Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sustainable prevention of obesity through integrated strategies: The SPOTLIGHT project's conceptual framework and design

Today BMC Public Health published the paper describing the SPOTLIGHT project, a European Commission FP7-funded project on sustainable prevention of obesity through integrated strategies.SPOTLIGHT comprises a series of systematic reviews on: individual-level predictors of success in behaviour change obesity interventions; social and physical environmental determinants of obesity; and on the reach, efficacy, adoption, implementation and maintenance (RE-AIM) of multi-level interventions to help to prevent obesity. An interactive web-atlas of currently running multi-level interventions will be developed, and enhancing and impeding factors for implementation will be described. At the neighbourhood level, these elements will inform the development of methods to assess obesogenicity of diverse environments, using remote imaging techniques linked to geographic information systems. The validity of these methods will be evaluated using data from surveys of health and lifestyles of adults residing in the neighbourhoods surveyed. At both the micro- and macro-levels (national and international) the different physical, economical, political and socio-cultural elements will be assessed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Netherlands Nutrition Centre YouTube video shows the obesogenic eating environment from a child's perspective

In a video recently put on YouTube, produced by the Netherlands Nutrition Center, nicely shows the obesogenic eating environments a child is exposed to throughout the day. The video illustrates what foods a child is exposed to, how easily available and accessible high fat and sugar foods are throughout the day, and how other people encourage and enable children to eat almost anytime and anywhere. For a systematic review of studies on  environmental correlates of environmental correlates of obesity-related dietary behaviors in youth, click here.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Children's fruit and vegetable intakes: appropriate school lunches may make parents' jobs easier

Most children across Europe and beyond eat fewer fruits and vegetables than recommended by health authorities. Promoting fruit and vegetable consumption among schoolchildren is part of health promotion policy in most countries. In a paper published this week in e-pub ahead of print in the journal Public Health Nutrition, we present a collaborative study between Folkhälsan Research Center in Helsinki and the EMGO Institute for Health & Care Research at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. In this study we explored the importance of parenting practices regarding schoolchildren's fruit and vegetable intakes and the importance of school lunches. More precisely, we compared four countries, i.e. Finland, Sweden, and Germany and the Netherlands. The first two countries do provide free school lunches and these lunches are required to fit dietary recommendations, including fruit and vegetables. In the other two countries no school lunches are generally provided. Our study indicated that in countries where no school lunches were provided, parenting practices are of greater importance for children's fruit and vegetable intake; or in other words: if school lunches that include fruits and vegetables are provided, parents may have a bit of an easier job where their children's fruit and vegetables are concerned. The study was conducted as part of the European Commission funded ProGreens project.