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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 913236, 14 pages
Research Article

Interventions to Promote an Integrated Approach to Public Health Problems: An Application to Childhood Obesity

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
3Department of Health Promotion, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, 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 Health Sciences and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Received 5 March 2012; Accepted 8 May 2012

Academic Editor: Ross E. Andersen

Copyright © 2012 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.


Experts stress the need to bring the childhood obesity epidemic under control by means of an integrated approach. The implementation of such an approach requires the development of integrated enabling policies on public health by local governments. A prerequisite for developing such integrated public health policies is intersectoral collaboration. Since the development of integrated policies is still in its early stages, this study aimed to answer the following research question: “What interventions can promote intersectoral collaboration and the development of integrated health policies for the prevention of childhood obesity?” Data were collected through a literature search and observations of and interviews with stakeholders. Based on a theoretical framework, we categorized potential interventions that could optimize an integrated approach regarding children's physical activity and diet. The intervention categories included education, persuasion, incentivization, coercion, training, restriction, environmental restructuring, modeling, and enablement.