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Bowdoin College

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy


The current study takes a novel approach to analyzing how child nutrition and fitness can be used as preventative measures to solve the ongoing crises of obesity and diabetes. A comparison case-study between two stereotypically different European nations, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, was utilized to address how nutrition and fitness education, policy, culture and programs affect the health of the country. Each nation was analyzed comprehensively, accounting for dietary and exercise practices from infant stages to adolescence. Personal interviews with experts in the fields of breastfeeding, nutrition and fitness provided the main sources of information. Primary research was supplemented with data and studies collected from the literature, to provide a well-rounded depiction of nutrition and fitness cultures in Switzerland and the UK. Following investigation into the countries’ practices, non-communicable disease (NCD) rates were consulted in an attempt to draw a correlation between the observed differences in nutrition and fitness culture and disease trends. While a specific causative relationship was nearly impossible to draw, the anecdotal data support the notion that poorer nutrition and fitness cultures in the UK are an unquestioned factor in the higher obesity and overweight rates seen in this country. The results depicted in this study give credence to the notion that proper public health policy, programs and educational initiatives targeting infant to adolescent nutrition and fitness can be used as powerful preventative mechanisms to slow the spread of NCDs such as obesity and diabetes.


International and Community Nutrition | Nutrition | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion