Existing policies, regulation, legislation and ongoing health promotion activities related to physical activity and nutrition in pre-primary education settings: an overview


Aviva Nethe, PO Box 500, 3440 AM Woerden, The Netherlands. E-mail: anethe@nigz.nl


Obesity prevention efforts for school-aged children and adolescents are increasing in number. However, little has been done to address the problem in the preschool age. To address this age group, an evidence-based preschool programme on physical activity (PA) and nutrition is developed within the ToyBox project. Environmental influencing factors such as policies and competitive health promotion activities could inhibit or induce a successful health promotion programme. This paper describes an overview of existing policies, legislation and/or regulations and health promotion activities in the preschool setting. Method: data were gathered on policies and activities aiming to improve healthy eating and PA of young children (age group 4–6 years) in Belgium-Flanders, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland and Spain. A limited number of influencing policies, regulations and/or legislation exists; agenda setting of health promotion and policy evaluations in all relevant policy areas was lacking. Also, health promotion activities in preschool the setting did not exist in all six European countries and high-quality preschool-based health interventions existed in three of the six ToyBox countries.