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J Public Health (Oxf). 2012 Jun;34(2):236-44. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdr076. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

Developing parent involvement in a school-based child obesity prevention intervention: a qualitative study and process evaluation.

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  • 1School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 2PS, UK.



Little is known about the effectiveness of parent involvement in school-based obesity prevention interventions.


A qualitative study with parents of children aged 9-10 years was conducted to identify possible methods to involve them in a school-based obesity prevention intervention, followed by a process evaluation of homework and school newsletters to involve parents.


Qualitative study: parents supported the use of homework and school newsletters to involve them and overcome the main barriers of their work and time. Process evaluation: Ten homeworks and inserts for the school newsletter about the obesity prevention intervention were developed and delivered. The majority of homeworks were given out (73%), completed by children (84%) and recalled by parents (60-68%). The majority of homeworks were enjoyed by parents and children. All the schools put information about the project in the newsletter and this was recalled by parents. Most parents felt the homeworks were a practical way of involving them.


Homeworks are routinely given to children and provide a means of engaging potentially all parents if parental support is required. Homeworks which are novel, fun and involve activities and social contact are enjoyed by parents and children and may increase awareness of healthy diet and physical activity.

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