Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA)

Helene Reemann
Elisabeth Pott
Head of International Relations Department
+49 221 89 92 349
+49 221 89 92 359

Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA)
Ostmerheimerstrasse 220
DE-51109 Köln



The Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) is a governmental authority working in the sphere of responsibility of the Federal Ministry for Health. It was established with the aim of preserving and promoting human health and was assigned the following tasks:

  • elaboration of principles and guidelines concerning the content and methods of practice of health education;
  • basic and advanced training of professionals in the field of health education;
  • coordination and strengthening of health education in Germany;
  • International cooperation.

The services offered by the BZgA aim to help citizens to assume responsibility for helping themselves, providing qualified information, increasing communicative and interactive competence and showing social support.

Health in Country

Health Status

People in Germany are living longer – 81.6 years for women and 75.6 for men – although their overall life expectancy is slightly below averages for the Eur-A countries. Between 1990 and 2000, Germans gained almost 3 years of life. By 2030, one person out of every four in Germany is expected to be aged 65 
or over.

Noncommunicable conditions account for over four fifths of all deaths in Germany. About 4 out of every10 deaths are due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD); about 2 in 10 are due to cancer, and about 1 in 10 to external causes (intentional and unintentional injuries). Deaths from CVD are higher in Germany than in Eur-A on average, even though Germany’s rate has dropped by about a third since 1990. Ischaemic heart disease is the single biggest killer in the country: mortality is about 25% higher than the Eur-A average among men and about 40% higher among women.

Lifestyle risk factors

About half of all adults in Germany are overweight, and about a fifth are obese. Among 15-year-olds, almost 1 out of every 7 boys and 1 of every 18 girls are pre-obese. About 2% of boys and 1% of girls are obese. In 1998, a national survey of people aged 18–79 years in both urban and rural areas found that about 44% of men and 50% of women had no involvement in sport.

People in Germany have typically smoked less than the average for Eur-A countries, but recent surveys have found increased smoking among women and among 15-year-olds of both sexes. Since 1990, mortality from lung cancer has been rising among women aged 35 and over. Across age groups, the rates for German women are close to those for Eur-A women, except for the group aged 45–54. Since the mid-1990s, the rate for this age group has risen faster than the Eur-A average; in 2001, it was 17% higher.

Mental Health

The rates of death from suicide have fallen in Germany since 1990, following the downward trend in EurA. Despite this decline, men in Germany, from theage of about 35 years onward, have higher rates of completed suicide than men in Eur-A of the same age. For German women, the relatively higher rates begin at age 55. Neuropsychiatric conditions account for the largest share of the burden of disease on the German population, owing to the associated disability in daily living over the life-course.

More information is available, here.

Projects & Programmes

News & Publications

The "Research and Practice of Health Promotion" specialist booklet series is intended to be a forum for the scientific debate and as a link between science and practice. This series is published in German and in English. It presents the results of scientific studies, expert meetings and conferences.

Also, BZgA has a variety of German brochures, school materials, films, posters, exhibitions and working materials, which are mostly free of charge. Download here

Finally, there are two monographies which should be mentioned:

  1. BZgA (2003) (Hg). Leitbegriffe der Gesundheitsförderung. Fachverlag Peter Sabo, Schwabenheim
  2. Naidoo J, Wills J (Hg). Lehrbuch der Gesundheitsförderung (German translation edited by BZgA). Verlag für Gesundheitsförderung, Werbach-Gamburg

Useful Links



EuroHealthNet illustrates the strong links which exist between health, poverty and social exclusion
European Quality of Life Survey 2012
See video