[Rapport européen sur les initiatives locales visant à réduire l'obésité chez les enfants]
In Europe, about 10-30% of adults are obese. Estimates of the number of overweight infants and children rose steadily from 1990 to 2008. The complex aetiology of obesity and the likeliness of developing habits for unhealthy eating and physical activity during the early stages of childhood have specifically encouraged the use of community-based initiatives (CBIs) to combat childhood obesity. A CBI generally consists of a combination of strategies implemented at a local level that target the environment or the community’s capacity (instruments) or individuals directly (activities). CBIs are considered as good practice in obesity-prevention policies, as obesity cannot be solved solely by an individual but rather, multi-sectoral responses are required to create a healthy environment.
In 2010, the European Commission called for a project to create an overview of European CBIs that aim to reduce childhood obesity. This report presents the outcomes of this survey. Its target audience concerns policy makers at different levels, but also public health professionals involved in executing CBIs. The report therefore applies a practical approach. It presents results on obesity policy and CBIs in general, the degree of implementation and costs, the contents of CBIs, quality indicators, reported effectiveness of CBIs and practical experiences as reported by the CBI coordinators. In the overall conclusion, the gaps in information are presented and recommendations for policy makers. Finally, for public health professionals, the report contains a section on ‘how to use this report as a practical toolkit?’.