WHO COSI in Bremen


WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) in the State of Bremen
For more than 10 years, the Regional Office for Europe of the WHO has been organizing a cross-national initiative to monitor the weight development of children of primary school age, in which more than 40 countries in the European WHO region are now taking part. At intervals of 3 years, anthropometric measures and characteristics of the living environment (home and school) are recorded in representative samples of children of primary school age. With Bremen, a German federal state will participate in this surveillance system for the first time.
The aim of this data collection is to create an internationally comparable database on weight trends and risk factors within the European WHO region in order to identify needs for health promotion measures and to evaluate the success of intervention measures.
As part of the survey, the children's height, body weight, waist circumference and hip circumference are measured according to standardized protocols.
The school questionnaire asks for information on the frequency of physical education classes, the availability of outdoor playgrounds, the range of food, drinks and snacks in the school and the availability of drink or snack vending machines.
In the family questionnaire, information is given by parents on the children's eating and physical activity behavior, on the socio-economic circumstances of the family, and the occurrence of illnesses within the family that are known to be associated with obesity.
The State of Bremen (Bremische Senatorische Behörde für Wissenschaft, Gesundheit und Verbraucherschutz) acknowledges the participation in the WHO COSI survey as an opportunity to obtain a reliable database for preventive measures in schools and initiates this project as part of state health reporting, whereby it relies on the scientific and field work expertise of the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS.
The Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS is responsible for data collection and storage as part of this survey. The BIPS has extensive experience in planning and conducting epidemiological studies and works closely with the WHO as the WHO Collaborating Center for Obesity Prevention, Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Funding period

Begin:   August 2018
End:   April 2019


  • Senator for Science, Health and Consumer Protection of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen


Dr. Stefan Rach