EPODE (Ensemble, Prevenons l'Obesite Des Enfants) Case Study: Preventing Childhood Obesity
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure / Centre for Applied Social Marketing Research
EPODE (‘Ensemble, Prévenons l’Obésité Des Enfants: Together, let’s prevent childhood obesity’) (www.epode-european-network.com) is an innovative program, developed in France and launched in 2004 to help prevent obesity in children. In 2009, 2.5 million Europeans are involved in 167 French cities, 32 cities in Spain, 13 in Belgium and five in Greece. The European Commission is adopting the strategies in its public health activities to address obesity (Watson 2007). The original 10 cities in the pilot program have now fulfilled their original commitment for five years and have all reaffirmed their commitment for another five years, indicating strong sustainability of the concept. A key aspect of EPODE is its involvement of local authorities through the local Mayors. In France, these local authorities have jurisdiction over kindergartens and primary schools, covering the primary target of children aged 3 - 12 years. Mayors are invited to submit an application to be an EPODE community; this involves signing a charter promising to employ a full time project manager for the program, to organize specific activities each month in the city, to participate in national meetings of project managers and to commit at least 1 EUR per capita per annum for five years (although many authorities commit much more than this).