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Table 5 Existing and planned policy actions in relation to total fat, saturated fats, sugar and fruit and vegetables

From: Smorgasbord or symphony? Assessing public health nutrition policies across 30 European countries using a novel framework

Country Action: Total Fat, Saturated Fats (SFs) and sugar
  Price (Legislation/regulation/subsidies) Product (Reformulation) Place (Schools, workplace, other settings) Promotion (Labelling/guidelines/advertising controls/campaigns
Austria    Guidelines for school catering. Since the beginning of 2012 the implementation of these guidelines take place as part of the initiative "Our School Catering" ("Unser Schulbuffet").  
Belgium   Voluntary reformulation on sugar, SFs and TFAs. The provision of free or subsidized fruit and vegetables, as well as a ban on unhealthy food in vending machines at school are only partially enforced, and dealt with at local level. Working group on SFs, TFAs, sugar, portion size and fibre in bread flour set up 13.01.12.
Bulgaria Special ordinance for healthy nutrition at schools 2009 and 2011, introduced 2011–12. Bulgarian State standard covers milk products, Bulgarian yellow cheese, standards for meat and poultry products including sausage. Dialogue and some action with meat products, bread/bakery products and soft drinks producers. Actions are all regional or local level. July 2009 ordinance of the Ministry of Health adopted. Mandatory provision of school cafeteria with vegetables, fruits and other healthy foods, and the restriction of sales of energy-dense and nutrient-poor foods and beverages in school canteens, cafeteria and vending machines. Food products with a high content of fat and sugar are not allowed.  
Cyprus    Some efforts have been made to remove unhealthy food and beverages from school vending machines.  
Denmark SF tax on foods with over 2.3% Sat Fat introduced Oct 2011; repealed Nov 2012.   Restaurants must be able to prove that the courses on the menu marked with the "Keyhole" symbol lives up to the expectations of being low in the content of fat, sugar and salt and high in the content of fibre.  
  2009 introduction of the "Spring Package" included an increase of fiscal taxes on confectionary and soft drinks and investigated the possibilities of creating a fiscal tax on SF. Has had levy on candy for 90 years.
Estonia    The National Health Development Plan for Estonia contains specific actions regarding removal of energy-dense nutrient poor foods and beverages in school vending machines. Discussion regarding total fat, sugar and salt
Finland Agricultural subsidies to encourage dairy farmers move to berry production. Voluntary action industry led regarding SFs. Quality of school meals regulated by Ministry of Education and Culture. 2007 recommendations that vending machines should not provide sweets and beverages in schools. Voluntary action Guidelines on how to include nutritional criteria (such as SFs) in food service procurements were implemented late 2009.
  Tax currently exists for soft drinks, ice cream and chocolate. Discussions under way to increase this tax. Aim of the standing government is to have an agreement on general tax on sugary foods before the year 2013. All food in Finland taxed at 13% despite calls for fruit and vegetables to be taxed less or not at all.
France A tax on sugar sweetened beverages became effective in January 2012. The tax was set at about 11 euro cents for a 1.5 litre of soda, about 6% of the average price of sodas. Dialogue with industry regarding reducing fat and sugar in food products. Vending machines not allowed in school settings since 2005. Dialogue with industry regarding Included in Second National Nutrition and Health Programme 2006–2010.
  Local level initiatives ensuring a choice of healthy food at the workplace.
Greece    2006: Law on the availability and quality of foods available in school canteens. Vending machines are not allowed in schools.  
  Draft ministerial decree on the nutritional-health provisions in public catering.
Hungary A "public health tax" adopted in 2012 is applied on the salt, sugar and caffeine content of various categories of ready-to-eat foods, including soft drinks (both sugar- and artificially-sweetened), energy drinks, pre-packaged sugar-sweetened products.   Recommendations for healthy schools buffet options included in government resolution on education.  
  Local level initiatives to ensure a choice of healthy food at the workplace.
Iceland Regulation 1924/2006 establishes EU-wide rules on the use of specified nutrient content and comparative claims (i.e. levels of fat for a low fat claim). Nutrition claims can only be used on foods defined as "healthy" by a nutrient profile (nutrient profile not yet defined).    
Ireland    Recommendations regarding the choice of healthy food at the workplace within the Happy Heart at Work Programme ". Happy Heart at Work Healthy Eating Award (Ended 2012) designed by Irish Heart Foundation to assist employers provide healthy food choices in the workplace. Also a ‘Happy Heart Catering Award’ in the northeast of the country which targets cafes, hotels, pubs etc. Discussions to develop initiatives to reduce the content of fat and/or sugars in processed foods.
Italy   Discussions to improve partnership with food industry and develop initiatives to increase the availability of processed foods with reduced fat/added sugars. Ministry of Health has been encouraging the primary producers and the processing industry to progressively reduce the total content of fat, saturated fats, sugar and added salt in food products. Some voluntary agreements have been reached with the bakery industry (regarding salt reduction), sweet producers (regarding elimination of trans-fats) and retailers (through a national information campaign that encourages fruits and vegetables consumption The National Plan of Prevention and the regional "Gaining health" schemes endorse several projects to promote healthy nutrition in the workplace.  
Latvia 2012: Dietary standards in schools, kindergartens, long-term social care institutions and hospitals. Sausages, frankfurters, dried, smoked, salted meat and fish products, factory made ravioli, frozen manufactured meatballs and fish fingers, etc. are allowed once a week if they contain at least 70% meat or 60% fish; Increased taxes on food high in fat, salt (other than sodium), and sugar nutrients.   2006: Government implemented legislation that prohibited the sale/availability of soft drinks, drinks with added colours, sweeteners, preservatives and caffeine on all school premises. 2012: Dietary standards in schools, kindergartens, long-term social care institutions and hospitals.  
Lithuania    2005 restrictions on unhealthy food in school catering, especially vending machines.  
Luxembourg    National and local level efforts to remove energy-dense nutrient-poor foods and beverages in school vending machines. As of 2010 initiatives being discussed but reformulation of fat and sugary foods not a priority at present.
Malta    Vending machines not allowed in any public schools and most private schools.  
Netherlands   Voluntary by industry - total fat and sugary foods. Dutch Nutrition Centre has implemented some actions promoting healthy nutrition at work.  
Norway Regulation 1924/2006 establishes EU-wide rules on the use of specified nutrient content and comparative claims (i.e. levels of fat for a low fat claim). Nutrition claims can only be used on foods defined as "healthy" by a nutrient profile (nutrient profile not yet defined).    Banned all food advertising targeting children aged younger than 12 years since 1990.
Poland     Government discussing total fat and sugar content of processed food products.
Portugal    Encourage the provision of healthy food products in schools. Developments to increase availability of processed foods with reduced content of total fat and/or sugar through the National Platform Against Obesity.
  Guidelines exist for restaurants as part of Platform Against Obesity. By Nov 2010 86,000 enterprises had implemented the guidelines.
Slovakia 2009 VAT reduced from 16% to 9% for farm products - especially milk, fruit and vegetables. Direct support for fruit and vegetables especially organic and integrated production, which allows for lower prices of fruits and vegetables for consumers.    
Slovenia    Food guidelines and legislation 2010. Vending machines banned all primary and secondary schools.  
Spain    National legislation proposed 2010 regarding vending machines in schools needs to be adopted by regional governments. July 2010 recommendations and technical criteria for the feeding and food supplies in schools. Free/subsidized F&V schemes being developed.  
Sweden    As of 2010 Education Act requires in all schools (kindergarten, primary, secondary) that school meals have to be nutritious. Guidelines from the National Food Administration on planning, producing and serving healthy food at school have also been issued. Banned all food advertising targeting children aged younger than 12 years since 1990.
UK All unprocessed food stuffs are zero-rated value-added tax. A range of unhealthy foods have standard rated value-added tax.   All food in state schools (voluntary in academies) must meet nutritional standards. Meals must include high-quality meat, poultry or oily fish, at least 2 portions of fruit and vegetables with every meal, bread, other cereals and potatoes. No fizzy drinks, crisps, chocolate or sweets in school meals and vending machines and no more than 2 portions of deep-fried food a week. A voluntary consistent system of front-of-pack food labelling has been introduced: A combination of colour coding and nutritional information is used to show how much fat, salt and sugar and how many calories are in each product.
  Various workplace initiatives taken to ensure a choice of healthy food. Since November 2006, Ofcom, an independent communications regulator in the UK, announced a ban on television advertising of products high in fat, salt or sugar during children’s airtime and around programmes with a disproportionately high child audience002E.
  As part of the government’s Responsibility Deal, 49 companies/retailers have agreed to provide calorie information on menus and display boards. Although voluntary, the label must follow a standard government model. The Change4Life Convenience Stores programme is a partnership between the UK Department of Health and the Association of Convenience Stores to increase the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables in convenience stores in deprived, urban areas in England with poor existing retail access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
  1. Data current to end of February 2013.
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