European Alliance for EPODE
The objective of the EPODE Programme is to contribute to the reduction of childhood obesity and fostering healthier lifestyles throughout the city networks. Under the political leadership of the mayor (or other local leaders) and coordinated by a local project manager most usually nominated by the mayor, and with the support of a social marketing team and the expertise of an independent scientific committee, the EPODE methodology enables new educational schemes mobilising local stakeholders within their daily activities, empowering families and individuals in a sustainable way.
The EPODE Mayors' Club, created in 2005 by Mr Philippe MOST (former mayor of the city of Royan, EPODE pilot city) aims at encouraging national, regional and local political representatives to become involved and willing to develop and implement EPODE-like programmes tackling childhood obesity at a local level.
EPODE now extends to 226 French cities, 38 cities in Spain and 16 cities in Belgium. Success to date is measured by a large field study in the pilot cities and by the encouraging evolution of the BMI of children. From this development perspective, EPODE is also currently implemented in Greece in 13 cities.
To accelerate and facilitate the deployment of EPODE, the EPODE European Coordination Unit organized, in collaboration with the European Commission (DG Health and Consumers), the First European EPODE Mayors' Club congress. It took place on 27 June, 2008 in Brussels. Welcoming nearly 100 participants from 12 EU Member States, it discussed and looked at new ways of curbing obesity through the EPODE methodology (see figure 1 below).
The EPODE Mayors' club was extended to the European scope and was called the European Alliance for EPODE, in order to gather as much as possible European political and Institutional support to further raise awareness about the interest of EPODE-like approaches.
Today, The European Alliance for EPODE is chaired by Mr Philippe MOST, who is also the Honorary Chair of the EPODE Mayor's Club in France.