This project builds on previous research funded by SPHR and aims to provide an understanding of how researchers could work with multi-academy school chains and groups of free schools to implement health interventions.
February 2018 - January 2019
April 2012 - March 2014
Over the past few years the focus of obesity prevention has shifted to preschool children because of the high prevalence of obesity at school entry and recognition that habits formed in early life often persist into later life. In order to develop effective interventions and change behaviour, it is important to understand the factors that are associated with those behaviours.
The findings from this systematic review aim to inform the design and content of interventions to reduce obesity in young children.
The energy-balance related behaviours (EBRB) associated with obesity are 1) intake of sugary drinks 2) intake of high calorie foods 3) less fruit and vegetable intake and 4) sedentary behaviour and low levels of physical activity. This research searched through almost 40,000 papers and identified studies describing interventions to change the four behaviours, studies that describe which factors are associated with these behaviours, and studies that asked children and caregivers their opinions on changing these behaviours.
Researchers found multi-level interventions (child, parents, school, community), including parental modelling of healthy behaviours, show promise in changing EBRBs in young children. However, few conclusions could be drawn regarding other specific modifiable factors associated with these behaviours.
Qualitative evidence indicates that future interventions should also target the barriers to behaviour change. Long-term sustainability, impact on inequalities and potential for implementation in routine practice of interventions should be considered. The findings can be used by policy makers and researchers to develop and test interventions to prevent childhood obesity.
SPHR final report: Systematic reviews of determinants of obesity
Hesketh KR, O’Malley C, Mazarello Paes V, Moore H, Summerbell C, Ong KK, Lakshman R, van Sluijs EMF. Determinants of Change in Physical Activity in Children 0–6 years of Age: A Systematic Review of Quantitative Literature. Sports Medicine 2016 47:7.
Mazarello Paes V, Hesketh K, O’Malley C, Moore H, Summerbell C, Griffin S, van Sluijs EM, Ong KK, Lakshman R. Determinants of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in young
children: a systematic review. Obesity Review. 2015 16:11.
Mazarello Paes V, Ong KK, Lakshman R. Factors influencing obesogenic dietary intake in young children (0–6 years): systematic review of qualitative evidence. BMJ Open 2015;5:
Lakshman, R., Paes, V.M., Hesketh, K., O’Malley, C., Moore, H., Ong, K., Griffin, S., Van Sluijs, E., Summerbell, C. Protocol for systematic reviews of determinants/correlates of obesity-related dietary and physical activity behaviors in young children (preschool 0 to 6 years): evidence mapping and syntheses. Systematic Reviews 2013 10:2.
SPHR Public Health Evidence Briefing: Obesity-related behaviours
SPHR project poster: Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption
SPHR project poster: Obesogenic food behaviours in preschools
SPHR project poster: Fruit and vegetable consumption in preschools