Newsletter 4

School-based intervention to address Childhood Obesity in Slovenia

As a part of our project, Tina M. Lowrey and L. J. Shrum (HEC Paris) are collaborating with IMZTR/No Excuse Slovenia to develop and test a social marketing school-based intervention to tackle childhood obesity among children aged 6-10 years old (1st-5th grade).

The current plan, depending on the global health situation and the constraints imposed by the current pandemic, is to gather data during the Fall of 2020, with interventions to launch during the pre-holiday season, extending into the Spring of 2021. Two schools will be selected (one test; one control), and two main issues relevant for Slovenian school settings will be investigated:

  1. The unattractiveness of free school meals
  2. The number of unhealthy snacks eaten at school or on the way to/from school.

The project will involve interviews with school personnel and parents, and student focus groups and questionnaires designed to better understand their behavioral choices, both of which will contribute to the design of specific interventions believed to be most likely to improve healthy decision-making. Both pre- and post-measures will be collected to determine the success of the selected interventions. If possible, weight/height/skinfold (BMI) measurements will be taken both pre- and post- from both the control and test schools. More importantly, attitudes and behavioral change will be measured (e.g., meal choices, snack types/frequency/amounts. We hope to find a set of interventions with the potential to improve the health of Slovenian children and be translatable into other European school settings.