Helping children achieve a healthy weight
For the 2019 edition of the EU Health Award, the European Commission recognised outstanding initiatives by cities, NGOs and schools seeking to prevent and reduce obesity in children and young people. Out of more than 120 proposals received for consideration, Amsterdam came first in the city category. The other two shortlisted cities were Genk in Belgium and Sintra in Portugal.
Tackling all factors causing obesity
Amsterdam’s Healthy Weight Programme (Amsterdamse Aanpak Gezond Gewicht) was lauded for its holistic approach, which considers all factors that can cause children to be overweight and aims to improve their physical activity, diet and sleep. It has proven to be a highly successful approach, significantly lowering childhood obesity rates. The programme takes the entirety of a child’s environment into account, including their home life, neighbourhood and community, school and day care settings. In addition, the City is pressuring the food industry to take more responsibility. Ultimately, this approach is set to help children achieve and maintain a healthy weight through community-supported interventions and policies applied throughout Amsterdam.
“This award is a huge boost for us,” says Karen den Hertog, programme manager at the Healthy Weight Programme. “And this extends from our team to all departments within our organisation […] that work towards a healthy environment for all children,” she adds. “The award is an additional push for us to work together even harder for Amsterdam’s children.”