Refereed article in conference proceedings (A4)

Multisector prevention of childhood obesity in a Finnish municipality - factors perceived as crucial

List of Authors: L Koivusilta, S Alanne, T Mustila, M Kamila, T Ståhl

Conference name: World Congress on Public Health

Place: Oxford

Publication year: 2020

Journal: European Journal of Public Health


among children threatens health and life expectancy. Risk factors
interact in complex ways on individual, household, and community levels.
Interventions on lifestyle factors have been targeted at children.
Although some have impacted weight gain positively, environment and
policy approaches by multiple actors across the society, especially when
integrated in everyday life could have longer lasting effects. In
Finland, multisector collaboration is enabled by several institutional
structures, such as child welfare clinics and student welfare services.
We studied in a municipality how administrative sectors and some key
NGOs contributed to the prevention of childhood obesity, and
particularly, which were the factors seen as potentially crucial.


informants were purposely selected, being those, who had operated in
the process of health promotion in the City of Seinäjoki (Finland) in
2009-2016. They represented several administrative sectors, either as
office holders at the managerial level or as working at the operational
level or in NGOs. In total, 37 participated (1 refusal) the
semi-structured interviews, which were recorded, transcribed verbatim
(355 pages), anonymized, and analyzed with deductive content analysis.


emerged six entities of factors crucial for obesity prevention: strong
and long-term commitment to health promotion both at the administrative
and executive levels; activity aiming at well-being of all inhabitants; a
shared view of the importance of preventive work and multiprofessional
collaboration; competent and development minded personnel, appropriate
administrative structure and the strong leadership role of the health
promotion coordinator; the light administrative structure of the Finnish
municipality; convenient size of the municipality.


was a shared opinion among the interviewees about the crucial elements
of multisectoral collaboration for obesity prevention.

Last updated on 2022-13-06 at 16:18