Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

Design of CIAO, a research program to support the development of an integrated approach to prevent overweight and obesity in the Netherlands

Marije TM van Koperen1*, Rianne MJJ van der Kleij2, Carry CM Renders1, Matty MR Crone2, Anna-Marie AM Hendriks3, Maria M Jansen4, Vivian VM van de Gaar5, Hein JH Raat8, Emilie ELM Ruiter6, Gerard GRM Molleman6, Jantine AJ Schuit7 and Jacob JC Seidell1

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Institute of Health Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2 Department of Public Health & Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Centre, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands

3 Health Sciences, University Maastricht, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands

4 Caphri research School for Public Health and Primary care, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands

5 Public Health, Erasmus University Medical Center, PO Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands

6 Department of Primary and Community Care, Academic Collaborative Center AMPHI Integrated Health Policy, Radboud University Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands

7 National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), PO Box 1 3720, BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands

8 Erasmus University Medical Center, child and adolescent public health, PO Box 2040 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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BMC Obesity 2014, 1:5  doi:10.1186/2052-9538-1-5

Published: 19 February 2014



The aim of this paper is to describe the research aims, concepts and methods of the research Consortium Integrated Approach of Overweight (CIAO). CIAO is a concerted action of five Academic Collaborative Centres, local collaborations between academic institutions, regional public health services, local authorities and other relevant sectors in the Netherlands. Prior research revealed lacunas in knowledge of and skills related to five elements of the integrated approach of overweight prevention in children (based upon the French EPODE approach), namely political support, parental education, implementation, social marketing and evaluation. CIAO aims to gain theoretical and practical insight of these elements through five sub-studies and to develop, based on these data, a framework for monitoring and evaluation.


For this research program, mixed methods are used in all the five sub-studies. First, problem specification through literature research and consultation of stakeholders, experts, health promotion specialists, parents and policy makers will be carried out. Based on this information, models, theoretical frameworks and practical instruments will be developed, tested and evaluated in the communities that implement the integrated approach to prevent overweight in children. Knowledge obtained from these studies and insights from experts and stakeholders will be combined to create an evaluation framework to evaluate the integrated approach at central, local and individual levels that will be applicable to daily practice.


This innovative research program stimulates sub-studies to collaborate with local stakeholders and to share and integrate their knowledge, methodology and results. Therefore, the output of this program (both knowledge and practical tools) will be matched and form building blocks of a blueprint for a local evidence- and practice-based integrated approach towards prevention of overweight in children. The output will then support various communities to further optimize the implementation and subsequently the effects of this approach.

Integrated approach; Overweight; Community; Political support; Social marketing; Parenting; Implementation; Evaluation framework