For almost 30 years, the VIVONS EN FORME- VIF® programme, supported by the Association Fédérons Les Villes pour la Santé (Let’s Federate Towns for Health), has been working to reduce childhood overweight and obesity and, more broadly, to provide practical solutions to promote the health and fitness of children and their families, particularly the most vulnerable. More than 250 local authorities in France have now joined the VIF® programme.

The method is educational, positive and participative, and seeks above all to encourage children to adopt healthier lifestyles, and to give them positive experiences without ever stigmatising them. Two recently published studies show the effectiveness of the VIF® approach in reducing the excess weight of children who have benefited from the programme.

With the help of intermediaries working in close coordination in the towns and cities where it is deployed, and more particularly in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, the VIF® programme provides simple, practical solutions, focusing mainly on good practice in terms of physical activity, diet, sleep and well-being, to help children stay healthy and fit.

The project supported: The Bel Foundation wanted to contribute to the roll-out of Vivons en forme® by setting up a specific “Envies de Cantine” project in three French towns.

In these three beneficiary towns, the programme focuses on a key moment in children’s day: the school canteen.
After carrying out an inventory of school catering in these 3 towns, the association will support the service and supervisory staff, offering them the opportunity to improve their practices through training on the subject, tools (booklet of basic concepts and workshops, “question d’acteurs” leaflet, posters, etc.) and ultimately, to improve this mealtime. Among the essential subjects that will be addressed are taste awareness, good portions, reducing food waste, the rhythm of meals, etc.
In keeping with the VIF® method, which focuses on the child’s entire environment, materials for parents will also be made available.

To find out more, read the testimonies of Isabelle Fiévet, Executive Director of the Bel Foundation and Caroline Chesneau, Nutrition Director of the Bel Group: here