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1.  Interventions to Promote an Integrated Approach to Public Health Problems: An Application to Childhood Obesity 
Experts stress the need to bring the childhood obesity epidemic under control by means of an integrated approach. The implementation of such an approach requires the development of integrated enabling policies on public health by local governments. A prerequisite for developing such integrated public health policies is intersectoral collaboration. Since the development of integrated policies is still in its early stages, this study aimed to answer the following research question: “What interventions can promote intersectoral collaboration and the development of integrated health policies for the prevention of childhood obesity?” Data were collected through a literature search and observations of and interviews with stakeholders. Based on a theoretical framework, we categorized potential interventions that could optimize an integrated approach regarding children's physical activity and diet. The intervention categories included education, persuasion, incentivization, coercion, training, restriction, environmental restructuring, modeling, and enablement.
PMCID: PMC3390054  PMID: 22792120
2.  Study protocol: Cost-effectiveness of transmural nutritional support in malnourished elderly patients in comparison with usual care 
Nutrition Journal  2010;9:6.
Malnutrition is a common consequence of disease in older patients. Both in hospital setting and in community setting oral nutritional support has proven to be effective. However, cost-effectiveness studies are scarce. Therefore, the aim of our study is to investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of transmural nutritional support in malnourished elderly patients, starting at hospital admission until three months after discharge.
This study is a randomized controlled trial. Patients are included at hospital admission and followed until three months after discharge. Patients are eligible to be included when they are ≥ 60 years old and malnourished according to the following objective standards: Body Mass Index (BMI in kg/m2) < 20 and/or ≥ 5% unintentional weight loss in the previous month and/or ≥ 10% unintentional weight loss in the previous six months. We will compare usual nutritional care with transmural nutritional support (energy and protein enriched diet, two additional servings of an oral nutritional supplement, vitamin D and calcium supplementation, and consultations by a dietitian). Each study arm will consist of 100 patients. The primary outcome parameters will be changes in activities of daily living (determined as functional limitations and physical activity) between intervention and control group. Secondary outcomes will be changes in body weight, body composition, quality of life, and muscle strength. An economic evaluation from a societal perspective will be conducted alongside the randomised trial to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the intervention in comparison with usual care.
In this randomized controlled trial we will evaluate the effect of transmural nutritional support in malnourished elderly patients after hospital discharge, compared to usual care. Primary endpoints of the study are changes in activities of daily living, body weight, body composition, quality of life, and muscle strength. An economic evaluation will be performed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the intervention in comparison with usual care.
Trial registration
Netherlands Trial Register (ISRCTN29617677, registered 14-Sep-2005)
PMCID: PMC2829481  PMID: 20146794
3.  Maternal attitudes and child-feeding practices: relationship with the BMI of Chilean children 
Nutrition Journal  2009;8:37.
Chile has experienced the nutritional transition due to both social and economic progress. As a consequence, higher rates of overweight and obesity have been observed in children. In western countries, researchers have tried to determine pathways by which parents influence their children's eating behavior; up to now findings have been inconsistent. The objective of this study was to evaluate the cross-sectional and retrospective relationship between maternal attitudes and child-feeding practices and children's weight status in children who had been subject of an obesity prevention intervention for two years.
In 2006, for a cross-sectional study, a random sample of 232 children (125 girls, mean age 11.91 ± 1.56 y and 107 boys mean age 11.98 ± 1.51 y) was selected from three primary schools from a small city called Casablanca. Weight and height were determined to assess their nutritional status, using body mass index (BMI) z scores. Child-feeding practices and attitudes were determined cross-sectionally in 2006, using the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ). To analyze the relationship between trends in weight change and child-feeding practices and attitudes, BMI z scores of all the 232 children in 2003 were used.
Cross-sectionally, mothers of overweight children were significantly more concerned (P < 0.01) about their child's weight. Mothers of normal weight sons used significantly more pressure to eat (P < 0.05). Only in boys, the BMI z score was positively correlated with concern for child's weight (r = 0.28, P < 0.05) and negatively with pressure to eat (r = -0.21, P < 0.05). Retrospectively, the change in BMI z score between age 9 and 12 was positively correlated with concern for child's weight, but only in boys (r = 0.21, P < 0.05). Perceived child weight and concern for child's weight, explained 37% in boys and 45% in girls of the variance in BMI z score at age 12.
Mothers of overweight children were more concerned with their children's weight; this indicated the Western negative attitude towards childhood overweight. None of the child-feeding practices were significantly correlated with a change in BMI z score.
PMCID: PMC2736172  PMID: 19678925
4.  Motives for (not) participating in a lifestyle intervention trial 
Non-participants can have a considerable influence on the external validity of a study. Therefore, we assessed the socio-demographic, health-related, and lifestyle behavioral differences between participants and non-participants in a comprehensive CVD lifestyle intervention trial, and explored the motives and barriers underlying the decision to participate or not.
We collected data on participants (n = 50) and non-participants (n = 50) who were eligible for inclusion in a comprehensive CVD lifestyle interventional trial. Questionnaires and a hospital patient records database were used to assess socio-demographic, health-related and lifestyle behavioral variables. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to describe the relationship between explanatory variables and study participation. Furthermore, motives and barriers that underlie study participation were investigated by means of questionnaires.
Participants were younger, single, had a higher level of education and were employed. No statistically significant differences were found in health measures and behavioral variables. The motives for participation that were most frequently reported were: the perception of being unhealthy and willingness to change their lifestyle. The main barriers reported by non-participants were financial arguments and time investment.
The differences between participants and non-participants in a lifestyle intervention trial are in mainly demographic factors. The participants consent in order to alter their lifestyle, and/or because they want to improve their health. To minimize non-participation, it is recommended that access to a lifestyle intervention program should be easy and cause no financial restraints.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC2365955  PMID: 18402683
5.  The effect of a comprehensive lifestyle intervention on cardiovascular risk factors in pharmacologically treated patients with stable cardiovascular disease compared to usual care: a randomised controlled trial 
The additional benefit of lifestyle interventions in patients receiving cardioprotective drug treatment to improve cardiovascular risk profile is not fully established.
The objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of a target-driven multidisciplinary structured lifestyle intervention programme of 6 months duration aimed at maximum reduction of cardiovascular risk factors in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared with usual care.
A single centre, two arm, parallel group randomised controlled trial was performed. Patients with stable established CVD and at least one lifestyle-related risk factor were recruited from the vascular and cardiology outpatient departments of the university hospital. Blocked randomisation was used to allocate patients to the intervention (n = 71) or control group (n = 75) using an on-site computer system combined with allocations in computer-generated tables of random numbers kept in a locked computer file. The intervention group received the comprehensive lifestyle intervention offered in a specialised outpatient clinic in addition to usual care. The control group continued to receive usual care. Outcome measures were the lifestyle-related cardiovascular risk factors: smoking, physical activity, physical fitness, diet, blood pressure, plasma total/HDL/LDL cholesterol concentrations, BMI, waist circumference, and changes in medication.
The intervention led to increased physical activity/fitness levels and an improved cardiovascular risk factor profile (reduced BMI and waist circumference). In this setting, cardiovascular risk management for blood pressure and lipid levels by prophylactic treatment for CVD in usual care was already close to optimal as reflected in baseline levels. There was no significant improvement in any other risk factor.
Even in CVD patients receiving good clinical care and using cardioprotective drug treatment, a comprehensive lifestyle intervention had a beneficial effect on some cardiovascular risk factors. In the present era of cardiovascular therapy and with the increasing numbers of overweight and physically inactive patients, this study confirms the importance of risk factor control through lifestyle modification as a supplement to more intensified drug treatment in patients with CVD.
Trial registration
ISRCTN69776211 at
PMCID: PMC3479017  PMID: 22962863
Cardiovascular diseases; Lifestyle intervention; Smoking; Physical activity; Diet; Health behaviour; Randomised controlled trial; Cardiology; Therapy; Cardiovascular risk management

Results 1-5 (5)