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EACEA National Policies Platform


7. Health and Well-Being

7.4 Healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition

Last update: 28 November 2023

National strategy(ies)

National Health Plan

Under the National Health Plan (PNS) there is a set of programmes defined by the Ministry of Health, such as Priority Health Programmes, that are developed under the health policy "Health 2020" of the World Health Organisation and the European Union.

The priority programmes were created in 2012 and as a result of their evaluation they were renewed in 2016 for the new quadrennium 2016-2020. The goal is to achieve the targets set in the PNS for 2020, integrating a diversified set of policies and measures.

In response to the suggestion of the WHO-Euro report that assessed the National Health Plan, the monitoring/evaluation of the different national priority programmes are based on a set of indicators defined according to the ECHI indicators - European Core Health Indicators of the European Union, allowing an international comparison and evaluation of the goals established for the year 2020.

Some of these priority programmes stipulate objectives and guidelines that promote health lifestyles and healthy eating, including:


National Programme for the Promotion of Healthy Eating

The National Programme for the Promotion of Healthy Eating (PNPAS) is a national action programme in the field of food and nutrition, which was developed in 2012 by the Directorate General for Health, with a 9 year duration (2012-2020).

Among other objectives, this programme intends to change the avaialabiliy of certain foods, as well as improve the training, qualification and mode of action of professionals that can influence the consumption of high-quality foods, in particular at the level of school health.

PNPAS was designed around five general objectives:

  • Increase knowledge about food consumption, its determinants and consequences, in the Portuguese population;
  • Modify the availability of certain food, namely within the school environment, the workforce and in public spaces;
  • Inform and enable the purchase, preparation and storage of healthy food, especially to more underprivileged groups;
  • Identify and promote transversal actions which incentivise the consumption of good quality food in an articulate manner, integrated with other sectors, namely agriculture, sports, the environment, education, social security and municipalities, and
  • Improve the qualifications and conduct of different professionals who, given their roles, can influence knowledge, attitudes and behaviours in the food field.


National Programme for the Promotion of Physical Activity  

The National Programme for the Promotion of Physical Activity (PNPAF) was created in 2016 and its guiding document is the National Strategy for the Promotion of Physical Activity, Health and Wellbeing (ENPAF). It aims to promote population physical activity practice, across its different forms and contexts of practice.  The PNPAF has four Operational Goals, planned according to DGS strategic goals and initiatives:

  • To promote communication/literacy and increase citizens’ readiness for regular physical activity practice and reduction of sedentary time;
  • To foster and improve the quality of physical activity promotion (i.e assessment and counselling) at the health care system,  and the training of health professionals in this regard;
  • To encourage physical activity promoting environments in different contexts and throughout the life course, valuing and disseminating good practices;
  • To promote monitoring, surveillance and research in physical activity and its determinants and promotion strategies.


National Programme for the Prevention and Control of Smoking

The National Programme for the Prevention and Control of Smoking (PNPCT) was created  in 2012 under the National Health Plan, which considers smoking to be a national priority health problem.

The purpose of this programme is to increase the healthy life expectancy of the Portuguese population and the inequities in health, through the reduction of diseases and premature mortality associated with tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.

The main strategy of primary prevention of smoking is preventing the initiation of tobacco consumption among young people. The immaturity of their prefrontal cortex, among other emotional and social factors, makes them particularly vulnerable to the nicotine effects on the brain and more susceptible to becoming dependent.

Smoking in childhood and adolescence has both immediate and long-term health consequences. The early onset of smoking increase children’s long-term risk of many diseases, like cancer and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Children who smoke are also more likely to experiment with alcohol and illicit drug. The new tobacco products and electronic cigarettes are a new challenge that need to be watched and controlled.

The school is identified as a potential setting for initiating tobacco consumption, but also as an important opportunity for learning how to avoid it and how to deal with high-risk situations.

The PNPCT contributed for the elaboration of a national referential for Heath Education in schools, from kindergarten to secondary school.

In May 2017, on the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day celebrations, a protocol of partnership was signed between the State Secretary of Health and the State Secretary of Education in order to strengthen the smoking prevention in schools.

Under this protocol, the General Directorate of Education and the General Directorate of Health are working together. A Tobacco-Free Generation initiative was launched in the context of the National Strategy for Citizenship Education.

This Tobacco-free Generation initiative will be developed according four components interconnected:

•    Curricular and extra-curricular activities;

•    Teachers training;

•    Production of pedagogical materials and resources;

•    Information and communication.

Under this initiative, a specific tobacco area was created in the webpage of the General Directorate of Education with information and pedagogical contents. It is under construction, and will be improved in an active and participative way.   

In October 2019 the first training seminar for school teachers took place in Oporto. About 50 teachers from the North Region attended. Other seminars and activities will follow in order to mobilize and reinforce the teachers’ role in this area.

All this work to be successful requires continuity and a full commitment and participation not only of schools and health services, but also of parents, families, local communities and all of society.


Other national plans:

National Plan for the Reduction of Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies 2013-2020

The National Plan for the Reduction of Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies 2013-2020 (PNRCAD) arose after the National Plan Against Drugs and Addictions 2005-2012 (PNCDT). This plan includes a widening of the approach and answers regarding other Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (CAD), not only covering psychoactive substances.

The PNRCAD defines the Portuguese State policies in the field of Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies and it is operated through two 4-year Action Plans, 2013-2016 and 2017-2020, within the scope of the responsibilities of the Intervention Service in Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD), which emerged after the termination of the Drugs and Addictions Institute, I.P.

The School Environment - Basic, Secondary, Professional Education and University is one of the contexts of intervention defined as a priority.

The school is identified as a potential area of risk of exposure to addictive behaviours and dependencies.

Identifying the need to develop responses adapted to youth population with addictive behaviours, indicated prevention responses were developed throughout the country by the Integrated Response Centres (CRI) of Regional Health Administrations (ARS), in conjunction with the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth, within the scope of the CUIDA-TE Programme, working in close proximity with schools.

Within the scope of the goals and intervention priorities of the PNRCARD in school-setting, sinergies have been created with other existing Plans, notably the National School Health Plan and the Safe School Programme.


National Reproductive Health Programme

The National Programme of Reproductive Health (PNSR) was established in 2007. The main fields of work with young people are the following: Family Planning, Prenatal Care (through the National Program of Low Pregnancy Risk Surveillance), Termination of Pregnancy and Gender Equity. Sexual Transmissible Diseases and Sexual Education are intrinsic matters to the before mentioned areas. The intent of this Programme is to improve Reproductive Health care and promote the youths’ access. The provision of free contraceptives, in primary health care, as stated in the National Competition List, is a service of major importance to reproductive health.


Besides the listed programes, it is important to stress that the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), inside the organisational structure, has a Directorate of Services for the Prevention of Diseases and Promotion of Health. One of the attributions of this Directorate of Services is the promotion of literacy and self-determination, through informative and educational processes, bearing in mind the promotion of lifestyles that lead to health and well-being. In addition to that, it is responsible for different programmes, such as: National Programme for Child and Youth Health, National Programme for School Health and the National Programme for Oral Health, in which are integrated several projects and initiatives for the promotion of a healthy lifestyle.


Encouraging healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition for young people


Healthy diet and nutrition

School is a decisive and priviliged place for health promotion, in particular for the education and daily practice of a healthy diet since young people spend a long period of time in school, where they eat a substantial part of their daily diet.

The Ministry of Education, alongside the Ministry of Health, has been defining a set of guidelines/programmes/measures targeted at teachers, operational assistants and guardians in order to offer healthier foods in schools, namely:


Food Education in Schools

The Ministry of Education developed a benchmark for a healthy diet - Food Education in Schools - Benchmark for a Healthy Diet. where there is information about the quality and quantity of types of foods, solid and liquid, that are eaten in schools and their impact in the health and well-being of young people.

This benchmark is targeted at schools and intends to:

  • Improve the global health status of young people;
  • Reverse the rising trend of disease profiles that result in the increase of the incidence and prevelence rates of diseases such as obesity, diabetes type II, dental caries, cardiovascular diseases and other;
  • Address the nutritional needs of a more underprivileged school population, providing them with the necessary nutrients and energy for a good cognitive performance;
  • Promote young people's health through Education for Health, specifically in regard to Healthy Diet and Physical Activity.


School Canteen - Guidelines

School canteens are an additional service of the cafeteria that offer and provide lunch for students and the rest of the educational community for a price. They are inserted in the school-context, and must comply with a set of principles focused on a balanced diet and health promotion.

The Directorate General for Education, in partnership and collaboration with other entities, defined a set of guidelines which aim to support School Boards and technicians of the Social Action Services to improve the quality of the food offered in schools.

In this sense, the guidelines classify types of food according to their nutritional characteristics:

  • Types of food that must be promoted;
  • Types of food that must limitted;
  • Types of food that can't be provided.


Adequate Hydration in Schools

The Directorage General for Education and the Directorage General for Health developed a publication - Adequate Hydration in Schools, which intends to inform about the intake of water and make suggestion for an effective promotion of water consupmition in schools.



SPARE is a Planning and Evluation System of School Meals that allows to plan meals according to the current international and national food and nutritional recommendations.  This tool allows to plan, evaluate, monitor and verify the continuous improvement in the quality of school meals, through the involvement of the entire educational community - school, technicians and family.

Also, it aims to raise the awareness and inform about healthy eating behaviours by transmitting coherent and consistent guidelines specifically designed for schools by entities in charge of this topic.


Projects funded by EEA grants 

Within the framework of the financial mechnanism of the European Economic Area (EEA), which funds initiatives and projects whose goal is to reduce economic and social disparities and strenghthen bilateral relationships between Donor and Beneficiary States, a set of projects is being developed in Portugal in the field of food and nutrition, some of wihch are directly or indirectly targeted at young people.


Projects funded in the field of Nutrition:

Nutriscience (Nutriciência) - Raise the awareness and nutritional literacy of Portuguese families.

SYMMETRY: A Promotion Project for Nutritional and Social Equality - Improvement of institutional practices in the field of equality regarding the right to an adequate diet and food security, together with the training of professionals in the social and health fields that intervene in underprivileged social contexts.

IoGeneration - State of Iodine in Portugal: supplementation's role in the school age - Monitoring of the state of iodine in the school age

Eat Mediterranean - Contribute to the reduction of nutricional inequalities in the school-setting, through the promotion of the Mediterranean diet.


Vegetarian diet in school

The law 1/2017 requires that all public canteens and cafeterias of the State must have a vegetarian dish on their menu.

In the framework of this law, all canteens and cafeterias of the State are now required to have at least one option that does not contain any animal products in their daily menus.

Vegetarian menus must be guided by qualified technicians to ensure the diversity and presence of nutrients that comply with the rules of a healthy and balanced diet.

Technicians must produce data sheets of meals, and provide training (portion distribution) in school and university cafeterias and canteens, hospitals, prisons, nursing gomes, local authorities and social services of the public administration.


Pedagogical Resources

The Directorate General for Health launched a manual - Vegetarian Diet for School-aged Children - dedicated to a vegetarian diet for school-age children, under the National Programme for the Promotion of Healthy Eating.

The Manual promotes the basic care that people must have when adopting a vegetarian diet, especially by families that have school-aged children, and also promotes its risks and advantages.

The document was prepared by a multidiscplnary team, including paediatricians and nutricionist with experience in the field.


Mass media campaigns for healthy eating promotion

The National Program for the Promotion of Healthy Eating has been developed several mass media campaigns for healthy eating promotion. During the period 2017/2018, 3 national public campaigns to promote healthy eating were launched: Juntos contra o sal, Juntos contra o açúcar, Juntos pela Alimentação Saudável, using public figures and a strong media and social network presence. DGS signed a collaboration protocol with the four main Portuguese television stations (RTP, SIC, TVI and Porto Canal) for creating national campaigns promoting public health. The first campaign disseminated through Portuguese television stations was entitled “O Açúcar Escondido nos Alimentos” (Sugar Hidden in Food). In 2018, a campaign was also launched to promote water consumption, in partnership with the Portuguese Association of Water, Natural Minerals and Springs Industries (APIAM). In 2019, the first campaign for promoting a healthy diet in Portugal, using a strategy of mass dissemination, transversal to different media (television, radio, outdoors, public transport, social networks and regional press), and with national coverage, was launched. This campaign, with the slogan “Comer melhor, uma receita para a vida” (Eat better, a recipe for life) was meant to challenge the Portuguese to, step by step, bring together the “ingredients” which were most lacking in their diet (fruit, vegetables, pulses and water).

Within the context of promoting food and nutrition literacy in the population, the promotion of the Mediterranean Diet became one of the PNPAS´s priorities and several educational materials were developed. A highlight should be made for the updating of the food guide for the Portuguese population based on the principles of the Mediterranean Diet – “Guide for a Mediterranean Diet”.


Regulation of food advertising to children and young people

Childhood obesity is greatly influenced by the advertisement of food high in fat, salt and/or sugar (HFSS foods). The health impact of unhealthy foods advertising is very pronounced in children and young people. Moreover, young people have an important role in their parent’s food choices Since April, 2019 Portugal introduced a law which applies restrictions to food advertising directed at those under 16 years of age (Law nº 30/ 2019, of the 23rd of Abril). This law foresees the banning of advertising for food products with a high energy value, sugar content, saturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids and salt in instances such as: (a) For a 30-minute period, before and after any television and on-demand audiovisual programs and radio services targeted at children or any program with an audience of at least 25% under the age of 16, including any form of advertising in their breaks; (b) In cinemas, in films age-rated under 16 years of age; (c) In publications intended for young people under 16 years of age; (d) On internet, through webpages or social networks, as well as in mobile applications for devices using Internet, where their content is intended for young people under 16 years of age.


Use of fiscal measures for promoting a healthy diet – Special consumer tax on sugary drinks and added Sweeteners

The excessive intake of free sugars or those added to beverages, has been associated with dental cavities and overweight/obesity and, consequently, to the risk of developing NCDs. From evidence of high intake of sugar in Portugal, and its implications for public health, there arose a need for the implementation of strategies which anticipate a reduction in its consumption.  One of the strategies implemented in Portugal, suggested by the WHO as a possible and viable practice, and which has already been implemented at an international level, was the taxation of sugary drinks. With this measure, it is estimated that the consumption of sugary drinks will be discouraged, enabling a reduction in the consumption of sugar, which in Portugal reaches numbers greatly superior to the maximum recommended allowances by the WHO, and whose daily intake should not exceed 10% of the total energy intake.


Sexual Health

Take Care of Yourself (CUIDA-TE)

Take Care of Yourself is a programme of the Portuguese Institute for Sport and Youth (IPDJ, I.P.), with the involvement of several partner entities in the field of education and health, public and private.

This programme aims to promote youth health and healthy lifestyles and is targeted at young people between the age of 12 and 25, teachers, parents, leaders of associations, health professionals and others that develop activities in this field aimed at young people.

Among its specific objectives, the following stand out: encouragement of regular physical activity; healthy diet; adoption healthy and responsible lifestyles; prevention of harmful comsuptioms; and sexual and reproductive health promotion.

The program is structured in 5 intervention measures:

  • Mobile units: with a technical team specialized in youth health that are on the move to attend and advise young people, as well as carrying out awareness-raising initiatives.
  • Training: promotion of face-to-face and e-learning training iniatitives, tailored for each of the audiences that the programme is targeting, properly adapted and suited;
  • Debate Theatre: about themes of young people's interest related to youth health promotion;
  • Youth Health Offices - Free appointments;
  • Support for Projects: financial support for projects targeted at youth health promotion.


Prevention of risk behaviours and substance abuse

Me and the Others Programme (Programa Eu e os Outros)

The Me and the Others Programme is a programme for the prevention of the compsuption of psycoative substances. It was created in 2006 by a technical team of the Drugs and Addiction Institute and counts on the collaboration of a wide range of partners from different fields and sectors.

This programme is coordinated by General Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD) with the regional support/partnership of the Regional Health Administrations.

The programme provides for the exploration of 9 interactive narrations, with 9 characters that portray stereotypes of youth cultures and social roles. A work of exploration of the participants's identification - all with different characters - is developed.

It is targeted at young people between the age of 10 and 18 and tt has a support manual  (Guidelines of I and the Others Programme). The exploration of the narratives may involve research of information, exploration of the responses avaialable on the network in the approached theme areas and experimentation of group dynamics. 


Health education and healthy lifestyles education in schools

Health education

Health Education is integrated in the Education for Citizenship curricular unit, a non-compulsory autonomous class of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycles of basic education (ISCED 0, ISCED 1 and ISCED 2) and of the secondary education.

The schools have autonomy regarding how they implement health education in accordance with their educational projects, and can be achieved through several activities and may involve partnerships with other entities or with families.

The objective of Health Education is to inform and train children and young people about health and physical, social and mental well-being and promote their ability of intervening.

The Directorate General for Education is responsible for defining the support guidelines and unstruments o schools in the field of education and health, in particular through the monitoring of the World Health Organisation and the Council of Europe directives in the field of education and health.

It comprises the following Theme Areas:


Benchmark for health education

Under the Education for Citizenship class and the Health Education theme area, the Ministry of Education recently promoted the development of a Benchmark fo Health Education.

This benchmark is the result of a partnership between the Directorate General for Education and the Directorate General for Health and SIDAC.

It is a document that intends to be a flexible educational tool, the use is voluntary, which can be used and adapted according to the options and realities of each educational context, in the different cycles of education and scopes of actions.

In addition to schools, the benchmark can still be useful to other entities and educational agents, with a formal or non-formal nature, that intend to develop healthy lifestyles promotion projects with children and young people, as well as parents, guardians and carers.  The involvement of familes and young people is crucial at all stages of the work organisation.


Oral Health and Diet

Under the National Programme for the Promotion of Healthy Eating, the intention is to alert and raise the awareness of the impact of a diet in oral health.


Among other initiatives, the following stand out:


Sex Education in Schools

According to the law 60/2009 Sex education in schools is compulsory and is targeted at all students that are attending national public basic and secondary educational establishments and private and cooperative educational establishments with contracts of association. The workload assigned to sex education must not be less than twelve hours for the 3rd cycle of basic and secondary education, evenly distributed throughout the several terms of the school year.

The purposes of sex education in schools are:

  • Contributing to the improvement of affective-sex relationships between young people;
  • Contributing to the reduction of possible negative incidents resulting from sexual behaviours, such as early pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STD);
  • Contributing to the conscious decision-making in the field of health education - sex education.

The information about sexuality is inserted in the Health Education theme area, under the Education for Citizenship curricular unit.


Peer-to-peer education approaches

Take Care of Yourself Programme (Programa Cuida-te)

Within the scope of the Take Care of Yourself Programme, whose goal is promoting youth health promotion and healthy lifestyles, a set of action measures are provided for, including the Debate Theatre.

This measure promotes initiatives of Threatre Debate about themes of interest for Young People related to the promotion of their health, which stimulate the reflexion and debate about problems that they wish to discuss.

The available Debate Theatre plays are:

Theme: Youth Sexuality - Not too simple, not too complicated (Nem muito simples, nem demasiado complicado)

Theme: Dependencies - "IN Dependencies (IN Dependências)

Theme: Bullying - Monkeys and Pigeons (Macacos e Pombos)

Theme: Nutrition and physical exercise - "the body pays the price" (O corpo é que paga)

Theme: Tobacco - "Only once in a while" (Só de vez em quando)


Dream Teens Project

The Dream Teens Project fits in a wider project - Social Adventure (Aventura Social). The project is a result of a partnership between the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Health Psychology Society, with the goal of creating a network of young counselors (between the age of 11 and 18) and making a national team.

The objective is to actively involve young people and promote their social and civic participation in topics such as health, through a process of active citizenship.

Various partners are involved, including the Choices Programme, IPDJ, I.P., and PNED (National Ethics in Sports Plan).


Various partners are involved, including the “Choices Programme” (Programa Escolhas), Portuguese Institute for Youth and Sport (IPDJ, I.P) and PNED (National Ethics in Sports Plan). Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation funds this project.


Peer intervention in university context

In the university context, for more than a decade, some Integrated Response Centres (CRI) have the strategy of involving university peers in reducing risks and minimizing harm during the academic festivals targeting mainly the alcohol abuse. This approach the training of groups of university students to be able to transmit relevant information regarding the risks associated with these milestones of academic tradition. This approach also allows a reflection on lifestyle in an academic context.


Collaboration and partnerships

Integrated Strategy for the Promotion of Healthy Eating (Estratégia Integrada para a Promoção da Alimentação Saudável)

The Integrated Strategy for the Promotion of Healthy Eating (EIPAS) documents a set of proposals of intervention in the food area, agreed on by an interministerial work group led by the Directorate-General for Health and that mirror the opinions of the Ministries of Finance, Internal Affairs, Education, Health, Economy, Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, and Sea.

The establishment of this strategy had as base the Health World Organisation’s (OMS) and European Commission’s (CE) strategic documents. It also mirrors a public audition where the different parties were heard, namely the Food Industry, OMS, FAO, Professional Bodies and Trade Associations, among other entities. 

The goal is for the 52 measures to be implemented by the several services and organisms of the state’s direct and indirect Administration, responsible for their own fields of action and under the guidance of their own remits, and that their follow-up and monitoring be carried out by the interministerial Group Work of which DGS is the leader, by means of the half-yearly presentation of progress reports.

The strategy puts forward intervention proposals and suggests goals in four different areas:

  • Axis 1: To modify the environment where people chose and buy food through the modification of provision of food in certain physical spaces and the promotion of reformulation of certain food categories.
  • Axis 2: To improve the quality and accessibility of the information available to the consumer, so as to inform and capacitate citizens for healthy food choices.
  • Axis 3: To promote and develop literacy and autonomy for the exercise of healthy choices by the consumer.
  • Axis 4: To promote innovation and entrepreneurship targeted at the promotion of the healthy eating area.


National Strategy for the Promotion of Physical Activity, Health and Well-being | 2016-2025

The promotion of the collaboration and creation of partnerships between schools, youth technicians and others that work directly with young people, health professionals and others is established in a set of measures and guidelines defined in the National Strategy for the Promotion of Physical Activity, Health and Well-being | 2016-2025.

Within its different scopes of action, the National Strategy for the Promotion of Physical Activity, Health and Well-being | 2016-2025 encourages the intersectoral work as a means of success to promote and implement measures in the field of health, especially among young people.

For more detailed information on the guidelines for the establishment partnerships, refer to sub-chapter 7.3 - Sport, youth fitness and physical activity - Collaboration and partnerships.


Portuguese Network of Healthy Municipalities

The Portuguese Network of Healthy Municipalities is an association of municipalities established in 1997, whose mission is to support the dissemination, implementation and development of the Healthy Cities project in municipalities that wish to make health promotion a priority of the political decision-makers' agenda.  

It intends to promote and intensify the cooperation and communication between the municipalities that are part of the Network and the other national networks participating in the Healthy Cities project of the World Health Organisation, creating local projects that promote healthy life habits and the population's health, with some projects aimed at young people in the field of sport and school health.

This project is comprised of a number of entities, including the World Health Organisation, the Directorate General for Health, the National School of Public Health and the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning.

The funding is defined according to the scope of action and the structure of each project.


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


Project SNS+ Proximity

In Project SNS+ Proximity, in the period of 2016-2017 a set of digital books on several topics was developed. The project foresees the launching of more materials for the purpose of promoting Literacy in Health for young population as well.


Online Sexuality (Sexualidade em Linha)

The Online Sexuality  (Sexualidade em Linha) is a helpline for information, enlightement, guidance and advice in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health.

This helpline was created in 1998 as a result of a protocol established between the IPDJ, I.P. and the Association for Family Planning (APF).

It is an anonymous and confidential service, carried out by a technical team comprised of psychologists, with specific training in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health, which aims to listen, inform and clarify questions about sexual health.


Teacher Online

While framed in the Sexuality Online Helpline, the Teacher Online is a technical answering/counselling service targeted at teachers that wish to acquire information about the development of projects in the field of sexuality. It is promoted by IPDJ,IP and APF.


Take Care of Yourself Programme (Programa Cuida-te)

Within the scope of the Take Care of Yourself Programme, a set of information and training initiatives for young people is also developed in the field of health and its various branches, in particular through free appointments in Youth Health Offices and Mobile Units. The programme is promoted by IPDJ,IP.


Ponto já Information Centres

The Ponto JÁ Information Centres are public spaces that provide information and services of interest to youth.  They work on a multichannel logic based on the offer of valencies such as the Youth Portal and Youth Helpline.

They work  in the facilities of the Decentralised Services and at the Headquarters of the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth, for a total of 19 Ponto JÁ Stores.

Young people can acquire information about various themes, as well as request for advice on youth sexuality.


Other initiatives

School - a space for the promotion of Health and Well-being

The Directorate General for Education promotes a set of Regional Days on Health Education.

The initiative intends to promote the awareness of the Benchmark of Health Education and promote the exchange of practices between the different actors of the school community and involvement/collaboration with local health services, local authorities and other partners.

It is targeted at teachers that coordinate health education, school principals, other teachers, school psychologists and professionals of the local health services.


National Defence Day

The National Defence Day is targeted at all young people that become 18 years old. This day is provided for in the Military Service Law and is promoted by the Directorate General for National Defence Resources.

During the initiative, a set of activities were developed aimed at raising young people's awareness to the importance of National Defence and to the role and mission of the Portuguese Armed Forces.

Among these activities, the awareness-raising module of the problems linked to addictive behaviours and deendencies stands out, which is the result of a partnership between SICAD, Regional Health Administrations and Regional Directorates for Health of the Autonomos Regions.


Public campaigns

Within the framework of the different Priority Intervention Programmes, the Directorate General for Health periodically launched and promotes promotion initiatives and campaigns focused on healthy life habits and prevention of risk behaviours. 

The funding and guidelines of every campaign is framed in the goals and objectives defined in each of the Priority Programmes, existing some campaigns directly and/or parcially targeted at young people.

Among the most recently launched campaigns, the following stand out:

National Programme for the Prevention and Control of Smoking

Don't Burn Your Future (Não Queimes o Teu Futuro) Campaign, with different posters targeted at boys and girls with information about the risks associated to the comsuption of tobacco and the procedures to be followed if they wish to quit smoking - "join most young people who decide to quit smoking (junta-te à maioria dos jovens que decide deixar de fumar)".

I Smoke, You Smoke (Eu Fumo Tu Fumas) Campaign, targeted at preventing children/young people's exposure to enviromental tobacco smoke, with information about he risks associated to this exposure.


National Reproductive Health Programme

The National Reproductive Health Programme provides, within the framework of the campaigns that have been developed, a set of documents/brochures with diversified information about: Contraception; Pregnancy, Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Diseases; etc.


National Forum for Alcohol and Health

Coordinated by SICAD, the National Forum on Alcohol and Health is a platform that brings together more than 88 members from all sectors of society (public administration, social economy and industry). It aims to reduce alcohol-related problems through action commitments, developed individually or in cooperation between partners, aimed at the most diverse target groups and implemented in multiple contexts: school, sports, recreational, community, among others. Of the 82 commitments in action in 2019, 61% focus on prevention, 41% focus on the young population and 39% are developed in the school context.


National Programme for Physical Activity Promotion

A mass media campaign named “Siga o Assobio/Follow the Whistle” was developed and implemented in 2019. The campaign was based on behavior change theory and social marketing principles. The campaign implementation ran as planned, and recall was around usual levels following national campaigns (24%), with a significant increase in prompted tagline recall and recall of specific campaign visual messages. Post-campaign values were higher for key theory-based targets, namely self-efficacy, perceived opportunities to be more active and several items tapping on intrinsic motivation (enjoyment, interest, internal locus of causality). In what concerns physical activity, some effects were found, especially on vigorous forms.

The campaign followed good practice as it was based on good formative (planning) research, adopted a population-wide approach, and had clear behavioral goals, and clear multi-strategy implementation.