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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(1), 1003-1019; doi:10.3390/ijerph120101003

The Healthy Lifestyles Programme (HeLP) — An Overview of and Recommendations Arising from the Conceptualisation and Development of an Innovative Approach to Promoting Healthy Lifestyles for Children and Their Families

Institute for Health Research, University of Exeter Medical School, Veysey Building, Salmon Pool Lane, Exeter, Devon, EX2 4SG, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew P. Hills
Received: 24 October 2014 / Revised: 10 December 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2015 / Published: 20 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Obesity: Novel Approaches to a Global Problem)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [693 KB, uploaded 20 January 2015]

Abstract

Despite the rise in childhood obesity, there remains a paucity of evidence for effective interventions that engage children and parents sufficiently to make and sustain lifestyle behaviour change. The Healthy Lifestyles Programme (HeLP) is a school-located obesity prevention programme, which has been developed with teachers, families and healthcare professionals. The underpinning assumption in the development of HeLP was to take a relational approach to changing behaviour, building relationships with the schools, children and their families to create supportive environments for healthy lifestyle choices. Thus, HeLP was conceptualised as a complex intervention within a complex system and developed as a dynamic, evolving set of processes to support and motivate children towards healthy behaviours. The delivery methods used are highly interactive and encourage identification with and ownership of the healthy lifestyle messages so that the children are motivated to take them home to their parents and effect change within the family. We have good evidence that HeLP engages schools and children such that they want to participate in the Programme. Results from an exploratory trial showed that the Programme is feasible and acceptable and has the potential to change behaviours and affect weight status. This paper presents an overview of and recommendations arising from the conceptualization; development and evaluation of the Healthy Lifestyles Programme as part of a special issue focusing on novel approaches to the global problem of childhood obesity. View Full-Text
Keywords: engagement; behaviour change; supportive contexts; interactive drama; trusting relationships engagement; behaviour change; supportive contexts; interactive drama; trusting relationships
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lloyd, J.; Wyatt, K. The Healthy Lifestyles Programme (HeLP) — An Overview of and Recommendations Arising from the Conceptualisation and Development of an Innovative Approach to Promoting Healthy Lifestyles for Children and Their Families. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 1003-1019.

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