Health-related epidemiological data for children and young people reveal incipient deficits in the fields of nutrition, exercise and stress regulation that can manifest themselves in the form of usually chronic diseases later in life. This is why BZgA primarily concentrates its work in the field of prevention of nutritional diseases on the target group of children and young people, pursuing an integrated approach in this context. The fundamental concept of the work of this Section is not to address health-related topics in isolation, such as nutrition or exercise, but to network individual subject areas of relevance to health. Consequently, all projects are generally based on an integrated approach covering the topics of nutrition, exercise and stress regulation.
A number of interactions exist between nutrition, exercise and stress (at both the physiological and the behavioural level) that make it appear recommendable to combine these approaches in establishing and promoting health-relevant behaviour:
The supply of nutrients and energy lays the foundation for age-appropriate exercise behaviour. It creates the ability to perform and regulates the willingness to perform through the availability of nutrients and energy.
In the reverse direction, exercise behaviour creates a nutrient and energy demand that regulates nutrient intake through the feeling of hunger and fullness. If the energy demand is high, it is easier to secure the supply of the vital nutrients necessary for development.
There are likewise physiological and behaviour-controlling connections between nutrition and stress regulation. A nutrient deficiency and a reduced energy supply (as necessarily occur in all weight-reducing diets) constitute a stress factor that the body has to counteract, e.g. by means of increased feelings of hunger and certain food preferences.
An integrated approach involves more than just combining content relating to nutrition, exercise and stress regulation. It is important to describe the framework conditions in the field and offer assistance both for practical work and for structural improvement. Not only are the scientific foundations described to this end. In collaboration with professionals, the intervention field and its framework conditions are also presented, goals for the intervention defined, and appropriate working aids developed. These are then tested and detailed in practical projects before being disseminated.
Project development, the development of target group-oriented media for target groups and mediators, and implementation of the approach in the field pay special attention to the following points:
- Availability of scientifically sound expertise,
- Professionalism and specialist training of the mediators,
- Gearing to the setting of the target group,
- Opportunities for discussions and contact,
- Everyday suitability and favourable ambient conditions.
Therefore, an event-oriented approach is selected for all projects.
This means creating health-related events in the close environment and world of experience of children that are fun for the children, contain clear messages and are remembered positively.
Information materials on healthy nutrition
This is the portal site for the online offerings of the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) in connection with nutrition, exercise and stress regulation. From here, you have access to a variety of offerings that give you comprehensive background information on different topics. You can additionally find materials, project presentations and further links.
This Internet offering is primarily an information platform for experts, giving the addresses of counselling centres, self-help groups and therapeutic institutions, prevention projects and offers of continuing education on the subject of eating disorders throughout Germany. The support and qualification of persons who play an important role in the promotion and stabilisation of health-promoting behavioural patterns is thus ensured. Affected persons additionally have the chance to directly contact the anonymous telephone helpline, where they are given concrete assistance in looking for suitable therapeutic institutions.
This website is primarily intended for the professional public and offers background information on the subject of obesity in children and young people, a directory of therapeutic centres for overweight children, and the range of BZgA media on child and youth health, eating disorders, and nutrition, exercise and stress regulation. The weight status of children and young people can additionally be determined with the help of a BMI calculator. The website moreover contains information on the latest BZgA projects relating to quality assurance for obesity measures for children and young people.
The "On the Way to Does-Me-Good" exhibition deals with topics that are of central importance for the healthy development of girls and boys: nutrition, exercise, disturbing noise, relaxation, and dealing with emotions and conflicts. The main question is: What keeps children healthy? "On the Way to Does-Me-Good" sensitises children to treating their bodies in a health-conscious manner from the outset. The exhibition offers an exciting course with numerous game-playing stations for trying out, discovering and learning through sensual experience. In this way, the children can get a feel for their own bodily sensations: "What does me good - What doesn’t do me good?"
The project by the name of "Feeling Good - Eating, Exercising, Relaxing!" stands for health-related offerings for young people wherever they spend time: sports club, school, open youth work, leisure time and travel. Based on the Feeling Good principles and the quality criteria, youth-oriented offerings are developed that have to prove, in the framework of comprehensive quality control, that they are accepted by young people and encourage health-promoting behaviour in the spirit of the quality criteria. BZgA primarily focuses on structural changes and the continuing education of mediators when creating and realising the offerings. Synergistic effects resulting from extensive networking of all offerings are currently being tested in the Rhine-Sieg administrative district as a pilot region.
This is the Internet portal of the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) for children’s health and development.
Parents and professionals are given a wide variety of information on the healthy development of children. In addition to basic information on each topic, users can find numerous practical tips, answers to frequently asked questions, further links and much more.
You can also get information on everything you need to know about the subject of nutrition - from breast-feeding and the first spoon food, all the way to the family meal. You can find out how a child can eat healthily in accordance with the simple basic rules of a balanced diet, and also how to make it curious and arouse its interest in healthy nutrition.