The HEROs Study Year 3: Engaging Families to Promote Healthy Eating and Activity Behaviors in Early Childhood

      Objective: The objective of the HEROs Study (HEalthy EnviROnments Study) is to develop a technology-based, interactive family intervention to promote healthy lifestyles and weight outcomes for young children in the family setting.
      Description: The project aims to improve family routines and parent-child eating and physical activity (PA) interactions. Research activities will be conducted through four key objectives: formative research; intervention design; intervention testing; and education.
      Evaluation: Year 3 focused on completion of the formative research and initialization of intervention design and plans for intervention testing. Parents and caregivers provided input on four key topic areas: food behaviors and environments (mealtime environment survey, n = 120; remote food photography method, n = 31 parent-child dyads; parent focus group, n = 7 groups, 29 participants); physical activity behaviors and environments (parent interview and parent practices survey; n = 31); mobile device use (results reported in Year 2); and daily life (ecocultural family interview; n = 30). A mixed methods approach is being utilized to synthesize findings from quantitative and qualitative assessments to provide a holistic understanding of participant behaviors, beliefs, attitudes and values related to each topic area. Intervention mapping is being employed as a framework to integrate formative research findings alongside theory, findings from the literature and previous research outcomes to design the HEROs intervention. Year 3 also included the development and testing of prototypes of nutrition and physical activity mobile applications that will serve as key intervention components.
      Conclusions and Implications: The HEROs intervention map will be used as a framework for intervention development. Subsequently in Year 4, an implementation study will be conducted utilizing the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) framework to test intervention components with a subset of families. Intervention module cycles will be studied to understand which of the key intervention components resonates with and drives participants towards behavior change.
      Funding: 2015-68001-23240.

      Supplementary Data

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