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YouthWiki

EACEA National Policies Platform
Lithuania

Lithuania

7. Health and Well-Being

7.4 Healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition

Last update: 14 February 2023
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
  7. National programme to teach young people to swim
     

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 a healthy lifestyle and 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 of the population, although youth is not distinguished as a separate group. However the tasks of this programme aim at majority of issues that young persons face with: poverty and unemployment, reducing socio, economic population differentiation in rural areas, creating safe and healthy working conditions, increasing the safety for consumers, creating favorable 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. 

Encouraging healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition for young people

The National Youth Health Internet Portal is has been functioning since 2021, where young people can find reliable, systematic, easily accessible and attractive information prepared by experts, aimed at improving health and empowering young people to choose a healthy lifestyle.
The web portal provides information about health services and the possibility of direct counseling of young people and counseling through digital media. The portal also contains a database of articles and informational reports written by professionals on various topics such as healthy lifestyle, nutrition, mental health etc. The portal also has a section intended for specialists that contains the healthcare provision protocols and methodologies for healthcare specialists working with youth.

Health education and healthy lifestyles education in schools

Students at schools can participate in the educational process only after having a preventive health check-up and submitting to the school a child's health certificate (form No. 027-1/a), which must be issued by the general practitioner no older than a year ago. The certificates provide have to be renewed each academic year and contain conclusions regarding the children’s and young adults’ health status regarding participation in the educational activities carried out at school. In the case of health issues recommendations to education institutions (teachers, special education etc.) are provided.

 In 2023 the Network of Health Promoting Schools consisted of 656 educational institutions (covering the majority of pre-school, general and vocational education institutions in Lithuania). The activities of the network of health-promoting schools in Lithuania are highly acknowledged. 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 has 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 conduct long-term targeted and approved health promotion programs. The 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, and 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, and 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 school’s network. It provides the procedure for Health Promoting School recognition, the criteria for health promotion programs evaluation procedure, the certificate registration and issuance procedures.  

Peer-to-peer education approaches

The Network of Health Promoting Schools provides methodological material and publications regarding peer-to-peer education approaches to young persons.  The evaluation indicators of health promotion activity and methodological recommendations are prepared for health promotion activities carried out in the school community, including setting priorities, planning activities, learning from peers and implementation and evaluation.

Collaboration and partnerships

The Commission for Youth and Sports Affairs takes care of the rights of young people, implementation of the state youth policy, submits proposals for the implementation of its goals, executes parliamentary control, listens to ministries and other state institutions (Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, Youth Affairs Department, Department of Physical Culture and Sports) reports and evaluates the received information. The Commission is formed in accordance with the procedure established by the Statute of the Seimas in accordance with the proportional representation of the factions of the Seimas principle. The Commission is guided by the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the Statute of the Seimas, and other laws. The tasks of the Commission include: 1) the formation and implementation of the state youth sport policy; 2) formation and implementation of the state sports policy.

The 2021-2030 National Sports Development Strategy serves as a national strategy aimed to promote physical activity among the Lithuanian population, including: identification and training needs of children, young people and young people with sports talents, developing the system of comprehensive sports schools, integration of sports activities in education, implementing sports-gifted children, youth and youth identification and preparation system, cooperation among sports schools and municipalities. The main  stakeholders include Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, the Department of Physical Education and Sports, Lithuanian national radio and television broadcasting company, NGOs and local municipal organizations. This multifaceted approach also aims at promoting behaviour change in the population, providing information about physical activity and, 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

The National Youth Health Internet Portal is has been functioning since 2021, where young people can find reliable, systematic, easily accessible and attractive information prepared by experts, aimed at improving health and empowering young people to choose a healthy lifestyle.

The National Sports Agency supports and funds projects that promote physical activity among Lithuanian residents through the Sports Support Fund. When planning each year's state budget allocations, funds are allocated for the implementation of sports projects from the actual revenues from the excise tax on alcoholic beverages and processed tobacco. At least 10 percent of the budget of the Sports Support Fund is allocated to the implementation of projects promoting the development of sports for people with disabilities. Sports projects co-financed by the Sports Support Fund are related to: purchase of sports inventory and equipment; organization of sports events; qualification improvement; physical activity activities that promote the development of physical activity; development, maintenance and repair of existing sports facilities. The procedure for the financing of sports projects financed with the funds of the Sports Sponsorship Fund, the distribution proportions of the Sports Sponsorship Fund funds and the portion of the funds allocated for the administration of the Sports Sponsorship Fund shall be determined by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

 National programme to teach young people to swim

The Lithuanian Swimming Federation has been organizing and coordinating children's swimming training project Mokausi plaukti (Training to Swim) since 2009. The swimming training project takes place in 29 swimming pools in 25 municipalities in Lithuania. 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.  A total of more than 73,000 young people participated in the project in the 2009-2022 period.