National Programme for the Promotion of Healthy Eating, ‘PNPAS’ – Portugal


The PNAPS is a national policy for healthy eating, i.e., a concerted and cross-cutting set of actions to ensure and encourage access to and consumption of certain types of food with the objective of improving the nutritional status and health of its population. This programme was designed and coordinated by Directorate-General for Health. The PNPAS has five general goals: to increase the knowledge about food consumption by Portuguese population, its determinants and consequences; to modify the availability of certain foods, namely in schools, workplaces and public spaces; to inform and empower the population in general, especially the most disadvantaged groups, on how to purchase, cook and store healthy foods; to identify and promote cross-cutting actions to encourage the consumption of good nutritional quality foods with the collaboration of other public and private sectors, namely in the areas of agriculture, sports, environment, education, social security and municipalities; to improve the qualification and mode of action of the different professionals who, through their activity, may influence knowledge, attitudes and behaviours in the food area. To reach the five general goals, the PNPAS proposes a set of activities:

  1. a) the systematic collection of indicators on nutritional status, food consumption and its determinants, the assessment of food insecurity situations, and the dissemination of best practices
    b) the change in the offer of certain foods (with high sugar, salt and fat content), by controlling their supply and sales in schools, health and social support institutions and in the workplace, through a coordinated action with the food industry and the catering sector or also through other activities
  2. c) the increase in food and nutrition literacy, particularly the most disadvantaged ones, towards healthy choices and eating practices, and the encouragement of best practices on labelling, advertising and marketing of food products.
  3. d) the identification and promotion of cross-sectional actions with other sectors of society, namely agriculture, sports, environment, education, municipalities and social security likely to encourage the consumption of foods of vegetable origin, seasonal, national, using packaging or means of transport, developing electronic tools that enable planning healthy, easy-to-use and affordable menus with price information, and developing a network at municipal level for monitoring best practices for the promotion of healthy eating for citizens.
  4. e) the improvement of education, qualification and mode of action of different professionals who can influence quality eating habits, namely at the level of the health sector, schools, municipalities, the tourism and catering sector or social security.

The PNPAS is in course between 2012-2016. The monitoring and some evidence show a need for information about nutritional status, food and nutritional literacy campaigns, specifically to healthcare professional and older populations. Moreover, further regular monitoring of nutritional status and appropriate interventions according to the needs diagnosed has been considered relevant.

Additional information: (last accessed in March 2017)

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Life Cycle Stages: Early Childhood | Older People (>65 yrs) | Pregnancy | School Age | Seniors (>75 yrs) | The Young Old (50-65 yrs) | Whole life cycle | Work Life | 
Main Settings: community | public | school | workplace | 
Specific Topics: interdisciplinary coordination of public health activities | nutrition | 

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