IN FORM - German national initiative to promote healthy diets and physical activity

The National Action Plan "IN FORM – German national initiative to promote healthy diets and physical activity" is aimed at bringing about lasting improvements in dietary and exercise habits in Germany by 2020.

It is the federal government's objective that adults should live more healthily and that children should be brought up more healthily and benefit from a higher quality of life and better physical and mental ability in their education, jobs and private lives. IN FORM is therefore aimed at much more than just preventing overweight. It is about promoting a healthy lifestyle with a well-balanced diet and sufficient physical activity.
The early stage of IN FORM has now been completed. It has served, among other things, to

  • develop instruments and structures for the implementation of the National Action Plan,
  • integrate already existing measures and activities to promote healthy diets and increased physical activity into the IN FORM process, and
  • launch and support new projects in different living environments.

All in all, about 100 projects have been supported by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) under the IN FORM initiative.

The coming years – the so-called consolidation and dissemination phase – will now mainly concentrate on:

  • establishing (and stabilising) measures and projects supported under the IN FORM initiative in the longer term,
  • disseminating findings and results, and
  • promoting both the exchange of experiences and networking between the actors in the projects.

IN FORM thus acts as a "dialogue" for policy-makers, industry, the science community and civil society with regard to all questions concerning a healthy lifestyle. This is, for example, reflected in the initiative's Internet platform.

The Internet platform

An older and a younger woman shopping at the market IN FORM pools projects for all age-groups, Source: P. Meyer - aid infodienst e. V.

The Internet platform is divided into two portals:

IN FORM for citizens is targeted at people in their own living environments. Here, they can find concrete assistance for questions relating to a health-conscious diet and to sports activities in working and leisure environments. On-the-spot contacts can be found on this platform, as can reports of IN FORM activities at consumer fairs and other events. The package is rounded off with delicious and healthy recipes, a fitness check and the refrigerator game.

IN FORM for professionals offers information on relevant IN FORM activities and background reports for professionals in daycare facilities, schools, the business world, and senior care as well as for scientific circles and the press. The databases on the IN FORM projects and actors provide an overview of prevention measures and projects.

IN FORM guidance documents as practical help for experts

In the framework of the German national action plan IN FORM the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) developed guidance documents (in German only) in order to support the work in projects.

The IN FORM guidance document on "Quality Assurance" was designed for the quality development of health promotion and disease prevention projects.

The guidance document "Evaluation" is dedicated to evaluation as sub-discipline of quality assurance. It shows step-by-step how project managers can systematically evaluate measures.

The guidance document on "Communication" is a digital reference guide with check lists and useful links for the project work. It is subdivided into the three areas communication with the public, communication with supporters and com-munication with partners.

Separate portal for school meals

The number of all-day schools in Germany – and therefore also the need for well-balanced school meals – continues to increase. Under the IN FORM initiative, healthy school-meal networking units (Vernetzungsstellen Gesunde Schulverpflegung; VNS) have been established in all federal states. They serve as on-the-spot contacts and provide independent and reliable orientation and assistance with all kinds of questions regarding school and daycare meals.

As of:


© Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture