What is the European Dietetic Action Plan?

The European Dietetic Action Plan 2015-2020 (EuDAP) is a commitment by European dietitians to take actions that will achieve better nutrition and sustainable health, through pro-active engagement with Health 2020 and the European Food and Nutrition Action Plan (FNAP) (2015-2020).

 The purpose of the EuDAP survey is to catalogue Dietetic activities / initiatives for use by EFAD and their members. EFAD wants National Dietetic Association’s (NDAs) to proudly talk about and circulate the EuDAP to all key stakeholders at their national level e.g. Ministers of Health.  We want Ministers of Health, governments and others to recognise how dietitians are making a difference to nutritional health in Europe. This will raise the profile of dietitians and their recognition locally, nationally and at European level.

 The EuDAP describes 5 key-objectives for European NDAs, their members and EFAD that are considered to be essential to meet the overall aim of achieving a healthy Europe through healthy food and nutrition. These objectives may be achieved at national, organisation or local level; recognising the contribution that dietitians make at all levels of society

  1. Ensure that healthy food and nutrition is accessible, affordable, attractive and sustainable.
  2. Promote the gains of a healthy diet and nutritional support throughout the life course, especially for the most vulnerable groups in clinical settings and the community.
  3. Use dietitians as educators and experts in community and clinical settings to advise the general population, other health professions, authorities (for example ministries, health insurance companies), mass media and industry.
  4. Invest in establishing the effectiveness of dietitians in the delivery of better health through improved nutrition.
  5. Strengthen governance, alliances and networks for a health-in-all-policies approach.

 

Why is EuDAP important to European Dietitians?

The capability and capacity for dietitians to make a difference in many countries and at local, national or European level is not always recognised or valued for many diverse reasons.  Often dietitians undervalue what they do and do not recognise the success of what they do perhaps because they do not have a way for letting significant others know what they are doing (e.g. papers, reports, conference presentations) or they do not report their success in a way that is ‘politically valued’, e.g.  by demonstrating how their success/activities/work meets national or European strategic priorities or policies.

It is often the case that EFAD does not have sufficient ‘evidenced information’ to provide key stakeholders at European or NDA level with information about the profession. EuDAP is therefore designed to be a mechanism for NDAs to encourage and enable their dietitians to demonstrate to key stakeholders their ability to make a significant impact in a ‘political language’ recognised by governments, employers and others.

 

Guiding Principle:

Dietitians have a responsibility as a profession to support the improvement of nutritional health of the people of Europe through an evidence-based approach.

 

As a profession, European dietitians are fully prepared and educated to improve nutrition and health, have a geographical range and specialist expertise that others do not. Furthermore, dietitians are able to lead and make significant contributions to local, regional and national action plans regarding nutrition and food.  This gives dietitians a clear advantage over other ‘nutrition experts’ and other professions because it means that dietitians are able to work across all sectors where food and nutrition matter.  This provides us with huge potential to not only to make significant differences but also to tell people about it.

 EUDAP will help EFAD to build an evidence-based portfolio about dietetic actions and achievements in Europe, which can be used as an inspiration for NDAs around Europe and information to employers, politicians, and governments.

 

What will EFAD be doing to support National Associations and dietitians?

EFAD has a supportive and empowering role to play in the successful achievement of EuDAP and the promotion of NDAs, dietetics and dietitians.

 EFAD will play:

  1. A supportive role by providing webinars, briefing papers, dissemination between NDAs e.g. in the EFAD e-journal and newsletters
  2. A coordinating role by linking EFAD members with each other and facilitating a networking group
  3. A reporting and lobbying role taking information from the NDAs and reporting to pan-European agencies with which we communicate e.g. WHO Ministerial Meetings

EFAD continues to act as source of information about the activities of European dietitians and uses this information to alert MEPs, European commission, WHO European Region and others about how dietitians, as key nutrition professionals in Europe, are contributing to a healthier Europe.

We hope you will find EuDAP a considered response and serious commitment by dietitians in Europe to health improvement through better food and nutrition.