Skip to main content


EACEA National Policies Platform


7. Health and Well-Being

7.4 Healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition

Last update: 23 November 2020
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)

The national strategic document for the purpose of healthy lifestyle and healthy nutrition promotion is the Lithuanian Health Programme 2014-2025 which aims to create a safer social environment and  reduce health inequalities.  The programme also aims to  create healthy occupational and living environments, promote of a healthy lifestyle and its culture, and ensure high quality and efficient health care for the needs of the population. Most of the tasks of this programme relate to promoting a healthy lifestyle and healthy nutrition among youth, although youth is not distinguished as a separate group. Tasks of this Programme aim at reducing poverty and unemployment, reducing socio, economic population differentiation in rural areas, creating safe and healthy working conditions, increasing the safety for consumers, creating favourable conditions for leisure, reducing road accidents and injuries, reducing alcohol and tobacco use, and preventing drug  and psychotropic substance use and accessibility, promoting habits of healthy nutrition, developing habits of physical activity, ensuring the sustainability and quality of the health system by developing evidence-based health technologies, developing the health infrastructure and improving the quality of healthcare, safety, and accessibility to patient-centred care and developing an electronic health system. The Action Plan for for 2014-2016 for the Implementation of the National Youth Policy 2011-2019 Program has a goal  to develop the healthcare system for young people, improve youth health monitoring, promote health and physical activity, and ensuring the prevention of various forms of addiction. 

Encouraging healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition for young people

The Action plan approval for reducing health inequalities in Lithuania 2014-2023 aims to reduce health inequalities in Lithuania. This plan also includes youth group as one of the the socio-economic groups. The main purpose of this plan is to reduce heath inequalities in certain Lithuanian regions and for different social groups, including youth, of the health disparities. In addition, the plan aims to reduce inequalities in access to health care, and improve the access to disease prevention, health promotion, and primary and specialized health care services. 

National progress program for 2014-2020, horizontal priority inter institutional action plan „Health for all“ approved by government of Republic of Lithuania in 2014. The Inter-institutional Action Plan under the horizontal priority “Health for all” within the National Progress Programme 2014–2020 was adopted by the Government in 2014, with focus for coordinated measures aimed at improvement and development child and youth friendly, high quality, accessible and effective healthcare, with particular focus on public health and inter-sectoral cooperation. The Public Health Strategy for 2016-2023, adopted by the Government in 2015 (promotion of healthy life-style and improvement of health literacy over the life course, development and implementation of integrated public health care models, use of "Health in all policies" approach to improve public health and reduce health inequalities are among priority objectives).

Alcohol and drug control program approved by the government of Republic of Lithuania in 2011. Programme approved by the Ministerial Order include Action plan for Healthy ageing protection in Lithuania 2014-2023 which aims at encouraging all age populations to take care of their health. It is a broad health policy that includes measures against cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes, physical activity, injuries, cancer and many others. This policy also involves health promotion and personal health care.

Health education and healthy lifestyles education in schools

In 2015 the Network of Health Promoting Schools consisted of 390 educational institutions (covering about 20 percent of all educational institutions in Lithuania), 4 vocational training centres, 104 pre-school education institutions and 1 university. The activities of the network of health promoting schools in Lithuania are highly acknowledged in context of global network of health promoting schools. A ‘health promoting school’ is defined as ‘a school that implements a structured and systematic plan for the health and well-being of all pupils and of teaching and non-teaching staff. This is characterized as a whole school approach. The health promoting school is a health promotion program for children organized through formal and non-formal education. In Lithuania schools prepare, implement and self-evaluate 5-years duration programs. Requirements and criteria for programs are approved by the Health Promoting School Recognition committee (7 specialists from health and education fields). There are Health Promoting Schools in almost every municipality in Lithuania and every year to this network joins a growing number of the country's educational institutions. Lithuanian health promoting school network belongs to the Schools for Health in Europe network (SHE network). In these schools, health topics have been integrated into the educational process - lessons and after-school activities. Health promoting schools conducts a long-term targeted and approved health promotion programs. Health promoting school includes various health areas: physical activity and physical education; a healthy diet; tobacco, alcohol and other psychoactive substance abuse prevention; accidents, injuries, stress prevention; violence, bullying prevention; preparation of family and sexuality education; communicable diseases; a culture of consumption. Health promoting school community members participate in joint projects, competitions, training, conferences and share best practices. The School Health Promoting Schools Recognition Procedure (Official Gazette. 2007, Nr.91-3656; 2010 NR.74-3758) approved by the Minister of Health and Minister of Education is intended for all schools wishing to become a Health Promoting School and schools belonging to the health promoting schools network. It provides the procedure of Health Promoting School recognition, the criteria for health promotion programs evaluation procedure, the certificate registration and issuance procedures.  

Peer-to-peer education approaches

Information not available

Collaboration and partnerships

The 2011—2020 National Sports Development Strategy serves as a national recommendation on physical activity (supplemented by the Interinstitutional action plan for its development). The aim is to promote physical activity among the Lithuanian population, in line with WHO’s Global recommendations on physical activity for health, with adults exercising for at least 0.5 hour every day, children exercising for 1 hour every day, and at least 500 000 people participating in national sports development programmes. The 2011—2020 National Sports Development Strategy has many facets, including: providing recommendations for physical activity levels for the general population; making policy suggestions to improve the infrastructure and urban planning considerations in order to improve opportunities for exercise; and implementing a clearly formulated national campaign for PE and public awareness of physical activity. Many stakeholders are involved in this campaign: the Department of Physical Education and Sports, Lithuanian national radio and television broadcasting company, NGOs and local municipal organizations. This multifaceted approach is useful in promoting behaviour change in the population, providing information about physical activity and, crucially, ensuring that projects to promote physical activity are implemented.


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

Guidelines for planning and implementation of adult and children life-style surveys (including questionnaires) prepared within the project “Development of the Model for the Strengthening 6 of the Capacities to Identify and Reduce Health Inequalities”, according to the order of the Minister of Health, will be used as unified methodology for all Lithuanian municipalities starting from 2016 to perform life-style surveys every 4 years. Lifestyle surveillance is part of the public health surveillance in municipalities. Every 4 years children (5, 7 and 9 graders) and adults (18+) participate in a lifestyle survey. Surveys are simultaneously organized and carried out by the municipal public health bureaus and coordinated by the Institute of Hygiene. 43 lifestyle indicators are measured (23 for adults and 20 for children). Survey questionnaires are prepared by the Institute of Hygiene and consist of questions about nutrition, physical activity, psychoactive substance use (alcohol, smoking, e-cigarettes, drugs), life quality, selfperceived health, social economic status, etc. Reports in Lithuanian are available.  

Physical Education and Sports Support Fund

Sports for All activities in Lithuania are mostly financed by the Physical Education and Sports Support Fund. All government organizations and NGOs in the field of sports and physical activity may apply to receive funding to finance their activities.

Lithuanian Physical Education Badge programme

Every year at the beginning and the end of the school year, all schoolchildren can test their physical fitness and their sports-related knowledge by taking physical fitness and theoretical tests (on healthy lifestyle, personal hygiene and sports history). Participants are awarded badges, certificates or elite diplomas according to the test results and performance improvement, signed by the Minister of Education and Science and the Director General of the Department of Physical Education and Sports.

“Sunday is a sport’s day”

This is a regular physical activity promotion event organized by the non-profit-making organization “Healthy City” (Sveikas miestas). In the centre of Vilnius, every Sunday, various sports are presented, and citizens have the opportunity to participate.

National programme to teach children to swim

The main purpose of the long-standing national programme is to teach schoolchildren to swim and to behave safely in and near water. The programme is based on the principle of cooperation, involving school administrations (municipal general education institutions), sports NGOs and higher education institutions. Teachers are invited to integrate topics related to safe conduct in and near water into lessons and extracurricular activities.