public health, preventive medicine, endocrinology, oncology, cardiology, paediatrics, psychology, European law and social marketing, gathered in the “Group of European scientists and health professionals supporting Nutri-Score”, have mobilized to make their voices better heard in the current debate.

To this effect, they are publishing today a scientific report of 61 pages with 105 references: “Why the European Commission must choose the Nutri-Score nutrition label – a public health tool based on rigorous scientific evidence – as the harmonized mandatory nutrition label for Europe” highlighting very strong arguments in favour of choosing the Nutri-Score:

  1. The numerous scientific studies performed over many years in some 20 countries validate the algorithm underlying the Nutri-Score calculation (including cohort studies involving more than 500,000 subjects with long-term follow-up) and its effectiveness to help consumers make healthier
    food choices, including studies in virtual supermarkets, experimental stores and real supermarkets. More than a hundred studies have been published since 2014 in international peer-reviewed journals demonstrating its effectiveness, particularly in disadvantaged populations, and its superiority compared to other labels.
  2. The recent update of the Nutri-Score by a scientific committee composed of independent European experts will apply in 2023. This will address certain identified limits of the Nutri-Score and therefore allow a better alignment of the Nutri-Score with public health nutritional recommendations.
  3. The conclusions of the report of the European Joint Research Centre published in September 2022, highlight that consumers, including those with lower incomes, prefer simple, colourful and evaluative summary front-of-pack labels (such as Nutri-Score), which are more easily understood than more complex, non-evaluative, monochrome labels (such as Nutrinform).
  4. The results of the public consultation launched by the European Commission that ran between December 2021 and March 2022 showed that the majority of consumer organizations and other NGOs, citizens, research and educational institutions and public authorities alike support a label providing gradual information on overall nutritional quality of foods (which corresponds totally to the characteristics of the Nutri-Score).
  5. The support it has received from many European scientific associations, not least the European Public Health Association (EUPHA), the European Childhood Obesity Group (ECOG), the European Heart Network (EHN), the European Academy of Paediatrics, United European Gastroenterologyconsumer associations, including the BEUC composed of 46 independent consumer organisations from 32 European countriesand NGOs such FoodWatch present in different European countries.
  6. Its formal adoption and implementation in 7 European countries to date (France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, Luxemburg, Switzerland), which demonstrates the feasibility of its deployment, the fact that it has received strong support from and is extensively used by consumers and has favourable effects on sales of food items in stores.

The scientific report also addresses questions that may be legitimately raised on Nutri-Score but that are often misused and exploited as fake news by lobbying groups:

  • why it does not take into account ultra-processing;
  • why it is calculated per 100 g / 100 ml;
  • why it does not include all food nutrients/components that might be of interest to consumers;
  • why it is not a substitute for general nutritional public health recommendations;
  • why it does not amount to an attack on traditional foods and does not penalize good products with PDO and PGI labels;
  • why Nutri-Score is not a threat to the Mediterranean diet;
  • why Nutrinform battery system is not a legitimate alternative to Nutri-Score in Europe.

This comprehensive scientific report and the mobilization of the European scientists and health professionals aim to remind European public authorities of the necessity to put science and public health at the forefront of the decision and protect them from the influence from private economic interests! It is why they urge the Commission to propose legislation to adopt an EU-wide mandatory interpretive front-of-pack nutrition label based on science, as Nutri-Score is. Its adoption in Europe could promote healthier food environments and help consumers lower their risk of developing non-communicable diseases, and particularly nutrition-related chronic pathologies, such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension, cancers, which represent a major burden on health systems throughout the EU.
It is clear that the implementation of a front-of-pack nutrition label such as Nutri-Score on a mandatory basis and on all foods will not, alone, solve all nutrition-related problems: it can only be a contributor (as has been scientifically demonstrated) to improved nutritional outcomes and population health. Even if Nutri-Score is based on solid scientific evidence, it remains one element only of an effective public health nutrition policy, but it is an important tool to help consumers make healthier food choices at the point of purchase and therefore create a healthier food environment.

To download:
– the scientific report: 
– the list of the EU scientists and health professionals endorsing it (and the international committee supporting this initiative gathering experts from USA, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China…) : 

Contacts for more information (alphabetic order):                                                                                                                                                         
– Dr Torsten BOHN: Dept of  Department of Precision Health, Luxembourg Institute of Health (Luxembourg)
– Prof Amandine GARDE: Director of the Law & Non-Communicable Diseases Research Unit Unit, School of Law    
  and Social Justice, University of Liverpool (UK)  agarde@liverpool.ac.uk
– Prof Serge HERCBERG : Emeritus Professor of Nutrition, Sorbonne Paris North University (France)
– Prof Berthold KOLETZKO: Else Kröner-Senior Professor of Paediatrics LMU – Ludwig Maximilians Universität
  Munich (Germany)  Berthold.Koletzko@med.uni-muenchen.de
– Prof Igor PRAVST: Nutrition Institute, Ljubljana,  (Slovenia)  igor.pravst@nutris.org
– Prof Mike RAYNER: Professor of Population Health, Nuffield Department of Population Health University of
  Oxford (UK) mike.rayner@ndph.ox.ac.uk
– Prof Jordi SALAS-SALVADO : Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Departament de Bioquímica i Biotecnologia, Unitat de
  Nutrició Humana. Reus, Spain. (Spain) jordi.salas@urv.cat
– Prof Sylvain SEBERT : Professor of Life-course Epidemiology, Unit of population Health, University of Oulu
  (Finland) Sylvain.Sebert@oulu.fi
– Dr Mathilde TOUVIER: Director of the Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team (EREN) (France)
– Dr Stéphanie VANDEVIDJERE: Public health nutrition/Epidemiology and public health, Sciensano, Brussels
  (Belgium) Stefanie.Vandevijvere@sciensano.be

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Webinar – Connecting health and education to unleash learners’ potential: The state of school health and nutrition around the world, 25 April 2023

Webinar – Connecting health and education to unleash learners’ potential: The state of school health and nutrition around the world, 25 April 2023

Nearly every country around the world is investing in their school-age children and adolescents through school health and nutrition. Good health and nutrition during school years are a prerequisite for children and adolescents to learn and grow, and a crucial investment for more prosperous and inclusive futures.

A joint report, Ready to Learn and Thrive: School Health and Nutrition around the World, developed by UNESCO, UNICEF, WFP, FAO, GPE and WHO, with support from the Research Consortium for School health and Nutrition, UN-Nutrition Secretariat and World Bank, consolidates multiple data sources and case studies to inform advocacy and quality programmes. It encourages efforts to improve, scale up, sustain and monitor progress to address learners’ needs holistically.

The event will highlight the transformative impact of school health and nutrition for learners. Presentations will showcase country good practices and the importance of diverse stakeholders in efforts to ensure that all children and adolescents can learn and thrive.

Speakers are:

  • Christopher Castle, Director of the Division of Peace and Sustainable Development, UNESCO
  • Dr. Yinghua Ma, Professor, Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, Peking University, China
  • Dr. Adesola Olumide, Researcher and Consultant Community Physician at the Institute of Child Health, University of Ibadan and University College Hospital, Nigeria. International Association of Adolescent Health (IAAH) Vice President (2022-2025) – Sub-Sahara Africa Region
  • Prof. Donald Bundy, Director of the Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

The webinar is moderated by Nicola Gray, Co-chair holder UNESCO Chair on Global Health & Education, Senior Lecturer, University of Huddersfield, UK.

During the webinar the experts will explore the following questions:

  • What is the status of school health and nutrition policies and programmes around the world, and what are the main take aways from your research?
  • China has extensive experience with school health and nutrition. How are the health and education sectors working together in China to implement an integrated approach to school health at scale and monitor progress?
  • What is your experience with the implementation of school health and nutrition in schools in Nigeria?
  • How can the research community help fill evidence gaps and advance more effective approaches to school health and nutrition?

The webinar will take place on 25 April 2023 from 14.00 – 15.30 CEST.

Register for the webinar today. This webinar will also be broadcasted live on the UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education YouTube Channel.

More information.

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Call for papers – Decolonizing knowledge, approaches and methodologies in health promotion

Call for papers – Decolonizing knowledge, approaches and methodologies in health promotion

Following the Tiohtià:ke Statement: Catalysing policies for health, well-being and equity, an outcome of IUHPE2022 World Conferencethe journal Global Health Promotion is calling for papers on decolonizing knowledge, approaches and methodologies in health promotion to offer a space for critical reflection and sharing experiences from various parts of the world.

We welcome contributions on knowledge systems, approaches, practice, and methodologies that integrate and centre diverse traditional, Indigenous and other local knowledge, values and worldviews in health promotion research and practice. Various approaches and methodologies are welcome.

Contributions can be theoretical papers, case studies, research results, program evaluations, or commentaries.

Papers can be submitted in English, French or Spanish, on the journal’s website.

More information:

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Webinar: The curricular experience in School Health Promotion – 16 March 2023

Webinar: The curricular experience in School Health Promotion – 16 March 2023

On 16 March 2023 the UNESCO Chair and WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Health & Education in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico and the Chair of Health Promotion at the University of Girona will  organise the webinar: the curricular experience in school health promotion. The webinar will be held in Spanish.

The questions that will be addressed during this webinar are:

  1. What should be the key competences of School Health Promotion?
  2. How to articulate School Health Promotion curriculum mainstreaming initiatives?
  3. What are the implications of the School Health Promotion curriculum experience for university vocational training programmes?

The speakers are:

  • Sofialeticia Morales Garza, Secretary of Education of the State of Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
  • Anna Loste Romero, Health promotion technician, Dipsalut, Spain.
  • Dolors Juvinyà Canal, Director of the Health Promotion Chair at the University of Girona, Spain.

The webinar will be held in Spanish and take place on 16 March 2023 at:

  • 10:00 – 11:00 Puerto Rico
  • 11:00 – 12:00 Brazil
  • 09:00 – 10:00 Washington, DC
  • 15:00 – 16:00 CET

Link to register.

More information in Spanish.

Webinar series

This webinar is part of series of webinars “Towards a new agenda for School Health Promotion in Latin America and Spain”. The following webinars are planned:

DateTopic off the webinar
17 November 2022Towards a regional agenda for School Health Promotion in Latin America.
16 February 2023Assessment, critical analysis and opportunities to strengthen research in School Health Promotion for children and adolescents in Latin America.
16 March 2023The curricular experience in School Health Promotion.
11 May 2023The Promotion and Education of Comprehensive Sexual Health in educational systems.
28 September 2023The importance of inserting the gender perspective in educational systems and school curricula.
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Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research – Vol. 3 available

Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research – Vol. 3 available

We are pleased to announce the release of the 3rd volume of the Global Handbook of health Promotion Research: Doing Health Promotion Research[1].

A global collaborative initiative

This publication is the result of a global collaborative initiative, launched in May 2020 by the UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education and the Canada Research Chair in Community Approaches and Health Inequalities, to structure the field of health promotion research.

Its ambition is to map and characterise the research practices of those involved in the production and sharing of knowledge in health promotion.

The Handbook consists of three distinct volumes:

  1. Mapping health promotion research[2] (published in 2022)
  2. Framing health promotion research (a systematic description of the epistemological and ethical framework of health promotion research) (to be published in 2024)
  3. Doing health promotion research (a compilation of health promotion research paradigms, approaches and methods). 

A practical reference tool

This 3rd volume concerns research practices relevant to the production and

sharing of knowledge about health promotion practices. It aims to be a practical reference tool for researchers and graduate students in health promotion, public health, education, and socio-health sciences; practitioners in health, medical, and social sectors; policy-makers; and health research administrators.

It is organised as follows:

  • Part I presents some paradigms and approaches to knowledge production relevant to health promotion research.  
  • Parts II to V describe research designs and methods that specifically address health promotion research.  
  • Part VI includes an overview of the challenges facing health promotion research and suggests ways forward.

More information about the Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research

[1] Jourdan, D., & Potvin, L. (Éds.). (2023). Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research, Vol. 3 : Doing Health Promotion Research. Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-20401-2

[2] Potvin, L., & Jourdan, D. (Éds.). (2022). Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research, Vol. 1 : Mapping Health Promotion Research. Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-97212-7

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International Barometer of Health and Well-being of Education Staff – Second edition

International Barometer of Health and Well-being of Education Staff – Second edition

The first edition of the International Barometer of Education Staff (or I-BEST) was launched in 2021, after 18 months of a global pandemic that required the urgent collection of updated data on the state of personnel as close to the field as possible. With the participation of 8,000 teachers, the results of the first edition provided an unprecedented international comparison of six territories on three continents.

Designed as a bi-annual survey, the second edition of the I-BEST will be conducted from February to June 2023.

Following its success, new countries have expressed their interest in participating in this second edition. So in 2023, Argentina, Canada (excluding Quebec), Cameroon, Spain, Japan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Kingdom, Switzerland (Cantons of Vaud and Geneva) and Taipei will join France, Morocco, Francophone Belgium and Quebec, which had already participated in 2021.

In addition, this new edition will be open to all education staff in addition to teachers and will provide updated data on: working conditions, physical and mental health, work-life balance, and the impact of digital tools. 

The results will be published in autumn 2023 and will be accompanied by recommendations for the public authorities.

Follow the news of the I-BEST barometer via this dedicated link.

The survey is an initiative of the Education and Solidarity Network (ESN) and the MGEN Public Health Foundation. It is part of a partnership involving Education International (EI) and the UNESCO Chair Global Health and Education with the support of MGEN.

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Global Community Health Annual Workshop 3rd edition – register now

Global Community Health Annual Workshop 3rd edition – register now

The third edition of the Global Community Health Annual Workshop will take place on 13, 14 and 15 June 2023 as an online event. The main theme of this year’s workshop is ‘Sustainable community health: practice-based solutions for today’s challenges’. The theme will be explored through different sub-themes, including food security, mental health and environmental health. The practice-based solution to be featured this year will be stakeholder engagement and mobilisation. Examples of this will relate to the sub-theme each day. Stakeholders include families, professionals, commercial interests and policymakers as relevant to each health topic. The workshop provides a space where community health and health promotion practitioners and policy makers can improve their skills and where researchers can gain in capacities to conduct community-based participatory research.

Format of the workshop

The global workshop will run during 3 consecutive days. To accommodate participants from all different time zones around the world, the workshop will be offered twice a day.

It uses an interactive format ensuring active participation through a series of online lectures, combined with community heath hubs.

These community health hubs (smaller working groups) acknowledge our diversity and cultural dimensions and are offered in different languages including Arabic, English, French, Spanish and other languages depending on the availability of facilitators. During the community health hubs participants have the opportunity to share experiences, build their regional and global networks and work with other group members on their assignment.

The online lectures are held in the English language. We do not want language to be a barrier for participation. Therefore we are trying to organise simultaneous translation.


This year’s workshop is free of charge. Professionalspolicy makersresearchers and students from different backgrounds from all over the world are welcome to join. You can register by completing the online registration form.

Participants who attended all lectures and submitted their assignment on a community health topic after the workshop will have their efforts rewarded by a certificate of attendance delivered by the UNESCO Chair. They can also request a certificate from IUHPE to accumulate credits toward registration/re-registration as a health promotion practitioner under the IUHPE Accreditation System.

The third edition of the Global Community health Annual Workshop is organised by the UNESCO Chair Global Health & EducationUniversity of Clermont AuvergneUniversity of HuddersfieldInternational Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) and EHESP School of Public Health.

More information see the dedicated webpage.

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Special call for papers in Health Education “Social justice, equity, and agency: global challenges linking health, wellbeing and sustainability education”

Special call for papers in Health Education “Social justice, equity, and agency: global challenges linking health, wellbeing and sustainability education”

Editors: Monica Carlsson, Irene Torres & Martin Mickelsson.

The deadline for submissions is 21. November 2023.

The aim of the special issue is to highlight how social justice and equity perspectives can qualify and deepen our understanding of how health, wellbeing and sustainability challenges are addressed in education in different cultural contexts in a way that supports the agency of children and youth. Furthermore, the aim is to create greater awareness of the potential in linking health, wellbeing and sustainability in educational research and practice.

Against this background, we welcome contributions of current research on conceptualizations of health, wellbeing and sustainability education from a social justice and equity perspective. Contributions are also welcome focusing on analytical problematisations of traditional health, wellbeing and sustainability education policies and interventions in schools and the way these efforts position those most marginalised in society.

More information

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New report: Ready to learn and thrive: School health and nutrition around the world

New report: Ready to learn and thrive: School health and nutrition around the world

On 8 February UNESCO, UNICEF and the WFP launched a new report “Ready to learn and thrive: School health and nutrition around the world”. The report shows that 1 in 3 schools in the world still lack access to drinking water and basic sanitation facilities while we know that investing in school health and nutrition has a significant positive effect on children’s academic achievement. The provision of school health and nutrition incentivize children to come to school, and to stay there. School meals alone increase enrolment and attendance rates by 9% and 8%, respectively.

De-worming and micronutrient supplementation can result in pupils attending school for 2.5 additional years in places where anaemia and worm infections are prevalent. The report also addresses other issues such as the promotion of eye care, mental health and well-being of children and the prevention of school violence.

The report underlines that all these measures represent a significant return on investment for countries, in addition to improving the daily lives and study conditions of children.

Insufficient and unequal investment

The investments made by countries around the world in school health and nutrition programmes, are unequal from one region to another and often insufficient compared to the needs. Stronger commitment from national governments and support from the international community are essential.

Currently, almost 1 in 3 schools (31%) do not have safe drinking water and basic sanitation facilities. This means that an estimated 584 million children have limited or no access to basic drinking water services at school; 2 in 5 of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa. And while almost all countries in the world provide school meals, an estimated 73 million of the most vulnerable children still do not benefit from these school feeding programs on the ground.

Affordable concrete solutions to meet local needs

UNESCO, UNICEF and WFP appeal to international community, countries and partners to step up actions to protect and promote the physical and mental health, nutrition, well-being and development of all learners. All stakeholders are urged to focus on key interventions appropriate to local contexts and needs, including: the provision of school meals; vaccinations; de-worming; psychosocial support; skill-based health education that enables learners to lead healthy lives; and safe and inclusive learning environments that promote health and well-being.

More about the authors

The report is launched by three publishing partners UNESCO, UNICEF and WFP, in collaboration with the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and World Health Organization (WHO), and with support from the Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition, the World Bank and the UN-Nutrition Secretariat.

Link to the report

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<strong>Learning from PEER country profiles – The journey towards comprehensive sexuality education</strong>

Learning from PEER country profiles – The journey towards comprehensive sexuality education

On 15 February the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, the UNESCO Section of Health and Education and the Government of Sweden are co-hosting a webinar to launch the latest peer learning tool on countries’ approaches to comprehensive sexuality education. 

The aim of the event is to explore the new country profiles to better understand the status of sexuality education around the world. Discussions will extract lessons from countries whose promising practices are empowering young people to make informed decisions about their futures.

Hear ministers of education, donors, youth advocates and teachers share their reflections on this new exciting online tool which maps laws and policies in each country to raise awareness of what works and guide implementation.

Register to join this webinar, in English or Spanish, on Wednesday 15 February from 2:00 to 3:15 pm CET.

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