Work Package 3: Healthy Weight Behaviour for Toddlers in Families of Diverse Ethnic Background – University of Copenhagen

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Work Package 3

Healthy Weight Behaviour for Toddlers in Families of Diverse Ethnic Background

Work Package 3 was headed by Assistant Professor Annemette Nielsen

Other staff: Kia Ditlevsen

WP3 combined different qualitative data sources from families' daily life, GPs and consultations with migrant families with toddlers. A strategic, maximum variation sampling was applied in the selection of 12-15 families who vary in terms of migrant status of the parents (1st or 2nd generation), ethnicity (ethnic minority or majority, place of origin), educational length of the parents and household composition. Four GPs was selected to represent variation in practice characteristics and patient composition in terms of ethnic background and other socio-demographic factors. Recruitment of GPs was carried out in collaboration with The Research Unit for General Practice in Copenhagen. Recruitment of families took place through the GPs, so that each of the four GPs was requested to assist in finding between 2 and 4 families.

Based on the combined qualitative data sources, WP3 was able to identify different critical points in the process of planning, communicating, receiving and transforming advice on lifestyle changes. Analysis pointed to various factors which influence the transformation of GPs' advice into concrete dietary and exercise practices such as culturally and socially based ideas about the body, food and meals, alternative and competing messages concerning health and weight loss, and different perceptions of responsibility for inducing changes.

The results enabled GPs in the future to better anticipate different types of difficulties and to consider these in their planning of interventions involving lifestyle communications.

You can read Kia Ditlevsen's PhD thesis with the title "Tracing early interventions on childhood overweight - A sociological qualitative study of preventive action on overweight among pre-school children of diverse ethnic background in Denmark" here.