The Nordic programme called "Healthier choices made easier for all" seeks solutions to the increasing problem of overweight, obesity and lack of physical activity among children and youth.
The challenges are daunting - unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and overweight are growing problems in the entire Western world, including the Nordic countries. The trend poses both a threat to the individual’s quality of life and an economic threat to welfare in the Nordic societies.
It is a common view in Nordic countries that preventing overweight and obesity and promoting a healthy diet and physical activity are a collective responsibility. Therefore multiple sectors and stakeholders must be involved in societal changes at all levels.
In July 2006, the Nordic Council of Ministers (NMR) - the Ministers for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the Ministers for Health and Social Affairs - adopted a Nordic Plan of Action on better health and quality of life through diet and physical activity. With this Plan of Action, the Nordic ministers emphasize the importance of working for better health and quality of life on equal terms for all Nordic citizens.
Based on this plan Nordic Innovation Centre and NMR, are investing NOK 5 millions (0,6 million Euros) in 3 Nordic projects. The aim of these projects is to bring the Nordic countries closer to solutions on what works and what does not, in preventing overweight and obesity and promoting physical activity for the specific vulnerable group such as children and youth.
Also supporting this action plan, is the NICe focus area of New Nordic Food, which aim to further develop a new, healthy and tasty Nordic food culture based on the unique local raw materials. It is possible to compose a healthy and tasty diet with less energy density, more fibre, vitamins, bioactive substances and antioxidants, from local Nordic raw materials.