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Overview of 71 European community-based initiatives against childhood obesity starting between 2005 and 2011: general characteristics and reported effects.

Bemelmans WJ, Wijnhoven TM, Verschuuren M, Breda J - BMC Public Health (2014)

Bottom Line: Eight CBIs provided evidence supporting positive effects on weight indicators and/or overweight prevalence in a general population of children (aged 6 to 12 yrs), and one CBI did not support this.Two of those CBIs were also conducted among adolescents (aged 12 to 16,5 yrs), but showed no effect in this age-group.Evidence supporting effectiveness on weight indicators is available, although the design and conduct of most of these studies were suboptimal (i.e. no control group, a small sample size, not random).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, the Netherlands. wanda.bemelmans@rivm.nl.

ABSTRACT

Background: Community-based initiatives (CBIs) on childhood obesity are considered a good practice approach against childhood obesity. The European Commission called for an overview of CBIs implemented from 2005-2011. A survey was executed by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment of the Netherlands, in collaboration with the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the European CBIs, as identified in the survey, presenting their general characteristics, applied strategies (separately for actions targeting the environment and/or directly the children's behaviour) and the reported effects on weight indicators.

Methods: Potentially eligible CBIs were identified by informants in 27 European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, and through desk research. School based approaches could be included if they complied with criteria related to being 'community-based'. In total, 278 potential eligible CBIs were identified and of these, 260 projects were approached. For 88 an electronic questionnaire was completed; of these 71 met all criteria. The included projects were reported by 15 countries.

Results: 66% of the 71 CBIs implemented actions in more than one setting or throughout the neighbourhood. Most frequently reported environmental actions were professional training (78%), actions for parents (70%), and changing the social (62%) and physical (52%) environment. Most frequently reported educational activities were group education (92%), general educational information (90%), and counselling sessions (58%). The vast majority (96%) implemented both environmental and individual strategies and about half of the CBIs reported a public-private partnership. Eight CBIs provided evidence supporting positive effects on weight indicators and/or overweight prevalence in a general population of children (aged 6 to 12 yrs), and one CBI did not support this. Two of those CBIs were also conducted among adolescents (aged 12 to 16,5 yrs), but showed no effect in this age-group.

Conclusions: Despite diversity of included CBIs, common characteristics were the application of integrated actions at a local level, aimed at changing the environment and the children's behaviour directly. Evidence supporting effectiveness on weight indicators is available, although the design and conduct of most of these studies were suboptimal (i.e. no control group, a small sample size, not random).

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Flowchart describing the two-steps process of CBI identification and inclusion.
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Fig1: Flowchart describing the two-steps process of CBI identification and inclusion.

Mentions: In total, 278 potential eligible CBIs were identified during the overall survey (detailed information provided in Additional files 1 and 2), and 260 were subsequently approached by e-mail with the electronic CBI questionnaire; for the remaining 18 CBIs, the email address was not functioning and no alternative address or contact person could be identified (annex 1). Out of the total 260, 88 (34%) completed the electronic CBI questionnaire. However, four of these projects were excluded because they concerned national action plans, one CBI was excluded because the reported period of implementation fell outside the 2005–2011 time period, and 12 projects were excluded because they did not meet all inclusion criteria (detailed information provided in Additional files 1 and 2). For the present paper, 71 CBIs therefore have been included, which were executed in 15 European countries (Figure 1).Figure 1


Overview of 71 European community-based initiatives against childhood obesity starting between 2005 and 2011: general characteristics and reported effects.

Bemelmans WJ, Wijnhoven TM, Verschuuren M, Breda J - BMC Public Health (2014)

Flowchart describing the two-steps process of CBI identification and inclusion.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4125700&req=5

Fig1: Flowchart describing the two-steps process of CBI identification and inclusion.
Mentions: In total, 278 potential eligible CBIs were identified during the overall survey (detailed information provided in Additional files 1 and 2), and 260 were subsequently approached by e-mail with the electronic CBI questionnaire; for the remaining 18 CBIs, the email address was not functioning and no alternative address or contact person could be identified (annex 1). Out of the total 260, 88 (34%) completed the electronic CBI questionnaire. However, four of these projects were excluded because they concerned national action plans, one CBI was excluded because the reported period of implementation fell outside the 2005–2011 time period, and 12 projects were excluded because they did not meet all inclusion criteria (detailed information provided in Additional files 1 and 2). For the present paper, 71 CBIs therefore have been included, which were executed in 15 European countries (Figure 1).Figure 1

Bottom Line: Eight CBIs provided evidence supporting positive effects on weight indicators and/or overweight prevalence in a general population of children (aged 6 to 12 yrs), and one CBI did not support this.Two of those CBIs were also conducted among adolescents (aged 12 to 16,5 yrs), but showed no effect in this age-group.Evidence supporting effectiveness on weight indicators is available, although the design and conduct of most of these studies were suboptimal (i.e. no control group, a small sample size, not random).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, the Netherlands. wanda.bemelmans@rivm.nl.

ABSTRACT

Background: Community-based initiatives (CBIs) on childhood obesity are considered a good practice approach against childhood obesity. The European Commission called for an overview of CBIs implemented from 2005-2011. A survey was executed by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment of the Netherlands, in collaboration with the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the European CBIs, as identified in the survey, presenting their general characteristics, applied strategies (separately for actions targeting the environment and/or directly the children's behaviour) and the reported effects on weight indicators.

Methods: Potentially eligible CBIs were identified by informants in 27 European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, and through desk research. School based approaches could be included if they complied with criteria related to being 'community-based'. In total, 278 potential eligible CBIs were identified and of these, 260 projects were approached. For 88 an electronic questionnaire was completed; of these 71 met all criteria. The included projects were reported by 15 countries.

Results: 66% of the 71 CBIs implemented actions in more than one setting or throughout the neighbourhood. Most frequently reported environmental actions were professional training (78%), actions for parents (70%), and changing the social (62%) and physical (52%) environment. Most frequently reported educational activities were group education (92%), general educational information (90%), and counselling sessions (58%). The vast majority (96%) implemented both environmental and individual strategies and about half of the CBIs reported a public-private partnership. Eight CBIs provided evidence supporting positive effects on weight indicators and/or overweight prevalence in a general population of children (aged 6 to 12 yrs), and one CBI did not support this. Two of those CBIs were also conducted among adolescents (aged 12 to 16,5 yrs), but showed no effect in this age-group.

Conclusions: Despite diversity of included CBIs, common characteristics were the application of integrated actions at a local level, aimed at changing the environment and the children's behaviour directly. Evidence supporting effectiveness on weight indicators is available, although the design and conduct of most of these studies were suboptimal (i.e. no control group, a small sample size, not random).

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus