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Fam Pract. 2012 Apr;29 Suppl 1:i110-i116. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmr097.

'Healthy children in sound communities' (HCSC/gkgk)--a Dutch-German community-based network project to counteract obesity and physical inactivity.

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  • 1Willibald Gebhardt Research Institut, Gladbecker Strasse 180, Essen, Germany.



In 12 municipalities at the German-Dutch border an integrated approach of a multi-component intervention programme (physical activity, nutrition, public health, improvement of the physical environment) to enhance an active lifestyle has been implemented in 39 primary schools for a 4-year longitudinal intervention and evaluation study.


A weekly lesson plan, including 3 hours of health enhanced physical education and two additional hours of physical activities offered by sport clubs to balance motor deficits and to reduce overweight and obesity was implemented. Furthermore, another hour of cross-curricular education of health and nutrition education is part of the school curriculum. To achieve 60 to 90 minutes of daily physical activities for 6- to 10-year-old pupils active commuting to school has become a part of school life.


A physical fitness and motor development test is applied each school year including BMI measurements as a part of a socio-ecological concept. Intrapersonal developments of the pupils are measured by different questionnaires focusing on the individual social context of physical activity, nutrition habits and time allocation for electronic media.


Original values of Motor Ability tests show significant increase in endurance, coordination, velocity and force tasks. Also first changes for BMI distribution are explored in only one year intervention.


First results indicate the possibility to counteract obesity and to increase levels of physical fitness and motor development by a multi-component progamme and a multi-sector approach of intervention. The longitudinal design of the study allows having a look on long-term effects.

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