7.4 Healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition
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The main cross-sectoral strategic policy document for the German-speaking Community of Belgium is the Regional Development Concept (Regionales Entwicklungskonzept, REK). The Regional Development Concept is currently in its third implementation phase, which is the legislative period 2019-2024. The Regional Development Concept is divided into five different categories, so-called “Regions”. Those are the Living Region, the Solidarity Region, the Economic Region, the Education Region and the Frontier Region. As part of the Solidarity Region, there is a project called Living Healthy in East Belgium. This project, however, does not specifically target the promotion of healthy lifestyles but is rather focussed on the creation of healthy setting. Additionally, this project is not specified on youth as a target group.
The main youth policy document, the Strategic Plan on Youth 2016-2022 (Jugendstrategieplan 2016-2022) does partially promote a healthy lifestyle: it considers Strong Against Addiction as one of its four focal topics und suggests a number of possible actions to react accordingly, such as the organisation of a cross-border thematic day on young people and drugs and networking in order to develop new approaches for prevention and awareness.
Another relevant policy document is the Concept for the Promotion of Health of 2017 (Konzept zur Gesundheitsförderung von 2017), the legal basis of which is the Decree on the Promotion of Health (Dekret zur Gesundheitsförderung).
Mission statement on sustainable nutrition in the community teaching sector (Leitbild zur nachhaltigen Ernährung im Gemeinschaftsunterrichtswesen)
For the community teaching sector, there exists a mission statement on sustainable nutrition. It refers to the school restaurants as well as the snacks sold at the kiosk and the educational activities. The mission statement includes eleven points:
- Selection of foods that promote concentration, attention and vitality;
- Adaptation of the nutritional supply to children with disabilities or medical pathologies (especially consideration of allergies); for this purpose, ideally, own jobs should be provided for;
- Adjusting the nutritional supply to the age of the children;
- Promotion of regional food culture and at the same time an intercultural offer;
- Application of gentle cooking processes;
- Priority for local and regional products;
- Priority for organically grown products;
- no exotic and energy-consuming products;
- Priority for fair trade products;
- Compliance with further sustainability criteria (eg packaging);
- common sense in the case of conflicting goals (eg weighing sustainability vs. fair trade product, regional vs. organically grown products).
Fruit project Tutti Frutti
The idea of the Tutti Fruti project originates from Flanders. It targets the nursery schools and primary schools in the German-speaking Community and enables them to provide the children with fresh fruits from local dealers once per week. The aim is to make the children realise the various fruits and their taste. The project has previously been implemented by the Center for the healthy Development of Children and Young People Kaleido (Kaleido Ostbelgien), but by now the schools organise the project mainly themselves, Kaleido only agrees with the dealers on the price and offers the contractual documents to the schools. In the school year 2020/2021, the project has been implemented for the 14th time in the German-speaking Community.
The Working Group for Addiction Prevention and Dealing with Life’s Challenges (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Suchtvorbeugung und Lebensbewältigung, ASL) also offers a number of projects and campaigns.
There is a working group Promotion of sexual Health, the main task of which is to provide sex education. The working group is composed of staff from Kaleido, Youth Info (Jugendinfo), the Youth Office (Jugendbüro) and the Christian Health Insurance (Christliche Krankenkasse). Most importantly, members of the working group regularly visit all class of the third year of secondary school to inform on Aids and HIV. Aside from that, depending on demand, the working group offers other information and awareness-raising measures.
There are currently no specific peer-to-peer education approaches to healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition in the German-speaking Community.
There are currently no specific collaborations or partnerships on the subject of healthy lifestyles and healthy nutrition in the German-speaking Community.
Raising awareness on healthy lifestyles and on factors affecting the health and well-being of young people
Kaleido, the Center for Healthy Development of Children and Young People, is responsible for raising awareness on healthy lifestyles and on factors affecting the health and well-being of young people. It regularly organises public information campaigns and offers informational activities in schools.