Promoting and Accelerating the Shift towards plant-based diets for a Healthier Europe: the Diabetes Case

08 April 2024

Event hosted by MEP Francisco Guerreiro
European Parliament, room SPINELLI 5E1 | 18 April, 10:00 to 11:30

Today diabetes impacts directly 32 million people living with diabetes (PwD) in the EU plus twice that number with prediabetes. This figure keeps rising due not only to an aging population but also to increased consumption of processed foods, high sugar and fat intake, and reduced consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as to the lack of healthy diets policies in most EU countries. In recent years, studies have shown that a more plant-based and less animal-based diet may lower the risk of progressing from prediabetes to diabetes, besides contributing to better outcomes in PwD and the overall population at large. Yet, despite scientific evidence and greater emphasis towards plant-based diets in diabetes, adoption remains low.

With the support of the Healthy Food Healthy Planet organisation, the European Region of the International Diabetes Federation, the Portuguese Diabetes Association and the French Diabetes Association have been working together to understand the barriers that hinder such dietary transition, including lack of scientific consensus on recommendations, cultural traditions, socio-economic constraints, as well as behavioural and psychological hindrances. Dietary changes
are not only difficult to implement but also to maintain.

This event will present the highlights of the project and promote recommendations to support a shift towards a plant-based diet that would improve health outcomes and build a heathier Europe.

Event programme:

10:00-10:05 | Opening remarks by MEP Francisco Guerreiro

10:05-10:25 | Setting the scene: Presentation of the projectRogerio Ribeiro, APDP

  • Scope, objective and results of the project “Eat Better, Live Better”

10:25-10:30 | The perspective of a person living with diabetesVideo testimonial

10:30-11:20 | Panel discussion: stakeholders’ perspectives and call for action

Reflecting on the results of the project, panellists will look at the benefits of plant-based diets and changes/policies to be put in place to promote their adoption to ensure a healthier Europe.

  • Plant-based diets as valuable tool for better diabetes prevention | Nutritionist’s perspective – Lisandra Ribeiro, APDP
  • “Eat better, live better” for better health outcomes | Healthcare professional’s perspective – Maartje Roskams
  • Sustainable shift towards plant-based diets, what can policy makers do? | Policymaker’s perspective: MEP Francisco Guerreiro
  • Changing the world, one food workshop at the time | Gabriela Oliveiria, APDP
  • Integrating long-term consumption of plant-based diets for better diabetes management and improved quality of life | PwD’s perspective
  • Discussion and Q&A

11:20-11:25 | Closing remarks by MEP Francisco Guerreiro

This project is led by the Portuguese Diabetes Association (APDP) and the French Diabetes Association (FFD) in collaboration with IDF Europe and supported by a grant from the Healthy Food Healthy Planet