Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids UK: a cultural adaptation and feasibility study of a weight management programme for fathers of younger children

Jolly K, Griffin T, Sidhu M, Adab P, Burgess A, Collins C, Daley A, Entwistle A, Frew E, Hardy P, Hurley K, Jones L, McGee E, Pallan M, Sun Y, Young M, Morgan P
Record ID 32016000805
Authors' objectives: Nearly half of men aged 35-44 are overweight and a quarter are obese. Obesity is a major cause of long-term disease such as diabetes and heart disease and losing 5% of body weight reduces the risk of these diseases, but few men attend weight management services. Children are increasingly overweight, with 1 in 3 children aged 10/11 years overweight or obese. Whilst there are weight loss programmes for overweight children, the drop-out from these services is high. We propose to adapt a programme developed in Australia (Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids) which aims to help fathers lose weight and be positive role models for their children in their eating habits and physical activity. Fathers together with their primary school aged children attend 9 group sessions where information is provided and discussed, and fun physical activities are done together. Mothers/partners are invited to attend 2 sessions. In a research study in Australia, fathers and the children both lost weight, with fathers losing 3½kgs 3 months from the study start. The programme has not been tested in diverse ethnic groups or socio-economically disadvantaged communities, or outside Australia. An initial review of the programme booklet used in Australia for the fathers suggests that some changes would be needed to make it suitable for ethnically and socio-economically diverse populations in the UK. We plan to discuss the Australian programme booklets with people from a range of communities in Birmingham; then to adapt the programme to make it acceptable to different UK ethnic and social groups. We will also ask fathers how they would like to be approached to join such a programme. Next we will test out the modified fathers programme and the methods of our research study. To do this, we plan to enrol 90 fathers categorised as obese, with their children aged 4-11 years, via schools, workplaces, and religious organisations. We will visit them at home to weigh them and to fill out questionnaires. They will then be allocated by chance with 2/3 receiving Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids and 1/3 receiving one free family leisure centre visit and information about opportunities for physical activity in their local area (the control group). We will interview the fathers, children and the Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids session leaders to find out their experience of the programme and test whether fathers are willing to take part, attend the programme and agree to be seen at 3 months and 1 year. At 3 and 6 months we will evaluate measurements and questionnaires that we plan to use in a full trial. These include body weight, amount of physical activity and type and frequency of foods eaten. Fathers and children will each wear a monitor (like a watch) to measure their activity in the previous week. We will also measure fathers involvement in the family and in supporting physical activity and explore whether we can collect information about how the children are doing academically at school. Quality of life will be measured by questionnaire and programme costs collected. We will combine the information about whether the families found the programme acceptable, their willingness to take part, to be followed up and complete the questionnaires, and how well the sessions were delivered to inform a decision on whether or not to seek additional funding for a large trial. A group of fathers have commented on this proposal and will continue to advise on study methods.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2020
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England
MeSH Terms
  • Obesity
  • Body Weight
  • Fathers
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Child
  • Weight Reduction Programs
  • Obesity Management
  • Exercise
Organisation Name: NIHR Public Health Research programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
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