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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Latvia

Latvia

7. Health and Well-Being

7.4 Healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition

On this page
  1. National strategy(ies)
  2. Encouraging healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition for young people
  3. Health education and healthy lifestyles education in schools
  4. Peer-to-peer education approaches
  5. Collaboration and partnerships
  6. Raising awareness on healthy lifestyles and on factors affecting the health and well-being of young people

National strategy(ies)

Public Health Guidelines for 2014-2020 include measures for the promotion of healthy lifestyle (healthy diet, physical activities, sexual and reproductive health, prevalence of substances and processes causing addiction, etc.) in the society. Based on these, within the framework of the ESF programming period the plan is to implement measures aimed at improving the availability of health promotion and disease prevention services to all the Latvian population, especially to the inhabitants subject to the risk of territorial, poverty and social exclusion (incl. young people). The plan is to promote healthy habits in the population according to the set priorities (see Paragraph 7.3 on Public Health Guidelines for 2014-2020).

Encouraging healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition for young people

Normative regulation in the field of public health is constantly updated in Latvia. For example, the normative regulation was improved in the field of food for the purposes of ensuring the quality of catering services in educational and medical institutions, long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions, and also those products are specified, which can be distributed in general and vocational education institutions in addition to fixed and optional meals.[1] In order to promote healthy eating habits in the population, the regulations on maximum permissible content of trans fats in food were approved in 2016. These regulations restrict the content of trans fats in food produced in Latvia or imported from other countries and envisaged for distribution in Latvia (mandatory requirements from 1 June 2018).[2] Also, it is prohibited to sell energy drinks to persons under the age of 18 and these persons are not allowed to buy them, and also it is prohibited offer them to these persons at tastings, as a gift or as a compensation for purchasing other product or receiving other service. At the same time, several restrictions are set on advertising of energy drinks regarding their addressing to persons under the age of 18 and involvement of these persons in these advertisements.[3]

With regard to matters to reduce addiction among the young, it is stated that it is prohibited to sell alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, herbal products for smoking, electronic smoking devices and liquids thereof to persons younger than 18, as well as to persons aged from 18 to 25 are obliged to show a personal identification document, when purchasing the above mentioned goods.[4],[5]Moreover, since 2013 employees of the State Police may involve minors above 15 in control purchases in order to control trading restrictions on alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and so on set in the laws and regulations.[6] There is also a ban in place on sale of alcoholic beverages in hostels of educational institutions and restrictions on retail sales of alcoholic beverages in the premises of state and local government institutions, as well as outdoor advertising of alcoholic beverages is prohibited, etc.[7]

At the same time, there is a normative regulation in place, which prohibits to provide persons under the age of 18 the cosmetic tanning service, except in exceptional cases,[8] as well as before the provision of a tattooing and piercing service to a person under the age of 18 the service provider should make sure that the child has receive a permission of at least one parent or legal representative for such a service.[9]

In addition to normative regulation, other documents for the promotion of health of the society, incl. young people have been developed. For example, in order to reduce advertising of non-alcoholic beverages focused on children, thus promoting partnerships and intersectoral cooperation, the Ministry of Health has concluded a cooperation memorandum with manufacturers of food.[10] In order to promote healthy diet habits, Recommended Energy and Nutrient Doses for the Latvian Population were developed, which will be improved in 2017 according to the latest studies and food science results, taking into account dietary recommendations of Northern Countries. In addition, healthy diet recommendations for different ages have been developed.[11] In order to foster healthy diet principles in educational institutions, the Ministry of Health in cooperation with the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has developed “Recommendations for Organisation of Procurements of Catering Services and Deliveries of Food to Educational Institutions in order to ensure the availability of healthy, fresh and qualitative food to children”.[12]

Providing support to local governments in the promotion of health, the “Guidelines for Local Governments on Health Promotion” have been developed, which summarise all the good practices of other countries and recommendations for different initiatives for the promotion of events and activities in local governments in health promotions fields (incl. in the field of food, addiction and reproductive health) for different age groups, including for young people.


[1] Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No 172 “Regulations Regarding Nutritional Norms for Educatees of Educational Institutions, Clients of Social Care and Social Rehabilitation Institutions and Patients of Medical Treatment Institutions” of 13 March 2012

[2] Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No 301 “Regulations on Maximum Permissible Content of Trans Fats in Food” of 17 March 2016.

[3] Law On the Handling of Energy Drinks

[4] Handling of Alcoholic Beverages Law

[5] Law on the Handling of Tobacco Products, Herbal Products for Smoking, Electronic Smoking Devices and Their Liquids

[6] Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No 619 “Procedure of Performance of a Control Purchase” of 20 August 2013

[7] Handling of Alcoholic Beverages Law

[8] Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No 834 “Regulations Regarding Hygiene and Harmlessness Requirements for the Cosmetic Tanning Acquisition Service and Procedures for the Supervision of such Requirements” of 7 September 2010

[9] Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No 172 “Regulation Regarding Hygiene Requirements for the Provision of Tattooing and Piercing Services and Special Requirements for the Tattooing Products” of 14 April 2015

[10]http://www.vm.gov.lv/images/userfiles/phoebe/ministrija_sabiedribas_lidzdaliba_ab75e1a6c38b637dc22573d800293aaa/vm_sadarbibas_memo_lpuf_lbdua_150911.pdf

[11]http://www.vm.gov.lv/lv/tava_veseliba/veseligs_uzturs/

[12] “Recommendations for Organisation of Procurements of Catering Services and Deliveries of Food to Educational Institutions in order to ensure the availability of healthy, fresh and qualitative food to children” (approved by order No.177 of the Ministry of Health 2 December 2015)

 

Health education and healthy lifestyles education in schools

In basic education, health education matters are integrated in the content of education. General secondary education provides an optional subject “Health Science” to pupils.[1] The Ministry of Health has also cooperated with the National Centre for Education and the Ministry of Education and Science, making a contribution to the development of methodical material “Health science in general secondary and vocational education”, as well as a unified training course (module) “Safety of the Society and a Man”, which lays down the content of health science that must be learned and the amount in hours in all vocational education programmes (24 lessons in vocational secondary education programmes, 20 lessons in vocation education programmes) staring from school year 2016/2017.[2]


[1] Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No 281 “Regulations Regarding the State Standard in General Secondary Education, the Subjects of Study Standards in Basic Education and Model Educational Programmes” of 21 May 2013

[2] Cabinet Regulation No 211 “Regulations regarding the State Vocational Secondary Education Standard and the State Industrial Education Standard” of 27 June 2000

Peer-to-peer education approaches

Also non-governmental organisations, for example, “Fern flower” (Papardes zieds), are involved in education of young people on matters of healthy lifestyle.

Collaboration and partnerships

See Paragraph 7.3

Raising awareness on healthy lifestyles and on factors affecting the health and well-being of young people

In order to support and promote healthy lifestyle, as well as foster the achievement of the goals set in the Guidelines, the Ministry of Health and the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control constantly organise different campaigns, programmes and educating events in different areas, for example, in the area of addiction – Free (Brīvs), “Truth about a drop of water” (Patiesība par ūdenspīpi), “To make it clear” (Lai būtu skaidrs); in the area of diet – “Love your heart” (Mīli savu sirdi), “My teeth are clean” (Man ir tīri zobi). In addition, they have developed informative materials on healthy diet, for example, “Water – Don’t Forget to Drink” (Ūdens – neaizmirsti padzerties!), “Fruit and Vegetables in your Diet” (Augļi un dārzeņi uzturā) and “Choose Healthy!” (Izvēlies veselīgo!), and also an informative material on reproductive health Relationships and Health are My Responsibility (Attiecības un veselība – mana atbildība!), etc.