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Abstract

disease and stroke which, as well as individual pain and suffering and shortened life, create a burden for the state in the form of health care costs and lost economic production; diseases linked to overweight and obesity account for around 5% of total health care costs in Europe, and at least as much again in lost economic production. In this context it is no surprise that healthy eating has become a major public health concern, prompting many European Member States to take measures to improve their citizens’ diets. Neither is it a surprise that governments are at least paying lip-service to a desire that their interventions should be evidence-based, meaning there should be evidence that they are effective and cost effective. Probably, though less explicitly stated, politicians would like evidence that interventions will be acceptable to the public. These wishes are more complex than appears at first sight.

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