WHO Urges Policy-Makers to Tackle Hidden Digital Marketing of Unhealthy Food to Children

A new and comprehensive analysis of digital marketing to children of foods high in fats, salt and sugars in the WHO European Region is now available. In the absence of effective regulation of digital media in many European countries, the WHO European region calls for immediate action by policy-makers to recognize and address the growing challenge of marketing targeted to children via digital media. As our “most vulnerable population, children are exposed to countless hidden digital marketing techniques promoting foods high in fat, sugar and salt,” said Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe. A core policy recommendation of WHO is reducing childrens’ exposure to all forms of food marketing of products high in fats, salt and sugars.

http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/nutrition/publications/2016/tackling-food-marketing-to-children-in-a-digital-world-trans-disciplinary-perspectives-2016

Learn about a recent WHO internship experience

Internship summary

Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity programme

World Health Organization, Regional office for Europe

October-November 2013


I am currently completing my PhD-studies at the Public Health Epidemiology unit at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The main data source for my PhD-thesis is the WHO Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) in which I have also been involved in collecting data. Therefore I saw it as a great opportunity to do an internship at the WHO regional office for Europe where the project is managed. Further, I wanted to learn more about the important work that WHO does worldwide and get a chance to meet people from different countries with different backgrounds.

My main task during the internship was working with the COSI-project. The project involves more than 20 WHO European member states and aims to collect nationally representative data on overweight and obesity prevalence of 7-9 year olds. One of the tasks was assisting in reviewing the data sets provided by the participating member states. I also worked on a paper regarding non communicable diseases and the connection to children’s overweight and obesity in five countries.

I was also able to work with anthropometric data from Tajikistan which gave me an opportunity to broaden my geographical perspective and the age range I am most familiar with. It confirmed to me that across the WHO European region, there is a wide variety of nutritional issues.

Apart from learning a great deal from the tasks that I performed during my internship, I met so many interesting people from all over the world. I enjoyed the working environment in which you work close to colleagues with different personal and professional backgrounds, which can lead to many new ideas and future collaborations. The internship is something I will always remember and value as a great experience.

Lotta Moraeus
PhD student
Public Health Epidemiology Unit
Gothenburg University, Sweden

WHO Europe Internship Programme

The EASO YIU encourages colleagues to apply for WHO Europe Internship placements and as part of an ongoing collaboration between EASO and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, we are pleased to announce that the YIU will support up to three successful WHO Internship applications annually, with a grant of up to €2000 per successful applicant (max €2000 for full 12 week placement and smaller amounts for shorter placements).

In order to apply for an EASO YIU grant, you must be a member of an EASO affiliated National Association (see the EASO website for further information) and have been successfully accepted into the internship programme of the Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Programme in the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Life-Course at the World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe based in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Further information is available via the WHO website: http://www.who.int/employment/internship/en/.  Specific application instructions and an application form for the WHO Europe internship programme are available at http://www.who.int/employment/internship/interns/en/index.html.

Applicants must submit a 250 word application outlining why they have applied for the internship, what they hope to achieve during the internship and why they request the EASO YIU Grant. Please also outline how your internship could support the work of the WHO Nutrition, Obesity and Physical Activity Programme.  View their website and adapt your application accordingly: http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/disease-prevention/nutrition.

This application must be received at least 6 weeks in advance of the internship start date and should be sent to [email protected] with the subject header ‘WHO Internship Grant Application’.

For further information please contact the EASO Secretariat.

What does the WHO Regional Office for Europe do?

WHO Regional Office for Europe supports the 53 Member States in the WHO European Region in developing and sustaining their national health policies, health systems and public health programmes; working to identify, prevent and overcome potential threats to health; anticipating future challenges; and advocating public health.

Its work is a two-way exchange: gathering best expertise from key partners in national and international institutions, and analysing data and the research results to propose evidence-based public health policies. This enables WHO/Europe to inform and advise countries on the most effective ways to improve the health of their populations.

WHO Regional Office for Europe runs or has direct access to essential databases providing authoritative health data from the 53 countries in the Region. The Health Evidence Network (HEN) and the European Environment and Health Information System (ENHIS) and Nutrition, Obesity and Physical Activity (NOPA) Database are additional valuable resources for health policy-making.

WHO Regional Office for Europe provides tailored support to countries through technical programmes addressing a wide range of public health issues. These programmes work together, covering areas including disease prevention and control, response to public health emergencies, environmental health, health determinants and health systems.

Conditions of WHO internships

  • The duration of WHO internships is between a minimum of 6 weeks to a maximum of 12 weeks. Exceptionally, internships may be extended up to 24 weeks to respond to special academic requirements or particular needs of the receiving programme.
  • WHO internships are not paid. Travel costs, travel arrangements (including visas), and living accommodations are the responsibility of the intern or their sponsoring institution.
  • Persons related to a WHO staff member, i.e., son/daughter, brother/sister are not eligible for an internship.
  • Interns must possess a passport of a WHO Member State.
  • WHO Interns must have adequate medical insurance coverage during the entire period of the internships.
  • Interns may participate only once in the WHO Internship Programme.
  • Interns do not have the status of WHO staff members and shall not represent the Organization in any official capacity.

WHO Interns are not eligible for appointment to any position within WHO for a period of three months following the end of their internship. Any employment with WHO at that point in time shall be subject to established recruitment and selection procedures.