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European Healthy Stadia Network: Promoting healthy eating during the COVID-19 crisis

Serving food outside a stadium
Copyrights: Everton Football Club (Photo)

European Healthy Stadia Network: Promoting healthy eating during the COVID-19 crisis

UEFA’s football social responsibility partner, the European Healthy Stadia Network, is offering guidance to help community sports organisations support food banks and/or vulnerable members of their local community.

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic – and promoting the value of healthy eating at the same time – UEFA’s football social responsibility partner, the European Healthy Stadia Network, is offering guidance to help community sports organisations support food banks and/or vulnerable members of their local community.

The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of community sports organisations to their local areas.

The unprecedented circumstances caused by this serious public health crisis in Europe and beyond has seen more and more individuals and families rely on such organisations for help and support – in particular, through access to food for older or vulnerable populations in lockdown periods introduced during the pandemic.

Following requests from across Europe by sports organisations actively involved in local community work – including national associations and football clubs – UEFA’s football social responsibility partner, the European Healthy Stadia Network, has developed a range of guidance materials for use by community sports organisations that may be supporting food banks and/or vulnerable members of their community.

UEFA and the European Healthy Stadia Network

What is the European Healthy Stadia Network? And what does it do? 

The European Healthy Stadia Concept 

The European Healthy Stadia Network and its objectives 

UEFA is committed to working with experts like the European Healthy Stadia Network to promote healthy and active lifestyles across Europe.

The Liverpool-based network was launched in 2009, building upon a highly successful 30-month pilot project funded by the European Commission through the framework of the Public Health Programme.

Healthy Stadia has developed a guidance framework for stadiums to roll out a range of public health initiatives with the support of local service providers, including: food and nutrition, physical activity, smoke-free environments, alcohol and substance misuse and mental health.

The Healthy Stadia guidance material seeks to help clubs and partner organisations in maintaining a healthy balance of food options when delivering to vulnerable populations in lockdown.

European Healthy Stadia Network CEO Matthew Philpott takes up the story:

“It’s important for everyone’s health and well-being to maintain a balanced diet at all times, and this has been particularly important during periods of lockdown across Europe due to COVID-19,” he explains. “Poor diet choices and overeating while at home can contribute to weight gain, and evidence shows that once people put weight on, it is much more difficult for them to lose.”

“With a potential downturn in physical activity during lockdown exacerbating the problem of weight gain,” Philpott adds, “we have been pleased to see many clubs and national associations across Europe promote healthy eating messages and supply healthy food parcels to at-need groups.

“We hope that our latest guidance documents can help football organisations to supply a balanced range of healthier foods to their communities in this difficult period.”

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European Healthy Stadia Network

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Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 11:52