Accredited Kindergarten for Physical Activity with the Plus Point Nutrition and the Add-on Module Mental Health

Around ten percent of children aged two to six are currently considered overweight and up to seven percent are considered obese. Overweight in early childhood is associated with the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, lipid metabolism disorders, joint damage, high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease and bronchial asthma. Preventable risk factors, such as an unfavorable diet pattern and lack of exercise, as well as social disadvantages, are often responsible. They are especially manifested in children in families with a low social status. The risk of developing childhood obesity is three times higher here compared to peers with a high social status.

Daycare centers have become an essential environment for children outside the family. Therefore, they offer the opportunity to positively influence the development and course of health at an early age. The prevention concept Accredited Kindergarten for Physical Activity with the Plus Point Nutrition and the Add-on Module Mental Health (“Anerkannter Bewegungskindergarten mit dem Pluspunkt Ernährung”, ABmPE) includes programs for behavioral and environmental prevention and is intended to improve activity and nutrition behavior, especially in socially disadvantaged neighborhoods. Since the mental health of children is also of high relevance and the triad of contemporary health promotion for children is taught in a practice-oriented approach, these topics are complemented by the subject of mental health.

The ABmPE is an initiative of the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the state’s statutory health insurance funds in cooperation with the NRW State Sports Association (Landessportbund NRW).

An already completed preliminary evaluation confirmed increased health awareness and improvements in physical activity and in food and beverage options at participating facilities.

The evaluation currently being conducted by the inav, funded by the SHI Alliance for Health and commissioned by the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA), is focused, among other things, on the implementation of the mental health module. The aim is to highlight the benefits of the ABmPE project for the daycare centers and their providers, to demonstrate the effects of the nutrition element and to enable a sustainable implementation of the project.

Photo: freepic | nensuria