The Global Nutrition Report

The latest edition of the Global Nutrition Report has been released.

This Report acts as a report card on the world’s nutrition—globally, regionally, and country by country—and on efforts to improve it. It assesses progress in meeting Global Nutrition Targets established by the World Health Assembly.

For more information about the Global Nutrition Report on the website

Health in the EU

A new initiative for 2016-17 ‘ State of Health in the EU‘ will bring together internationally recognised expertise to provide Member States with evidence on health that is relevant to their specific country and that can help maximise the effectiveness, accessibility and resilience of their health systems.

There are four components to this initiative:

  • November 2016 the OECD report ‘Health at a Glance: Europe 2016‘ will be published
  • November 2017 the OECD will publish a set of 28 individual country  health profiles
  • November 2017 a Commission analysis will accompany these 28 profiles, giving each State an overview of the information in the first two documents, linking them to the broader EU agenda and emphasising cross-cutting policy implications
  • December 2017 onwards there will be exchanges between individual EU countries and the Commission, the OECD and the Observatory to discuss the implications and help States make the best use of the gathered evidence.

For more information on the State of Health in the EU on the website


Air pollution set to rise significantly

In 2010 outdoor air pollution caused more than 3 million premature deaths around the world and the OECD is predicting this will rise to between 6 and 9 million premature deaths a year by 2060, with elderly people and children most vulnerable. These projections imply a doubling, or even tripling, of premature deaths from dirty air – or one premature death every four or five seconds – by 2060.

In their latest report “The economic consequences of air pollution” they estimate the cost of this to be 1% of global GDP  or €2.6 trillion as a result of sick days, medical bills and reduced agricultural output.

For more information and to download the report on air pollution from the website.

E-cigarettes and secondary school children

There has been a rapid rise in the retail availability of e-cigarettes in the UK and this study looks at the relationship between e-cigarette point-of-sale displays and e-cigarette use in young people.

A cross sectional survey was conducted in four high schools in Scotland and a response rate of 87 % and a total sample of 3808 was achieved. The survey found that adolescents who recalled seeing e-cigarettes in small shops or supermarkets were more likely to have tried an e-cigarette or intended to try them in the next six months.

To read all the details of this e-cigarette survey on the website

Health information at your fingertips

The new WHO European Health Information Gateway is now available to the public, providing curated, reliable health data and information presented in formats that are easy to understand and compare and that are easy to extract.

This mine of health information features an interactive section, currently including data sets and country profiles from the Health 2020 monitoring framework and HBSC (Health Behaviour in School-age Children) surveys. New data and data from existing WHO/Europe databases are being added continually. In addition, the Gateway offers data and notes about indicators from the Health for All database, the Health 2020 monitoring framework and environment and health indicators.

A mobile app accompanies the Gateway, making the latest health information available on your phone or tablet device.

To read more about the Health Information Gateway on the website


Governance of patient registries

Patient registries, which were designed for patients with shared characteristics, have been an important source of the data needed to assess clinical performance, provide health technology assessment or assess policy implications on a local, regional, national and in some cases international level. As a result, hundreds of registries have been set up, ranging from paper based spread-sheets in a physician’s office to international rare disease initiatives coupling clinical and genetic data as well as bio-banks.
In the last fifteen years information technology has enabled clinicians to collect, share, compare and analyse large amounts of patient data.
A recent EU-funded project has produced a set of Guidelines to provide practical advice on how to set up and manage patient registries as well as to enable secondary use of data for public health policy and research. These Guidelines should make life easier for those setting up new registries or redesigning already functioning registries and those exchanging data across registries.
To read the full 232 page Guidelines on the website

Europe close to eliminating measles and rubella

Thirty-two countries in the European Region have interrupted transmission of endemic measles and/or rubella, according to the conclusions of the European Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination (RVC), released inApril 2016.

The independent RVC assesses Member States’ progress towards elimination of measles and rubella by reviewing epidemiological and laboratory surveillance data submitted by each country’s national verification committee, now established in 50 of the 53 Member States.

Once a country has demonstrated the absence of endemic measles or rubella virus transmission for at least 36 consecutive months, the RVC can verify that the disease has been eliminated. 32 countries interrupted transmission of endemic measles and/or rubella in 2014,  21 Member States had eliminated measles and 20 had eliminated rubella within their borders during the period 2012–2014.

For more information about Measles and Rubella Elimination in each country from the website

Road safety across Europe

The latest statistics (2015) on road safety across the EU have just been released and they show remarkable progress over the last decade.

The UK scores well in improving road safety for children and the elderly. Between 2004 and 2013, fatalities of children (under 15 years of age) in the UK have fallen by almost 75% and those of older people (aged over 64) by a third. Over the same ten year period, UK cyclist fatalities have decreased by a third and those amongst pedestrians by two fifths.

However, year-on-year there is a slowdown in reducing the number of fatalities Europe-wide. Ultimately, the EU has set itself the ambitious target to reduce by half the number of fatalities between 2010 and 2020.

For more information about road safety across Europe from the website

Obese outnumber the underweight globally

There are now more adults in the world classified as obese than underweight, according to a major study led by scientists from Imperial College London.

They compared body mass index (BMI) among almost 20 million adult men and women from 1975 to 2014 and found that obesity in men has tripled and more than doubled in women.

The study, which pooled data from adults in 186 countries, found that the number of obese people worldwide had risen from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014. Meanwhile the number of underweight people had risen from 330 million to 462 million over the same period.

To read the full article on global obesity on

Health care quality in the UK

The OECD is producing a series of health care reviews and the UK’s has recently been published.

It has found that health systems in the United Kingdom have, for many years, made the quality of care a highly visible priority, internationally pioneering many tools and policies to assure and improve the quality of care. However, despite being a global leader in quality monitoring and improvement, the UK does not consistently demonstrate strong performance on international benchmarks of quality. This report reviews the quality of health care in the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, seeking to highlight best practices, and provides a series of targeted assessments and recommendations for further quality gains in health care. These include the need to:

  • balance top-down approaches to quality management and bottom-up approaches to quality improvement
  • publish more quality and outcomes data disaggregated by country
  • establish a forum where the key officials and clinical leaders from the four health systems responsible for quality of care can meet on a regular basis to learn from each other’s innovations.

To read more about this review of the UK’s health system on the website