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Interventions to promote an integrated approach to public health problems: an application to childhood obesity.

Research paper by Anna-Marie AM Hendriks, Jessica S JS Gubbels, Nanne K NK De Vries, Jaap C JC Seidell, Stef P J SP Kremers, Maria W J MW Jansen

Indexed on: 14 Jul '12Published on: 14 Jul '12Published in: Journal of environmental and public health



Abstract

Experts stress the need to bring the childhood obesity epidemic under control by means of an integrated approach. The implementation of such an approach requires the development of integrated enabling policies on public health by local governments. A prerequisite for developing such integrated public health policies is intersectoral collaboration. Since the development of integrated policies is still in its early stages, this study aimed to answer the following research question: "What interventions can promote intersectoral collaboration and the development of integrated health policies for the prevention of childhood obesity?" Data were collected through a literature search and observations of and interviews with stakeholders. Based on a theoretical framework, we categorized potential interventions that could optimize an integrated approach regarding children's physical activity and diet. The intervention categories included education, persuasion, incentivization, coercion, training, restriction, environmental restructuring, modeling, and enablement.