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Local integrated prevention of childhood obesity: lessons from Amsterdam

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Four years ago, the council and health department of Amsterdam set out to establish a long term approach to the issue of overweight and obese children, awarding a sizeable, structural budget until 2033. A healthy life for children is viewed not just as a responsibility of the parents, but as a shared responsibility, shared by everyone who plays a part in the life of children, be it close by and personal (neighbours, teachers) or from an impersonal distance (legislators, food industry). The programme has steadily been working on building a coalition of partners, all working in their own domain on this issue, sending out the same message: healthy behaviour is normal behaviour. Three simple lifestyle rules form the basis of this message: healthy food and drink, exercise, and sleep.

For the evaluation of this, and similar, programmes Professor Jaap Seidell and team developed the research aims, concepts and methods of the research Consortium Integrated Approach of Overweight (CIAO). CIAO aims to gain theoretical and practical insight into political support, parental education, implementation, social marketing and evaluation through five mixed methods sub-studies and to develop, based on these data, a framework for monitoring and evaluation. The innovative research program stimulates sub-studies to collaborate with local stakeholders and to share and integrate their knowledge, methodology and results. The outputs will support various communities to further optimise the implementation and subsequently the effects of this approach.

Jaap Seidell is Professor of Nutrition and Health, Dept. Health Sciences, Section Youth and Lifestyle at VU University, Amsterdam. He is also Head of the Institute for Health Sciences (2003-2013).

This seminar will be chaired by Professor Nick Wareham, Director of the MRC Epidemiology Unit and co-Director of the Institute of Metabolic Science.

This talk is part of the Bradford Hill Seminars series.

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