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GYERE® - Gyermekek Egészsége Program from Hungary

The main objective of the GYERE programme in Hungary is to prevent childhood obesity by addressing the behaviour of the whole family, changing its environment and community norms using the EPODE methodology.

TYPE OF PROGRAM: Integral community-based programme


NUMBER OF BENEFICIARIES: more than 10,000 children

The Hungarian Dietetic Association (HDA) was established in 1991 as a NGO. It has almost 1300 members, including qualified dietitians (BSc), post – graduate dietitians (MSc), lots of dietetic students, and legal entities as supportive members. Dietitian is a food and nutrition expert, who completed higher education. A dietician uses nutrition science to manage foodservice operations, educate, and treat healthy andunhealthy individuals and groups.

The association has given priority to joining the EPODE network, as the international program is supported by the WHO and the European Commission, and the international network has been able to show a number of positive results over the last few years.

EPODE is the largest global childhood obesity prevention program, which was first launched in 2004 in France, now implemented in 29 countries, in lots of towns. It’s most important goal is to help local communities and its members todevelop an active and healthy lifestyle, an essential part of which is to teach nutrition and obesity prevention to children.

The Hungarian Dietetic Association taking in consideration the objectives mentioned above has created the GYERE® program in 2014 by launching a pilot-program in Dunaharaszti. The Hungarian Dietetic Association started the second GYERE®project in Szerencs in 2015 and the third program in Diosgyor in 2018. The three years long program is aiming to prevent obesity as part of the EPODE International Network. Main objective of the GYERE program is to prevent childhood obesity by acting on the behavior of the whole family, changing its environment and community norms.

The GYERE® Program is coordinated by the Hungarian Dietetic Association in close collaboration with political, scientific and private partners.


The GYERE® program is structured based on the EPODE four pillars model:

  1. Political commitment: Gaining formal political commitment at central and local levels from the leaders of the key organization(s), which influence national, federal or state policies as well as local policies, environments and childhood settings;
  2. Resources: Securing sufficient resources to fund central support services and evaluation, as well as contributions from local organizations to fund local implementation;
  3. Support services: Planning, coordinating, and providing the social marketing, communication and support services for community practitioners and leaders;
  4. Evidence: Using evidence from a wide variety of sources to inform the delivery of EPODE and to evaluate process, impact and outcomes of the EPODE programme.

The health education program targets primarily the 0-18y children, but information is continuously given also for teachers and parents. Families with 0-3 years small children are also involved via the local family health visitors network and daycares.

Experts of the Hungarian Dietetic Association hold various activities as interactive lectures and games targeting children in schools and kindergartens. The program follows an in-depth approach, 3-4 months is dedicated for each topic what allows children to have a deeper knowledge and understanding. The intervention period is consist of eight messages around balanced eating and active, healthy lifestyle: benefits of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, importance of proper hydration, role of meat and fish in the healthy diet, milk and dairy products, sweets and desserts, how to reduce fat and salt consumption, local dietary recommendations (OKOSTÁNYÉR®, ”smart plate”).

Physical activity is also an integrated part of the program, each lessons are closed by a short exercise, additionally one month is dedicated to active lifestyle with involvement of local health celebrities.

The program regularly engages with parents, educative materials on healthy eating and active lifestyle is given. Parents are continuously informed about status of the program on regular parent-teacher meetings.

To support active and continuous involvement of children and families:

  • A special GYERE® menu is served in canteen of all primary and secondary schools.
  • Drawing contest and salad-party
  • A free-off charge online nutritional conselling by dietician experts is available for all families.
  • The GYERE® Santa arrives to kindergartens in every year
  • Experts of the GYERE® Program are actively involved in every local community events and activities to provide dietary counselling and interactive games for children and families.
  • A huge family event the „GYERE® Day” is organized on the end of the school-year with entertaining activities on healthy lifestyle for the whole community.