Policy options for responding to the growing challenge from obesity (PorGrow) in Poland


Dr L Szponar, Department of Food and Nutrition Safety, National Food and Nutrition Institute, ul. Powsinska 61/63, 02-903 Warsaw, Poland. E-mail: l.szponar@izz.waw.pl


To explore the perspectives of stakeholders towards a range of policy options to respond to obesity in Poland, a multi-criteria mapping method was used. During structured interviews, stakeholders were invited to appraise policy options by reference to criteria of their own choosing. They also provided relative weightings to their criteria, generating overall rankings of the policy options in relation to each other.

Efficacy, feasibility and societal benefits were the groups of criteria deemed most important. There was most consensus in favour of options related to health education, particularly in schools, compared with options that aimed at modifying the environment to prevent obesity, i.e. options around physical activity, modifying the supply and demand for food products, and information-related options. There was little support for technological solutions or institutional reforms.

There was broad consensus that to reverse the rising trend in the incidence of obesity, it will be necessary to implement a portfolio of measures, but options related to behaviour change through education are most highly regarded.

It will also be necessary to invest in improved surveillance and monitoring of Polish dietary practices, levels of physical activity and obesity in terms of data on height, weight and body mass indexes.