Preventing overweight in students (12 – 14 year) at lower vocational schools

Methods

The research project is designed according to the Intervention Mapping protocol, a systematic, structured method to develop an intervention programme to benefit healthy behaviour. Because of this method the research is conducted one step at a time and will be refined later on in the process.
The project focuses on the first two grades of lower vocational schools in Zwolle. At first focus group interviews will be conducted with the most important stakeholders at school level: students, teachers and staff, parents in order to learn more about the perception, the attitude and the motivation concerning healthy eating, physical activity and preventing overweight in 12 – 14 year olds. In addition the interviews will be used to detect factors considered to be important to be addressed at school level to prevent overweight. The outcome of these interviews will be discussed with experts in education and health science. The relative importance of the identified physical, social, political and economical factors at school level will be established in a quantitative research among lower vocational school in the Zwolle area. Based on the results of the research projects a tailored intervention strategy will be developed to stimulate healthy eating and physical activities at lower vocational schools in Zwolle. After two years the intervention will be evaluated.
The project will be carried out at the Research Centre Prevention Overweight Zwolle (OPOZ) in Zwolle. This research centre is a joint initiative of Hogeschool Windesheim, the VU University and the EMGO-institute of the VU medical centre.