Conceptual approaches in the prevention of child overweight in Germany—the research project ‘Systematization of Conceptual Approaches’ (SCAP)

  • Raimund GeeneEmail author
  • Birgit Babitsch
  • Holger Hassel
  • Thomas Kliche
  • Peter Paulus
  • Eike Quilling
  • Waldemar Suess
  • Ulla Walter
  • Kevin Dadaczynski
Original Article



Childhood overweight is a serious public health challenge. There is a complex landscape of interventions with multiple subjects, target groups, and approaches for different settings in Germany.


There is a need to get an overview and to analyze the conceptual approaches of interventions on overweight and obesity prevention in childhood and adolescence.

Subjects and methods

To provide a systematic overview, SCAP developed as a first step a catalog of descriptive indicators to analyze the conceptual approaches of interventions. The indicators can be assigned to five global dimensions: (1) setting, (2) conceptual approach, (3) target group, (4) quality requirements for the conception of universal prevention (in generic and setting-specific), and (5) determinants. These dimensions were used in the second project step to analyze overweight prevention programs in four settings and to systemize the applied conceptual approaches. The third step entailed identifying gaps, improvement potential, and recommendations for action.


This project contributes to the improvement of childhood overweight and obesity prevention measures by focusing on setting-specific approaches. It provides a systematic overview of the approaches, which allows an in-depth overview at both a generic and setting-specific level. Recommendations focused on gaps in evidence concerning implementation and a need of transparency. There are further requirements for coordination, checklists, and an intervention database.


The results of the SCAP project can be used in the quality-oriented development of intervention measures, which could make it valuable for the implementation of the new German Preventive Health Care Act.


Obesity prevention Health promotion Conceptual approaches, childhood and adolescence 



The project was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) and by the German Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Berlin School of Public HealthBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Osnabrueck UniversityOsnabrueckGermany
  3. 3.Coburg University of Applied Sciences and ArtsCoburgGermany
  4. 4.University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-StendalStendalGermany
  5. 5.Leuphana University LueneburgLueneburgGermany
  6. 6.RheinMain University of Applied SciencesWiesbadenGermany
  7. 7.University Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  8. 8.Hannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  9. 9.Fulda University of Applied SciencesFuldaGermany

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