Barn leker med klossar
Foto: Marisa Howenstine

ECHO survey gives a clear picture

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The survey, with follow-up interviews, conducted within the framework of work package 2 – Best Practice, shows a broad consensus on the need to improve the work with prevention of childhood obesity in Sweden.

A total of 33 actors, who work in different ways with children’s health, answered the questionnaire and all questionnaire responses were also followed up with interviews. A more comprehensive compilation of the surveys and interviews will be presented in a report later this autumn.


-Thanks to the survey, we have gained a clearer picture of some areas that could not be obtained in the literature studies we have already conducted. Although it is not a very comprehensive survey, the answers are so consistent that they give us good guidance on how best to proceed, says Elin Glad, health process leader in the Östergötland Region, who was the convener of the survey group, which is part of work package 2 – Best Practice .

Actors who responded to the survey come from the region, municipality, child health care and maternal health care, among others. What they all have in common is that they have run or are running some form of initiative to promote children’s health.

Collaboration and evidence

Above all, the survey has strengthened the picture that already existed. Among other things, the need for even more collaboration and a clear common thread in the work with more structure and systematic evaluation of implemented initiatives was highlighted. The need for more research and evidence was also emphasized.

Many participants also underlined that it is important that the work with prevention of childhood obesity not only takes place in project form, but also becomes part of regular activities.

Common long-term goal

-We also see that there is often a lack of a common long-term goal, as well as of anchoring among decision-makers and a clear mandate. Often the work takes place in downpipes with no coordination. Healthcare receives more focus and resources than preventive measures and more knowledge is needed about the prevention of childhood obesity, says Elin Glad.

The report, which will be published later this autumn (in Swedish), provides a more comprehensive description of the conclusions that can be drawn from the surveys, as well as what needs exists in the future and how it will be integrated into the work that takes place. within the framework of Ending Childhood Obesity.