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Udine Conference & Activities

The final partner meeting of the Project was held in Udine, Italy – July 1st & 2nd 2013. Monday was a day packed with interest and activity. The group travelled the short distance to Campoformido where we were involved in a a range of healthy and traditional food-related activities. A highlight was the demonstration by local artisan cheesemakers of their traditional cheesemaking techniques using the most natural and local fresh produce -unpasteurised milk straight from the cow!

The cheese became part of our lunch menu!

We were also very impressed with the demonstration of tasty, healthy  snack making by Suzanna. There were several versions of the recipe created and the nutritional value was analysed using Food in Focus software provided by Crystal.

The culmination of the partner meeting was the Healthy Lifestyles Conference which included a wide range of speakers which continued into the evening. The speakers and their topics are listed below.

Luigi Attenasio

Il cibo come cultura;  Food as culture

Stefania Marzona

Celiachia: che cosè e come si convive; Celiac disease: what is it and how you live

Marisa Manzano

Come vanno conservati gli alimenti per prevenire contaminazioni e malattie; How are stored foods to prevent contamination and disease

Carmen Crosera

Come valutare il proprio stato di salute; How to value your health status

Giuliana Rossi

Il nordic walking: una tecnica che promuove la prevenzione e il benessere; Nordic Walking: a technique that promotes prevention and wellness

Mattia Serratore

La piramide del movimento ed i vantaggi di una vita attiva; The pyramid of the movement and the benefits of an active lifestyle

Richard Jack

Food in Focus2 – Educare i giovani a fare scelte alimentari sane; Educating young people to make healthy eating choices


Healthy Eating Survey

The results of the Healthy Eating Survey are now available in the Advice & Research section of the website.



UK Government & Healthy Lifestyles


People’s lifestyles have a major impact on their health and wellbeing.

Eating and drinking more healthily, becoming more physically active, and receiving appropriate health support at work, have the potential to transform lives. Physical inactivity, alcohol misuse, and obesity cost the UK NHS billions of pounds every year and there’s no doubt that they contribute to organisations’ sickness absence figures too.

The UK Government’s overall strategy for public health is set out in the White Paper called ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People’. The White Paper makes clear that everyone has a part to play in improving public health, including Government, business, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and individuals themselves.

The UK Government’s approach to improving people’s health is based on:

  • positively promoting ‘healthier’ behaviours and lifestyles;
  • adapting the environment to make healthy choices easier;
  • strengthening self-esteem, confidence, and personal responsibility

The Healthy Lifestyles Project has these three bullet points clearly in mind.

Measures for Healthy Lifestyles in Slovenia

Health enables and ensures a quality life and it is a basic source of development of each society.

Health is primarily a responsibility of each individual, while the Slovene government is responsible for cooperating with various professions and sciences to create conditions where people can lead healthy lifestyles. The Slovene government provides for health safety with forming, confirming and executing policies, strategies and programs of health promotion.

This program also includes the strategy of health safety and health improvement with movement. The strategy of Slovene´s government in the area of physical activities for health is expressed in planning and executing measures and activities of the state and cooperating with various organizations of civil society which encourage and strengthen qualitative and healthy diet and regular physical activity of the citizens of Slovenia.

The main goal of the Strategy of Slovene government in the area of physical activities is encouraging all kinds of regular activities and exercising for health. Healthy diet and recommended forms and range of physical activities for maintaining health create synergic health effects and are an important factor in preventing diseases, early death and invalidity and increase the life quality of Slovene citizens.

OKkio alla SALUTE: decreases in child obesity, but still a serious situation

News from the Ministry of Health – Italy

From 2008 to present the number of overweight and obese children aged 8-9 years has slightly decreased, but Italy remains at the top in Europe for weight excess in children. Among children, some wrong food habits and sedentary lifestyles are still too common, even though children doing physical activities have slightly increased.

This is the picture taken in 2012 by the surveillance system “Okkio alla SALUTE”, promoted by the Ministry of Health within the strategic program “Guadagnare salute – Rendere facili le scelte salutari” (Gaining health – Facilitating healthy choices). The detection involved 46.492 children in 2.623 third grades.

The 2012 data show that 22,1% of children aged 8-9 are overweight when in 2008/09 they were 23,2% (-1,1%), and that 10,2% are obese while in 2008/09 they were 12% (- 1,8%). Overall, then, in 2012 the 32,3% of third grade children is in a condition of weight excess (-2,9% compared to the first detection).

The highest percentages about overweight and obesity were collected in the Central and Southern regions: in Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Puglia e Basilicata the weight excess affects over 40% of the sample, while in Sardegna, Valle d’Aosta e Trentino-Alto Adige the weight excess affects less than 25%.

Food education keeps being fundamental: among children there are still too many habits that can lead to weight increase, especially when concomitant. Particularly, 9% of children skip breakfast and 31% have a non-proper breakfast (that is unbalanced in terms of carbohydrates and proteins); 67% have a too heavy mid-morning snack; 21% of parents declare that their children don’t eat daily fruits and/or vegetables; 43% consume regularly sweetened and/or carbonated drinks.

Data about physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles show a small improvement, though remaining high: 16% of children practice a sport just for an hour a week or less, compared to 25% in 2008/09; 17% didn’t do any physical activity the day before the investigation (in 2008/09 it was 26%); 42% have a TV in their bedroom (-6%), 36% watch TV  and/or play with video-games for more than 2 hours a day (-11%) and just one in four children goes to school on foot or by bike.

These findings underline the need to invest even more in prevention to reduce inequality, and health and social costs.

Third Partner Meeting – Portugal

The third Partner Meeting was held in Arcos De Valdevez, Portugal, November 1st – 4th 2012. The meeting proved to be both valuable, interesting and enjoyable and our hosts – Rui, Ana, Marta and George made us all most welcome! Discussions centred on the work each partner has carried out so far and on plans for the future.

Click here to read the meeting agenda and minutes: Portugal Meeting notes


A healthy start in life?

Vania has found this photo. Not the best start to a long and healthy life! Click on the picture to see it full size.

Second Partner Meeting in Rogaska Slatina

… in the deep snow of Slovenia!

Host Organisation: Ljudska Univerza  Rogaska Slatina

Thursday 9 February – Sunday 12th February 2012


The second partner meeting proved to a be a very valuable meeting where all the partners were able to explain what they have been working on since our last meeting in Birmingham.

There were also opportunities for cultural activities and the overall group of Staff and learners together added up to an impressive 42 participants.


  1. Sharing of the actions made in each partner organization involved in the project;
  2. Progress made  so far and definition of the activities  that need to be put in use until the next project visit;
  3. Scheduling of the third project visit


February 9 * 16.00 19.30*: arrival of all participants and visit to Afrodita Beauty Center.

February 10 *09.00-13.00*: Presentation of activities of the Slovene partner to the other partners; evaluation, results

February 10 *14.00 – 18.30: a visit to the local sites in Rogaska Slatina and nearby town Podcetrtek; Workshop: a walk through the park to the Round Drinking Hall; drinking of mineral waters.

February 11 *- 09.00-13.00: Presentation of all the activities that have been started since the beginning of the project by the project partners;

February 11 *14.00 – 18.30: Workshop: drinking mineral water from the natural springs; Staff meeting : second part of staff  meeting including evaluation, results, planning of the activities for the future. Official dinner with the greeting of the Major of Rogaska Slatina Mag. Branko Kidric

February 12 *- 09.00-13.00: Workshop: a short lecture on Goji Strawberries. Farewell to all the guests.

Summary of partner activities

Ljudska Univerza Rogaska Slatina – SLOVENIA


  1. A) Presentation of the project to our participants      Target group: members of our University of Third Life Period (55+)

  • Presentation of the project, our planned activities and the goal of the project
  • Filling out surveys about their lifestyles
  • Testing the knowledge about the healing effects of Rogaška´s mineral water
  • Short presentation of the healing effects of Rogaška´s mineral waters and reading and analysing articles about the waters
  • The participants shared their knowledge and experience with drinking mineral waters
  • Encouragement towards healthy lifestyle and drinking Rogaška´s healing mineral waters
  • Distribution of health charts

B) Survey/survey analysis

  • Filling out surveys about their lifestyles
  • Analysis of the surveys and comparison of the results

C)  Distribution of health charts to our participants – progress monitoring

  • Distribution of health charts which the participants will fill out every two months and monitor their well-being
  1. 2.    Workshops

a)    Cooking in pottery

  • The cook was our participant at University for Third Life period  Mrs. Vida Hustič
  • Demonstration: how to cook in pottery
  • The purpose: cooking healthy food in its own juice without any oil or fat
  • Menu: young beef with green capsicums, eggplants and tomato
  • The whole dish was completely without oil , cooked only in vegetable juice Degustation of the prepared food

b)    Joy, happiness and spiritual health

  • Workshop with physiotherapist, shiatsu and ayurveda masseur Ingrid Ferlež
  • Purpose: to teach the individuals to exercise and train their bodies on their own, to make their body more flexible, to strengthen their vitality and positive attitude towards life
  • Physical exercise for well-being without pain: laughter yoga, breathing exercise, sound therapy, influence of colour, taste and smell, self-massage, the importance of touch
  1. Excursion to Karst

  • The purpose: active walking in the nature and tasting of healthy domestic home-grown food
  • 45 participants of the University of Third Life Period
  •  Active 1,5 hour walking from a small city to local church and pentagonal tower
  •  Domestic dinner with Karst home-grown specialties (cabbage, minestrone with fresh corn and vegetables, bread baked the wood-fired oven)
  1. Lecture on Goji strawberries

  • Lecture by grower and expert on Goji strawberries Luka Kužnik
  • Famous antioxidant that grows in the valleys of the Himalayan mountains of Tibet and Mongolia,
  • Benefits of Goji strawberries: they nurture and strengthen the heart and the immune system, treat insomnia, boost energy, enhance sexual function, improve functioning of the liver, increase visual and auditory receptivity, decrease forgetfulness, lethargy and anxiety and treat chi deficiencies, among other things.
  1. Dissemination (web page, Facebook, local newspaper)

  • Web site Healthy lifestyle in Slovene and English
  • Facebook profile Zdrav življenjski slog Slovenija with over 350 friends
  •  Articles in local newspaper Rogaške novice

MARDIN- Turkey

The Turkish delegation has brought new professionals to this meeting in order to explain the other partners the use of medical herbs very much used as alternative medicine in Turkey. This use is facilitated by the fact that in Mardin’s surroundings a lot of this herbs grow naturally.

The idea of a group of professors of Mardin’s University, is to create a “Health Village” where to cultivate and use many medical herbs as an alternative to the traditional medicine, considering that all medication have side-effects. It has been elaborated and given to the students a questionnaire from which is possible to understand the interest and the will of the students to be part of this project.

The “Health Village” should be built in the same area where the University is located and become the point of reference to deepen the study of these medical herbs and at the same time promote the “healthy tourism”.

The project has been presented to the local administration which is willing to support it.It is planned to add to the use of the medical plants, the “water therapy” that, based on scientific studies, can ease all the stress pathologies that are related to the nowadays life. All this can create new job opportunities for the university’s students.

Previform, Minho-Lima – PORTUGAL

The Portuguese Health Department has sent out an alarm for the raising number of obese children and teenagers and has set up a platform to which only the schools can access.  This platform includes 22 selected recipes per month and the times per week they can be served ex: pasta 1xweek, rice 1x week and so on.

Previform, as a vocational school, is not allowed to enter the program but they can follow it. They will in fact select 25 overweight young people from 3 different schools and offer to follow the plan. They will have 3 check up throughout the project: the first after the February project meeting, the second after 6 months and the last 1 month before the end of the project. The students will be monitored by a psychologist, a dietitian and a nutritionist.

Università Senza Età – Italy

The USE presents the results of a survey given to the Pilates class participants from which it has been confirmed that this kind of physical activity is suitable for everybody and for all ages; from a physical point of view it improves the postural condition and from a psychological point of view it improves the mood. The USE besides promoting the physical activity, organizes “healthy cooking” courses of and for this occasion it will present a small booklet of selected recipes. Both activities are finalized to the prevention of cardiovascular illnesses, first cause of death in the world. The USE also activates theorical courses finalized to acquire the correct knowledge of the nutrients that compose the different foods, aware that only the knowledge can bring awareness of what we eat. This is a path that everybody has to follow otherwise the community will be brought to buy only the foods that are commercialized and are mainly considered “Junk Food”; it is also important to understand that besides the quantity it is necessary to know the quality of the nutrients: a balanced daily diet needs to include 55% of carbohydrates, 30% of fats, 15% of proteins, 30 gr of fiber and 1.5 lt of water. The University finally presents a Training in Service titled “How to Promote Healthy Lifestyles” that will take place in Campoformido from September 3 to the 7: this will be the occasion to transfer to a larger number of operators the guidelines of the healthy lifestyles.


Crystal Presentations introduces the research for a suitable LOGO for the project. Four options were given to the partners who all agreed on one option.

Crystal presented the Brand guidelines which are to be used throughout the project showing the colour palette and different versions of the logo and how it should be used in different contexts and settings.

Progress on the development of the project website and blog were also presented by Crystal and the fact that you are reading this on the blog shows that you have seen the outcome of this work!

The format of the recipes supplied by partners was also agreed and Crystal have offered to input all the recipes and analyse them within Crystal’s Food in Focus2 software.