A new study needs local families to take part in a text message program
A new research study is recruiting families to trial a text message program for parents to encourage healthy eating and physical activity behaviours in their children.
The pilot study is being conducted by IHMRI affiliates Dr Jennifer Norman from Health Promotion at the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and Senior Professor Tony Okely from UOW’s Early Start.
“The text messages are healthy living motivational tips for families with children aged between 5 and 12 years. The messages will include tips for increasing children’s vegetable intake and ideas for helping to reduce children’s screen use,” said Dr Jennifer Norman.
The study is funded through an internal IHMRI grant scheme which was awarded in October last year.
“95% of Australian adults (18-44 years) have a smartphone and use text messaging as a form of communication – text messages are a great, inexpensive way of reaching community members with health information,” added Dr Norman.
If successful, Family Text Messages would complement usual care that families receive – it would be cost-effective and easily rolled out by the health service.
“This is an emerging field of research which has shown promise in improving health behaviours in adult populations and it’s likely to improve health literacy” she said.
The study is targeted at all families with a smart phone and primary school aged children.
Louise Negline, Communications Coordinator
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