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Development and implementation of a lifestyle intervention to promote physical activity and healthy diet in the Dutch general practice setting: the BeweegKuur programme

Judith HM Helmink1, Jessie JM Meis1, Inge de Weerdt2, Femke N Visser3, Nanne K de Vries4 and Stef PJ Kremers4*

Author Affiliations

1 School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism (NUTRIM), Department of Health Promotion, Maastricht University, the Netherlands

2 Netherlands Diabetes Federation, Amersfoort, the Netherlands

3 Netherlands Institute for Sport and Physical Activity, Bennekom, the Netherlands

4 School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI) and School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism (NUTRIM), Department of Health Promotion, Maastricht University, the Netherlands

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International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2010, 7:49  doi:10.1186/1479-5868-7-49

Published: 26 May 2010



The number of patients with diabetes is increasing. BeweegKuur (Dutch for 'Exercise Therapy') is a Dutch lifestyle intervention which aims to effectively and feasibly promote physical activity and better dietary behaviour in primary health care to prevent diabetes.


The goal of this paper is to present the development process and the contents of the intervention, using a model of systematic health promotion planning. The intervention consists of a 1-year programme for diabetic and prediabetic patients. Patients are referred by their general practitioner (GP) to a lifestyle advisor (LSA), usually the practice nurse or a physiotherapist. Based on specific inclusion criteria and in close collaboration with the patient, an individual exercise programme is designed and supervised by the LSA. This programme can be attended at existing local exercise facilities or (temporarily) under the supervision of a specialized exercise coach or physiotherapist. All participants are also referred to a dietician and receive diet-related group education. In the first pilot year (2008), the BeweegKuur programme was implemented in 7 regions in the Netherlands (19 GP practices and health centres), while 14 regions (41 GP practices and health centres) participated during the second year. The aim is to implement BeweegKuur in all regions of the Netherlands by 2012.


The BeweegKuur programme was systematically developed in an evidence- and practice-based process. Formative monitoring studies and (controlled) effectiveness studies are needed to examine the diffusion process and the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the intervention.