Condition category
Nutritional, Metabolic, Endocrine
Date applied
07/11/2016
Date assigned
07/12/2016
Last edited
12/01/2017
Prospective/Retrospective
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Ongoing
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Unhealthy eating in young people is a major problem in the UK and can put children at risk of a wide range of health issues, initially in childhood, and then adulthood. There is evidence to suggest that positive eating behaviours encouraged at home can protect children against some of these health issues and that parents may be more likely to employ positive feeding strategies when they are not anxious about mealtimes. This study involves two online programmes that Netmums and the University of Reading have designed. One of these focuses on healthy family eating, and the other on kids’ wellbeing. The aim of this study is to find out which programme is more effective at improving family eating behaviours.

Who can participate?
Adults with at least one child aged between 1 and 16 years old who is living with them.

What does the study involve?
Participants are randomly allocated to one of two groups. Those in the first group receive the healthy family eating programme. This involves receiving a series of nine emails over a period of three weeks that provide information on food swaps, healthy recipes, tips to encourage fussy eaters and ideas for activities to focus the family on food and cooking, emphasizing enjoyment and happy mealtimes. Those in the second group receive the kids’ wellbeing programme. This involves receiving a similarly formatted series of nine emails over a period of three weeks that provide information on general wellbeing topics such as tooth brushing and screentime. At the start of the study, after the three week programmes finish and then six months later, participants complete a number of questionnaires in order to measure family eating habits.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
There is a chance that participants may benefit from a healthier family diet, improved long-term health outcomes and decreased anxiety around family mealtimes for those who receive the family eating programme. There is a small risk that some participants may become distressed or anxious about their family's diet. This is addressed at each data collection point by suggesting that anyone concerned should either visit their GP or contact the Principal Investigator.

Where is the study run from?
University of Reading (UK)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
January 2016 to December 2018

Who is funding the study?
Economic and Social Research Council (UK)

Who is the main contact?
1. Dr Kate Harvey (scientific)
k.n.harvey@reading.ac.uk
2. Ms Sarah Snuggs (public)
s.j.snuggs@pgr.reading.ac.uk

Trial website

Contact information

Type

Public

Primary contact

Ms Sarah Snuggs

ORCID ID

Contact details

School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences
Harry Pitt Building
University of Reading
Reading
RG6 7BE
United Kingdom
+44 7793 563901
s.j.snuggs@pgr.reading.ac.uk

Type

Scientific

Additional contact

Dr Kate Harvey

ORCID ID

Contact details

School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences
Harry Pitt Building
University of Reading
Reading
RG6 7BE
United Kingdom
+44 118 378 7524
k.n.harvey@reading.ac.uk

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Protocol/serial number

N/A

Study information

Scientific title

Healthy Happy Family Eating: A randomised controlled trial of an online family eating intervention

Acronym

HHFE RCT

Study hypothesis

The aim of this study is to evaluate an online intervention designed to improve family eating behaviours.

Null hypothesis:
There will be no difference between the intervention group and the control group on family eating outcome measures.

Alternative hypothesis:
The intervention group will show greater improvement on these measures compared to the control group.

Ethics approval

University of Reading School of Psychology & Clinical Sciences Research Ethics Committee, 01/08/2016
Ammendment to the questionnaire approved on 28/09/2016

Study design

Randomised controlled trial

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting

Internet

Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

See additional files

Condition

Unhealthy eating

Intervention

Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups electronically when signing up to the study.

Intervention group - Healthy Happy Family Eating programme: Participants receive a series of nine emails that provide information on food swaps, healthy recipes, tips to encourage fussy eaters and ideas for activities to focus the family on food and cooking. There is an emphasis on enjoyment and happy mealtimes. The intervention has been designed through a collaboration between the University of Reading and the parenting website Netmums. The team also consulted a nutritional therapist on the intervention’s content.

Control group - Kids’ Wellbeing programme: Participants receive a series of nine emails, similar in format to the emails in the intervention condition, that provide information on general wellbeing topics such as tooth brushing and screentime. The emails are based on existing information on the Netmums website and do not include any topics that might encourage families to eat more healthily or participate in more activities together as a family.

Both the active and the control interventions last for three weeks, during which participants will receive nine emails. Data is collected at three time-points with the use of online questionnaires; baseline (immediately before receiving the first email - questionnaire completion triggers the first email), immediately after the ninth email has been received (i.e. baseline + 3 weeks) and six month follow up (i.e. six months after intervention completion).

Intervention type

Behavioural

Phase

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

1. Healthy environment/healthy food availability in the home is measured using the Healthy Environment subscale of the Child Feeding Practice Questionnaire (CFPQ)
2. Child enjoyment of food is measured using the Enjoyment of Food subscale of the Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ)
3. Shared family meal frequency is measured using a measure developed by the researchers for the purpose of this study

All measures will be collected at baseline, immediately after the intervention period and 6-months after the intervention period has ended.

Secondary outcome measures

1. Parental modelling of eating healthy food, parental encouragement of balance and variety, and involvement of children in meal planning and preparation is measured using three further subscales of the CFPQ: Modelling, Balance & Variety and Involvement
2. Children's food fussiness is measured using one further subscale of the CEBQ: Food fussiness
3. Home-cooking/use of raw ingredients measure (developed by the researchers, based on a measure used in the pilot work)
4. Weekly food budget is measured using a visual analogue scale

All measures will be collected at baseline, immediately after the intervention period and 6-months after the intervention period has ended.

Overall trial start date

11/01/2016

Overall trial end date

31/12/2018

Reason abandoned

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

1. Able to read and understand English
2. Have at least one child under the age of 16 and over the age of 1 year living with them some of the time
3. An existing member of the parenting website Netmums or willing to join as a member

Participant type

All

Age group

Adult

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

1,500 (more to be recruited in the first instance to establish attrition rates)

Participant exclusion criteria

Not meeting inclusion criteria.

Recruitment start date

15/11/2016

Recruitment end date

31/03/2017

Locations

Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

University of Reading
School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences
Reading
RG6 7BE
United Kingdom

Sponsor information

Organisation

Netmums

Sponsor details

Henry Wood House
2 Riding House Street
London
W1W 7FA
United Kingdom

Sponsor type

Other

Website

http://www.netmums.com/

Funders

Funder type

Research council

Funder name

Economic and Social Research Council

Alternative name(s)

ESRC

Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

Federal/National Government

Location

United Kingdom

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Planned publication in a high-impact peer reviewed journal.

IPD Sharing plan:
The current data sharing plans for the current study are unknown and will be made available at a later date.

Intention to publish date

31/03/2018

Participant level data

To be made available at a later date

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

12/01/2017: Participant information sheet uploaded.