Scots Adopt French Anti-Obesity Program

In response to a worrying trend toward obesity among Scots, the Government in Edinburgh has announced its adoption of a French anti-obesity project in hopes of duplicating its significant success.

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The new effort is based upon a French program called Preventing Childhood Obesity Together, better known under its French-language acronym EPODE. Under the Scottish version of the EPODE program, eight communities in areas with the highest rates of childhood obesity will be designated as Healthy Weight Communities.

In each of these, a coalition of local governments, schools, private businesses, National Health Service Scotland, and other volunteers will create a network of healthy-living support services, ranging from walking clubs to breastfeeding support, all with the goal of engaging the whole community in establishing healthy eating and lifestyles as the norm.

Healthy Weight Communities will specifically combat child obesity by establishing a curriculum focused on health and well-being and deploying it in local schools.

In France, EPODE and its predecessor program –Villes Santés, or “Healthy Towns” — were credited with cutting child obesity rates by some 25%. But will a program that worked in the land of wine and cheese have an equal effect in the land of whiskey and haggis?

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