The uptake, implementation, and maintenance of effective interventions promoting physical activity (PA) and a healthy diet and the implementation of policies targeting these behaviors are processes not well understood. In an exploratory study just published in BMC Public Health with Saskia Muelmann from the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology (BIPS) aimed to gain a better understanding of what health promotion professionals and policy makers think are important factors that facilitate adoption, implementation, and maintenance of comprehensive interventions and policies promoting healthy eating and PA in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Norway, and Poland.
Six interventions and six policies were explored by means of semi-structured interviews with stakeholders from various sectors to elicit information on factors impacting adoption, implementation, and maintenance of these interventions and policies.
Active involvement of relevant stakeholders in all phases of intervention/policy development and good communication between coordinating organizations were described as important factors contributing to successful adoption and implementatio
n of both interventions and policies. Additional facilitating factors included sufficient training of staff and tailoring of materials to match needs of various target groups. The respondents indicated that maintenance of implemented interventions/policies depended on whether they were embedded in existing or newly created organizational structures in different settings and whether continued funding was secured.
Despite considerable heterogeneity of interventions and health policies in the five countries, stakeholders across these countries identified very similar factors facilitating adoption, implementation, and maintenance of these interventions and policies. This study was part of the Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity (DEDIPAC) knowledge hub, the first joint action of the Joint Programming Initiative 'A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life'.