About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
Journal of Obesity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 632540, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/632540
Research Article

Towards Health in All Policies for Childhood Obesity Prevention

1Academic Collaborative Centre for Public Health Limburg, Regional Public Health Service, P.O. Box 2022, 6160 HA, Geleen, The Netherlands
2Caphri, School of Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
3Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Department of Health Promotion, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
4NUTRIM, School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
5Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
6Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Department of Health Services Research Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands

Received 14 November 2012; Accepted 21 March 2013

Academic Editor: Francoise Rovillé-Sausse

Copyright © 2013 Anna-Marie Hendriks et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The childhood obesity epidemic can be best tackled by means of an integrated approach, which is enabled by integrated public health policies, or Health in All Policies. Integrated policies are developed through intersectoral collaboration between local government policy makers from health and nonhealth sectors. Such intersectoral collaboration has been proved to be difficult. In this study, we investigated which resources influence intersectoral collaboration. The behavior change wheel framework was used to categorize motivation-, capability-, and opportunity-related resources for intersectoral collaboration. In-depth interviews were held with eight officials representing 10 non-health policy sectors within a local government. Results showed that health and non-health policy sectors did not share policy goals, which decreased motivation for intersectoral collaboration. Awareness of the linkage between health and nonhealth policy sectors was limited, and management was not involved in creating such awareness, which reduced the capability for intersectoral collaboration. Insufficient organizational resources and structures reduced opportunities for intersectoral collaboration. To stimulate intersectoral collaboration to prevent childhood obesity, we recommend that public health professionals should reframe health goals in the terminology of nonhealth policy sectors, that municipal department managers should increase awareness of public health in non-health policy sectors, and that flatter organizational structures should be established.