Friday, June 28, 2013

Which health behaviors are associated with socio-economic status differences in overweight in school children?

It is well known that the prevalence of overweight and obesity is considerably higher among youth from lower socio-economic families, but there is little information about which eating and physical activity behaviors may play a role in explaining these differences in overweight. In a paper just published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, with Juan Fernandez Alvira as first author, we looked at which behavior mediate the association between parental education and children's body composition. Data were obtained from the cross sectional study of the "EuropeaN Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight Gain among Youth" (ENERGY) project and we explored the possible mediating effect of sugared drinks intake, breakfast consumption, active transportation to school, sports participation, TV viewing, computer use and sleep duration.
The association between parental education and children's b
ody composition was partially mediated by breakfast consumption, sports participation, TV viewing and computer use.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Interventions in low SES neighborhoods to promote health behavior: implementation issues

Although many interventions aiming to improve social and physical environments in low socio-economic status neighborhoods have been and are being implemented, what enhances and what promotes implementation of such interventions has rarely been studied. In a paper just published in the European Journal of Public Health, with Dr. Jeroen Lakerveld as first author, we assessed 18 implemented interventions in three underprivileged neighborhoods. Health promotion experts and representatives from the neighborhoods scored each of the interventions on 'RE-AIM', i.e. on reach, efficacy, adoption, implementation and maintenance of the interventions.
Effectiveness and implementation success were higher when the target group was involved in the planning of the intervention. Interventions were better maintained in the absence of competition with other projects. If the intervention was informed by a thorough inventory of  the current situation the effectiveness, adoption and implementation were better.  Involvement of the target group during implementation resulted in higher reach, effectiveness and adoption. Finally, the reach was higher when the intervention was supported by manpower.