Evaluation of Healthy Heroes educational resource, for improving healthy eating and activity behaviour in children and their families, in the home setting.

    Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


    Aim: Healthy Heroes is an interactive educational resource designed by Lancashire Healthy Schools Partnership (LHSP) to target and change unhealthy lifestyles amongst the younger age group. The overall aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of Healthy Heroes and its techniques, which involved school based management, home based activities, parental interaction and a combination of physical activity and healthy eating activities. The evaluation was based on: 1) assessing engagement of target audience, 2) assessing changes in healthy eating and physical activity in response to the intervention, and 3) assessing parental/carer involvement and influences. Methods: The intervention was a prospective randomised control trial carried out over five week periods in each participating school, although time periods were not in sync. Subjects were key stage 2 primary school pupils, attending schools within the Lancashire (Lancs.) area and recruited due to schools being targeted by local Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). Schools were located within 12 districts of Lancashire, providing rural and urban backgrounds. 106 schools in these districts are PCT targeted and out of these, 30 schools were invited to participate in Healthy Heroes based on the first 30 to agree acceptance. The independent variable was participation in Healthy Heroes, measured by pre and post questionnaires, and the dependent variable was the change in questionnaire score, which was measured on a numerical points system.Inclusion criteria, for evaluation, were primary school-aged children attending PCT targeted schools, where school and parental consent had been obtained. Subjects were excluded from evaluation if data was incomplete or if attendance was poor due to amount of interaction with resource being too low for a fair effect to be measured. One class per school completed the activities over a five-week period, with each subject completing pre and post questionnaires, aided by a parent/carer. Questions asked, were based on lifestyle habits surrounding nutrition and activity. Resource completion required subjects to take home two activity cards each week. The cards were themed around the Healthy Hero characters and subjects were provided with postcards and stickers in order to monitor their progress through the cards. Results: The main findings and conclusions were; 99% of families enjoyed Healthy Heroes and 83% found that they spent more time together as a family, showing that the resource is providing information in a fun yet educational way and parents successfully interact with their children during the activities. From the twelve evaluated schools only 39% of participating subjects fully completed the resource, suggesting that the resource failed to maintain interest and therefore, indicates that work may be required on the themes and characters. Subjects overall questionnaire scores improved significantly by a score of 7.07(n = 138, p
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Chester
    Place of PublicationChester
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • health education, primary school, healthy eating, physical activity, lifestyle


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