Friday, July 29, 2011

Effectiveness of workplace interventions in Europe promoting healthy eating: a systematic review

The worksite is a promising setting for health promotion. A review recently published online in the European Journal of Public Health by professor Lea Maes et al. summarizes the evidence of effect of intervention studies in European countries promoting a healthy diet solely and in combination with increasing physical activity at the workplace. The review included studies published from 1 January 1990 to 1 October 2010; worksite-based interventions promoting a healthy diet solely or in combination with physical activity aiming at primary prevention and measuring anthropometrical or behavioural change among adults (≥18 years old) were included.
Seventeen studies solely focusing on promotion of a healthy diet were identified. Eight of these studies investigated health education intervention, one studie explored the effects of changes in the worksite environment, and eight used a combination of both (i.e. multi-component interventions). None of the interventions was rated as very 'strong'. The reviewed studies showed moderately strong evidence for effects on dietary change.
In conclusion only moderate evidence was found for positive effects of nutrition interventions implemented at the workplace. Effects of workplace health promotion interventions may be improved if stronger adherence to established quality criteria for such interventions is realized.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

FUSE (the centre for translational research in public health) strategy meeting

Last Tuesday I attended - as an external member of the FUSE strategy board- a strategy meeting to explore and inform the centre's policy, strategy and tactics for the years to come. The meeting was led by the centre's director, Professor Martin White, and was held after the centre's third anniversary, and two yeard before its firts term ends. FUSE is an inter-university centre for translational research in public health. It is a collaboration between  five universities in the north-east of England - Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside - and works in partnership with the public and in collaboration with the National Health Service, local and regional government and other public, private and voluntary organisations in North East England. FUSE focusses on the translation from research into public health policy and practice, it aims to do practice-based research to improve evidence-based practice, and its main goal is to develop a scalable model for such translation. Such translation of research into policy and practice, and translation of policy and practice issues in research is of of great importance in the field of public health. A lot of research is being conducted but the results certainly do not always find their way into true practice, and much of policy and practice in public health is not evidence-based. In the Netherlands this translation issue is being tackled by so-called academic collaborative centre's. The EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research leads and participates in anumber of such centre's, for example for public health, for youth health care, for occupational health, and mental health.