Finland curbs childhood obesity by integrating health in all policies

Children playing on a swing at Seinäjoki Health Centre, Finland.
Courtesy of Seinäjoki Health Centre

February 2015 -- Six years ago, almost 1 in 5 five-year-olds in the Finnish city of Seinäjoki was overweight or obese. Not all schools and day care centres were providing nutritious food and sufficient physical activity. Since then, the municipality’s health department has worked with the childcare, education, nutrition, recreation and urban planning departments to ensure all day care centres and schools provide the same quality of services. As a result, the proportion of five-year-olds who are overweight or obese has been halved.