Obesity Prevention Program

Obesity Prevention Program is measuring the efficiency of the “Cantonal Intervention Programs for a Healthy Body Weight” in the management of healthy bodies for children and youths in Switzerland. The program was a national obesity prevention initiative whose main focus was to counteract various factors that contribute to obesity in children and youths.

The program focused on a balanced diet and adequate exercise among youth and children intending to reduce cases of obesity. The program, which was rolled out in almost all parts of the country, targeted groups such as caregivers, daycare supervisors, parents, and teachers. The programs involved developed the school environment that promotes physical exercise, training and guidance of parents on diet issues, and training of parents’ guidance on obesity prevention. The program mainly focused on obesity prevention at homes and schools.

Ackermann et al. (22-25) measured several outcomes, which include public awareness of the programs and their importance, the BMI statistics from 26,707 school children, and a balanced diet and adequate exercise statistics as collected by the school doctors in about 11 cantons and cities. The program changing variables such as the level of consumption of a balanced diet among children and youth and the number of physical exercise factors that would stabilize their body weights and BMIs. Under the dietary balance, variables such as consumption of water, consumption of unsweetened drinks, and intake of vegetables were measured.

The “Cantonal Intervention Programs for a Healthy Body Weight” was designed to last for 12 years and target stabilizing body weights and BMIs for the children and youths in the country. The results of the programs and their outcomes were based on the outcome of the program, mainly between the years 2002-2010. Several outcomes ranging from public awareness, diet recommendation adherence, and BMI stabilization, were observed as a result of the program. Before the enrolment of the program, only 12% of the children in Switzerland were estimated to psychically active.

However, after the program, which encouraged the promotion of a healthy environment in schools that mainly promoted physical exercise, about 45% of the boys and 33% of the girls were physically active (Ackermann et al. 24). The program also resulted in a slight increase in the vegetable and fruit consumption among children between the age of 11 and 15 years from the previously measured level of about 12% in 2002 to 21% measured in 2010. Further, as a result of the program, 15% of the school children adhered to water level consumption, 35% on unsweetened drinks consumption, and 21% on salt consumption (Ackermann et al. 24).

Ackermann et al. (24) note that as a result of the diet and physical exercise promotion as well as an increase in public awareness by the program, the problem of obesity among children and youths has been significantly reduced. The data indicated that about 17% of all children in different institutions over overweight, with about 4% being obese. Children whose parents were foreigners, as well as less-educated, were more affected by the problem as compared to other persons in the country.

However, as a result of increased public awareness (an estimated increase from 52% to 76%), the case of obesity among these persons decreased. Generally, as a result of the different measures under the Cantonal Intervention Programs for a Healthy Body Weight, the BMIs of children and youths in the country have significantly stabilized since 2006.

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