Knowledge Based Bio-Economy

ToyBox

Multifactorial evidence based approach using behavioural models in understanding and promoting fun, healthy food, play and policy for the prevention of obesity in early childhood (Consumers)

Project acronym: ToyBox

Title of project: Multifactorial evidence based approach using behavioural models in understanding and promoting fun, healthy food, play and policy for the prevention of obesity in early childhood

Research area: Consumers

Contract No: 245200

EU contribution: €2 989 255

Start date: March 2009

Duration: 42 months

Status: on-going

ToyBoxis an EU-funded study (2010-2014) aiming to expand our knowledge and understanding on the behaviours and their determinants leading to early childhood obesity and furthermore to develop and test an innovative and evidence based obesity prevention programme for children aged 4-6 years. Taking into consideration the cultural, legislative and infrastructural diversities in the participating countries, an intervention will be developed to promote healthy food, fun and active play in preschool settings throughout Europe.

Early childhood is a critical period for addressing obesity prevention since behaviours, psychological traits and physiological processes are largely developed or formed at this young age. The development and adoption of the desired behaviours will help to ensure optimum growth during childhood and increase the likelihood of long-term health in adulthood.

The combined use of Precede-Proceed Model and Intervention Mapping will provide the framework for the development, implementation and evaluation of the ToyBox intervention. Based on the insights obtained at a local level, a multidisciplinary team will develop and implement a school-based family-involved intervention programme that could be implemented on a European scale. Process, impact, outcome and cost-effectiveness evaluation will be conducted to support decision making for European Public Health Policy.

ToyBox-study will:

  • Identify key behaviours and their determinants related to early childhood obesity; evaluate existing behavioural models and educational strategies that best support behavioural change in this age group; assess environments, policies and legislation affecting the implementation of preschool-based health promotion activities;
  • Develop a preschool-based, family-involved intervention to influence obesity-related behaviours in 4-6 year olds, adjusting for cultural, legislative and infrastructural diversities in the participating countries;
  • Implement the intervention program in 6 European countries, assess its process, impact and outcomes and estimate its cost-effectiveness;
  • Disseminate the results and make recommendations for European public health policy.

Website of project: www.toybox-study.eu

Coordinator: Dr. Yannis Manios, manios.toybox@hua.gr

Organisation: Harokopio University, Greece, www.hua.gr

Partners: