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High Level Group on Nutrition and Physical activity

The high level group on nutrition and physical activity is composed of EU (and EFTA) government representatives and is led by the European Commission. The group

  • Enables governments to share health and economic analysis, policy ideas and best practices and develop common approaches;
  • Works on priorities such as improving food products recipes, reducing children’s exposure to marketing of foods high in fat, salt and sugars, physical activity, labelling and public procurement of food;
  • Enhances contact between governments and the EU platform for action on diet, physical activity and health, so that relevant collaboration with and between stakeholders can take place.
  • Facilitates the sharing of evidence, data and best practices for policy makers;
  • Identifies research gaps and supports health in all policies;
  • Works on reducing health inequalities.

The high level group can also be asked by the Commission to prepare the groundwork for relevant prevention and promotion initiatives agreed by the steering group on promotion and prevention.

Exercise stress and response

An acute bout of endurance exercise results in an inflammatory response in muscle, the local induction of numerous cytokines (‘myokines’), a reduced gut barrier function and elevated levels of several of cytokines in the circulation. This response is suggested to contribute  to the beneficial effects of regular exercise, leading to both an increased athletic performance as well as the improvement of metabolic health. However, in certain situations  an ongoing, undesirable condition of chronic inflammation can develop. This can occur for example when high volume/intensity training, combined with insufficient rest,  produces musculoskeletal trauma. This may, in turn, induce a more generalised response,  involving  various other tissues and organ systems . Ultimately, a complex of symptoms associated  with overtraining may develop. More insight in mechanisms of stress response following physical exercise and methodology to monitor these processes is warranted. This is not only relevant to improve training efficiency of athletes but also to better understand  the beneficial metabolic effects of regular exercise.