Familie+ Zusammen gesund leben in Familie und Schule

Linking family based and school based intervention strategies to promote energy-balance related behaviors in primary school children

At a Glance


„Familie+ - Zusammen gesund leben in Familie und Schule“ is a project that focuses on the question how families could be reached and integrated in intervention programs in the context of preventing overweight and obesity in primary school aged children. The goal is to help children and their families to attain a healthier lifestyle with more physical activity and a balanced diet. Therefore family- and school-based interventions are developed and evaluated for feasibility and effectiveness. The approach will be implemented in three communities in Germany. Through linking the setting family and school, the implemented intervention strategies should be more effective and sustainable.

Background


Obesity is still an urgent public health issue. In Germany more than half of the population are now at least overweight, which not only has negative effects for individuals but also for society. The risk to become obese as an adult is significant higher for children, that are already overweight. Hence it is important to promote healthy behavior at a young age.

Parents play a central role in health-related behaviors of their children and therefore in preventing childhood obesity. Schools are another important environment for kids that influences health-related behavior. Familie+ focuses on the integration of both settings - families and schools - in an intervention program for promoting physical activity, sedentary behavior, dietary intake, and sleep.

Aims of the Project


The aim is to change energy-balance related behaviors (e.g. physical activity, sedentary behavior, dietary intake, and sleep) by using a participatory approach to develop, implement and evaluate behavior change strategies in schools and families. The main idea is to connect the most important settings of daily life in children – school and family.  Energy-balance related behaviors develop and are maintained in both settings. Therefore, we aim to develop a link between family-based and school-based intervention strategies to address energy-balance related behaviors in both settings simultaneously.

Methods and Implementation


The Familie+ interventions are developed, implemented and evaluated in three communities in Germany. Initially, network and stakeholder analyses are performed and local conditions, expectations and needs are analyzed via focus groups. Then the concept for family- and school-based intervention strategies are adapted to the needs and circumstances of schools and families in a participatory approach aiming to increase implementation quantity and quality (e.g. acceptance, feasibility). Development, implementation and effectiveness will be evaluated and factors for a successful implementation especially regarding reaching and involving families will be derived.