JA Best remap – Joint Action on implementation of validated best practices in nutrition

01/10/2020 – 30/09/2023

About the project

Non-communicable diseases are one of the biggest challenges in the area of health in all EU Member States. Deaths from major non-communicable diseases translate into around 3.4 million life years lost or 115 billion euros in potential economic losses each year. It represents a major source of human suffering and a huge economic burden for public and personal budgets. The most recent OECD estimates indicate that in EU countries obesity alone is reducing life expectancy by up to 4 years and removing up to 4,5pp of GDP growth. Up to 12% of the healthcare budget of EU countries is spent on obesity and related sick leaves, which costs them 72 billion euros per year.

In this context, the Commission hass proposed a Joint Action that would lend support to the Members States to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 on reducing mortality caused by non-communicable diseases by 2030. This will also target the quality and effectiveness of public expenditure.

This Joint Action focues on adapting, replicating and implementing evaluated effective health interventions (i.e. practices that have been proven to work) in the areas of food reformulation monitoring, framing of aggressive marketing of food, and public procurement of healthy food in public settings.

The Member States represented in the Steering Group on Health Promotion and Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases agreed on ‘nutrition and physical activity’ to be the focus for best practice implementation in 2019 and selected the above-mentioned best practices for implementation.

The objective of the Joint Action is that each of the participating countries adopts or improves:

  • A monitoring system for reformulation initiatives (for salt, sugar and saturated fat) which regularly informs authorities, consumers and industry about the scope for improvements in food products. Reformulation removes excess sugars, salt and fat from products that are bought every day in EU supermarkets. It helps citizens of all social backgrounds to have healthier diets and supports innovative companies. Monitoring the nutritional quality of food products in the EU will inform authorities, consumers and industry about the scope for improvements in food products. Since ’what gets measured gets done’, this can strengthen national reformulation initiatives and support consumer choice, innovation and a level playing field for industry. This outcome is based on the successful experience of France (and also of Austria, Romania and the Joint Action on Nutrition and Physical Activity – JANPA). It also builds on the EU Framework for reformulation Initiatives in the areas of salt, saturated fat and added sugars.
  • A code of conduct to reduce the exposure of children to (TV and digital) marketing of foods and beverages High in Fat, Sugar or Salt (HFSS). This Code of Conduct is coordinated with and makes the best use of the opportunity of the transposition of the EU Audio-Visual Media Services Directive.

Parents in all Member States can relate to the challenge of protecting children from inappropriate ads, and existing evidence on children’s exposure to food marketing, especially online, is alarming. This outcome will be based on the successful experience of Ireland and Slovenia. It also builds on a study on the exposure of minors to TV and online marketing of foods HFSS launched by the Commission.

The Joint Research Centre was asked to produce a mapping of initiatives to reduce marketing pressure to identify best practices that the Member States may wish to adapt or build on. Relevant initiatives by the UNICEF and the WHO Euro Action network on reducing marketing pressure on children are also under way and can be supportive of these efforts.


Coordinator: The National Institute of Public Health Slovenia

Role of HSMTC: consortium member

Consortium members:

  • The Federal Ministry Republic of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection, Austria
  • SCIENSANO, Belgium
  • The Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • The National Center of Public Health and Analyses, Bulgaria
  • Croatian Institute of Public Health, Croatia
  • Ministry of Health, Cyprus
  • The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, Denmark
  • Ministry of Social Affairs of Estonia
  • The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
  • French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety
  • Max Rubner-Institut, Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food, Germany
  • Institute of Child Health, Greece
  • Semmelweis University, Hungary
  • Department of Health, Ireland
  • Istituto Superiore di Sanita’ Italy
  • The Centre of Decease Prevention and Control, Latvia
  • Ministry of Health of Lithuania
  • Public Health Regulation Department, Ministry for Health, Malta
  • The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, the Netherlands
  • The Medical University of Silesia, Poland
  • Directorate-General of Health, Portugal
  • The National Institute of Public Health, Romania
  • Institute of Public Health of Serbia “dr Milan Jovanović Batut”
  • The Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety
  • Institute of Public Health of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Public Health Institute of Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Copenhagen Municipality, Denmark
  • The National Institute for Health Development, Estonia
  • Santé publique France, France
  • The National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition, Hungary
  • The Food Safety Authority, Ireland
  • The Centre for Health & Diet Research, Ireland
  • The Open University, Ireland
  • Ministry of Health of Latvia

HSMTC contact

Name: Albert Zoltán Aszalós
Phone:  + 36 1 488 7635
E-mail:  aszalos.zoltan@emk.semmelweis.hu