For the 2019 edition of the EU Health Award, the European Commission rewarded outstanding initiatives by cities, NGOs and schools seeking to prevent and reduce obesity in children and young people (6-18 years old). Out of the more than 120 proposals received, three were shortlisted per category, for a total of nine initiatives. Of these, one city, one NGO and one school were announced as winners at the EU Health Award Ceremony, which took place during the EU Health Policy Platform annual meeting hosted by the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis on 17 October in Brussels.
Have a look at the ceremony pictures.
Amsterdam Healthy Weight Programme
The Amsterdam Healthy Weight Programme aims to improve children’s physical activity, diet and sleep – and ultimately help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight – through community-supported interventions and policies in the home, school, community, neighbourhood, purpose-built environment and city. Our strategy is to realise healthier environments in order to facilitate healthier behaviour. Through a whole-systems approach, we influence the social, physical, economical and policy environments of children and their families in order to make the healthy choice the normal choice. To do this we actively build leadership at all levels, stimulate co-creation with professionals and communities and have an adaptive learning approach.
"Sintra Grows Healthy" initiative
Sintra Grows Healthy (SGH) engages the community to promote healthy lifestyles in primary schools. This intervention project is run by the Municipality of Sintra with support from partners from the field of health, academia and national organisations.
SGH empowers school communities with health promotion skills, combining educational strategies with supportive environmental change to make it easier to adopt better lifestyle choices. There are three focus areas: curriculum (weekly sessions on food education taught by the class' teacher), food environment and physical activity. Regular monitoring and evidence-based evaluations are conducted, supported by the Academy.
‘Ik heb een Maatje’ initiative
‘Ik heb een Maatje’ (‘Weighty Friends’) is a programme for vulnerable, overweight children between the ages of 8 and 12 years old and their parent(s). From a multidisciplinary perspective -including pedagogical and (para)medical professionals- and with a family based approach, we try to help children to establish a healthy lifestyle. We focus on healthy lifestyle awareness, fun activities, parental management, pedagogical skills, empowerment, motivation, self-efficacy and general wellbeing. Even though it’s a group programme, the guidance is adapted to the individual needs of the children.
Project “Healthy and Tasty”
The project “Healthy and Tasty” started in 2012 at the initiative of Children's City Council Zabok, which operates within Society “Our children” Zabok, to encourage healthy eating workshops and decrease the consumption of unhealthy foods and obesity in children.
The goal of the project is to promote and educate children and young people about healthy eating, acquiring healthy eating habits and healthy lifestyles, providing information on the problem of obesity in children and preventing obesity in children and young people through active access to health.
The CROKYBOUGE programme offers health education, through fun workshops in CP classes (children 6-7 years old): 6 workshops for children (several themes are addressed: the rhythm of life, taste development, physical activity, water, fruits and vegetables, food sensations) and 2 workshops for parents. The programme is part of the common foundation of children's school learning. Teachers, assisted by school nurses, are first trained by completing a one-year course with an dietician, and then they are able to subsequently teach what they learned.
FitforKids is a registered Danish volunteer organisation that offers a research-based, scientifically tested childhood obesity program. We run our programme in one out of four of the 98 Danish municipalities and have been commissioned by the Danish Ministry of Health to roll out our FitforKids Programme nationwide by 2022.
FitforKids has also established 4 teams in Italy (3 in Milano and 1 in Torino) and recently we opened FitforKids in Amarante, Portugal.
FitforKids is supported by foundations and municipalities. Participation is 100% free for all families.
Be Active @IES Guadalquivir
IES Guadalquivir's main initiative since 2016 has been “Be Active @IES Guadalquivir.” Our school is located in one of the most deprived areas of Spain, and student health is a major concern. The central aim of this initiative is the creation of a School Health Action plan aimed at educating and supporting our pupils to incorporate healthy living habits into their everyday lives. This Action Plan is built upon continuing curricular integration and the cooperation of the local Health Centre.
Schools scheme for fruit and vegetables, milk and dairy products
Podturen primary school has been involved in the initiative “Schools scheme for fruit and vegetables, milk and dairy products” since September 2018, a programme that aims to provide regular meals for pupils (especially for socially deprived pupils) and to encourage them to develop the habit of having a diverse and healthy diet. Furthermore, the school promotes exercising and cycling as a part of a healthy lifestyle and organises many sports-integrated days, while workshops in the school prevention programme try to sharpen critical thinking skills and help students obtain the healthy psycho-physical condition necessary for achieving optimal educational results and self-actualisation.
Active School Break
Our aim is to keep students physically active throughout the school day. Active School Break is one option to achieve it. We have two 30-minute breaks, which students can spend in the schoolyard, on the playground, on the multifunctional ballgame field, in the gym or on the inside health track. Students have ample choices and can show initiative in picking a suitable activity and equipment. They can take part in dancing and games led by students – certified game organisers. Korona and ping-pong tables in the corridors are actively used.