[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obesity treatment is by large ineffective long term, and more emphasis on the prevention of excessive weight gain in childhood and adolescence is warranted. To inform energy balance related behaviour (EBRB) change interventions, insight in the potential personal, family and school environmental correlates of these behaviours is needed. Studies on such multilevel correlates of EBRB among schoolchildren in Europe are lacking. The ENERGY survey aims to (1) provide up-to-date prevalence rates of measured overweight, obesity, self-reported engagement in EBRBs, and objective accelerometer-based assessment of physical activity and sedentary behaviour and blood-sample biomarkers of metabolic function in countries in different regions of Europe, (2) to identify personal, family and school environmental correlates of these EBRBs. This paper describes the design, methodology and protocol of the survey.
A school-based cross-sectional survey was carried out in 2010 in seven different European countries; Belgium, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, and Spain. The survey included measurements of anthropometrics, child, parent and school-staff questionnaires, and school observations to measure and assess outcomes (i.e. height, weight, and waist circumference), EBRBs and potential personal, family and school environmental correlates of these behaviours including the social-cultural, physical, political, and economic environmental factors. In addition, a selection of countries conducted accelerometer measurements to objectively assess physical activity and sedentary behaviour, and collected blood samples to assess several biomarkers of metabolic function.
The ENERGY survey is a comprehensive cross-sectional study measuring anthropometrics and biomarkers as well as assessing a range of EBRBs and their potential correlates at the personal, family and school level, among 10-12 year old children in seven European countries. This study will result in a unique dataset, enabling cross country comparisons in overweight, obesity, risk behaviours for these conditions as well as the correlates of engagement in these risk behaviours.
BMC Public Health 01/2011; 11:65. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is an urgent need for more carefully developed public health measures in order to curb the obesity epidemic among youth. The overall aim of the "EuropeaN Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight Gain among Youth" (ENERGY)-project is the development and formative evaluation of a theory-informed and evidence-based multi-component school-based and family-involved intervention program ready to be implemented and evaluated for effectiveness across Europe. This program aims at promoting the adoption or continuation of health behaviors that contribute to a healthy energy balance among school-aged children. Earlier studies have indicated that school and family environments are key determinants of energy-balance behaviors in schoolchildren. Schools are an important setting for health promotion in this age group, but school-based interventions mostly fail to target and involve the family environment.
Led by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from eleven European countries and supported by a team of Australian experts, the ENERGY-project is informed by the Environmental Research Framework for Weight gain Prevention, and comprises a comprehensive epidemiological analysis including 1) systematic reviews of the literature, 2) secondary analyses of existing data, 3) focus group research, and 4) a cross European school-based survey.
The theoretical framework and the epidemiological analysis will subsequently inform stepwise intervention development targeting the most relevant energy balance-related behaviors and their personal, family-environmental and school-environmental determinants applying the Intervention Mapping protocol. The intervention scheme will undergo formative and pilot evaluation in five countries. The results of ENERGY will be disseminated among key stakeholders including researchers, policy makers and the general population.
The ENERGY-project is an international, multidisciplinary effort to develop and test an evidence-based and theory-informed intervention program for obesity prevention among school-aged children.
BMC Public Health 01/2010; 10:276. · 2.08 Impact Factor