Project euPrevent – Overweight

The topic of the 5th euregional health conference was overweight: A problem that is found throughout the entire Euregio Meuse-Rhine (EMR). Dealing with this problem was fragmented. Organisations from the EMR wanted to collaborate more and tackle this problem euregionally.

Project’s framework

  • Final target group: Children and adolescents in the EMR
  • Duration: 1 juli 2008 – 31 oktober 2012

Focus of the project

The aim of the project was two-fold:

  1. cross-border prevention of obesity in children and adolescents,
  2. develop an effective working method for cross-border collaboration, also around other topics.

To achieve these objectives, work involved multi-media, collaboration and crossing borders:

  • Multimedia: how can we make efficient use of emerging online platforms and deploy innovative marketing and communication strategies?
    • Result: an online quality instrument, HEPS tool + deploying social media.
  • Collaboration: how can we make more use of one another’s knowledge and deploy local activities euregionally?
    • Result: local activities are available euregionally + joint campaigns.
  • Crossing borders: how can we work cross-border effectively and bridge any language barriers and cultural differences?
    • Result: setting up the euPrevent | EMR Foundation.


Professionals needed a cross-border quality instrument to help organisations to examine and improve their chosen policy and activities. HEPS tool for Schools (Healthy Eating and Physical activities at Schools) is an existing, validated quality instrument that was developed by 18 universities in the EU. The instrument underwent further development for this project:

  • The instrument has been translated into the three EMR languages: German, French and Dutch.
  • The instrument has been digitised, which means it is permanently available for everyone.

Read under HEPCOM projects about the continued deployment of the HEPS tool after this project.

Cross-border collaboration

Sustainable, euregional collaboration, currently in this project. In the future, it will also involve other health topics. That was the aim of this cross-border collaboration. People from different levels were brought together: politicians, policy-makers, intermediaries and the adolescents themselves.

  • During the project, young people from the entire EMR acted jointly as a sounding board. They found one another on social media.
  • Intermediaries in the field of preventing obesity exchanged knowledge, experience and innovative projects.
  • At the end of the project, the network had grown to encompass 193 organisations. In addition to the original project partners, other organisations from the fields of government, education, research, health care and services were actively involved in the project.
  • In future, the collaboration between EMR politicians and between EMR policy officials could be used for other topics too. The euPrevent Foundation | EMR was formed in 2010 to guarantee the sustainability of this cross-border collaboration.

Joint activities

Examples of joint activities:

  • A number of successful local programmes were translated into the three EMR languages, including a diet quiz and taste lessons.
  • The Walk to the moon project (BE) was elaborated upon and put to broader use in order to encourage physical activity. The programme, which originally focussed on school classes, has been tailored for individual use and use within the family.
  • Children in primary education are challenged to be creative in their approach to the topic ‘obesity’. The class made a joint work of art. Many schools participated in this competition. Ten winners were chosen from all the entries.
  • Secondary schools were encouraged to design a healthier school canteen. In all regions, a local school was presented as having an exemplary role. Various school canteens received a certificate.


The following studies were carried out within the euPrevent Project – Obesity:

  • Research into the prevalence of obesity among adolescents in the EMR (by a master’s student at H.-H. University of Dusseldorf).
  • Research into the role and effect of medication in the genesis of obesity (carried out by AIGS). Research into the usefulness of the HEPS quality instrument and adjustments for the project (carried out by University of Maastricht and NIGZ)
  • Comparative research into policy and opportunities for schools to contribute to reducing obesity among pupils by means of a healthy diet.



Family day Heinsberg

June 29, 2010


July 5, 2014

euPrevent | EMR: registered Trademark

December 14, 2011

The project euPrevent overweight on You Tube