24 May

PhD Defence Lisa Susan Elisabeth Harms

Supervisor: Dr. Jessica Gubbels

Co-supervisors: Dr. Sanne Gerards, Dr. Kathelijne Bessems

Keywords: Lifestyle interventions, Families, Childcare, Primary school

"Involving parents in lifestyle interventions for children. Where is the fun in that?"

Children should be supported from an early age in the development of healthy lifestyle behaviours. Despite the great potential of lifestyle interventions, there are challenges in reaching and engaging parents. 

This research aimed to improve our understanding of what works in involving parents and why. Parents were invited to participate in the development and evaluation of two lifestyle interventions: SuperFIT and Up for Cooking. In interviews, parents were asked to reflect on their experiences with the interventions and what aspects should be improved. In addition, this dissertation evaluated the impact of the interventions on parents (e.g., cooking skills or parenting practices) and whether participation led to changes at home. The studies also identified successful elements of each lifestyle intervention. 

Together, the studies in this dissertation support the development of future lifestyle interventions that are enjoyable for parents and children, and provide recommendations for practitioners. 

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