A qualitative study on multisector activities to prevent childhood obesity in the municipality of Seinäjoki, Finland

Leena Koivusilta, Soili Alanne, Marjo Kamila, Timo Ståhl

    Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkeliScientificvertaisarvioitu

    11 Lataukset (Pure)


    Background: Multisector activities are needed to prevent childhood obesity due to its multifactorial background. The first aim was to identify the activities that had been undertaken for obesity prevention and deduce their main targets. Second, we analyzed the public health policy approaches (upstream, midstream, and downstream) which were followed. Finally, we studied the perception of interviewees regarding their sectors’ roles in implementing the local obesity program. Methods: Deductive content analysis was used to analyze semi-structured interviews with 34 key professionals (from seven administrative sectors) who had participated in multisector health promotion during 2009–2016 and five representatives of other core parties. Results: Several midstream and upstream activities were targeted at making physical activity (PA) and healthy eating (HE) integral parts of children’s lifestyle. One long-term strategy was to create environments for PA accessible to every inhabitant and build and renovate the interiors and yards of schools and day-care centers. The healthiness of meals was increased progressively. In addition to midstream and upstream activities, as a downstream activity, an intervention targeting children at risk of obesity was implemented. The impact of management on the activities was considerable; childhood obesity prevention was included in the city strategy and systematically coordinated at the highest managerial level. Altogether, various sectors operated efficiently to promote obesity-preventing lifestyles; however, not all (important) sectors recognized their role in the multisector process. Conclusion: Most of the activities to guide children towards obesity-preventing lifestyles were either at the midstream or upstream level. Among the latter, considerable work is aimed at creating opportunities to practice PA and making it a natural part of the daily life. The aim of familiarizing children with lifestyles that include PA and HE was shared across sectors, including sectors that had not yet acknowledged their role in obesity prevention. Strong support from city management and systematic coordination of the activity are important factors that contribute to the engagement of several administrative sectors in working towards a shared aim, such as the prevention of childhood obesity.

    JulkaisuBMC Public Health
    DOI - pysyväislinkit
    TilaJulkaistu - heinäk. 2022
    OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä


    • Jufo-taso 1

    !!ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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