On the Daily Routine of Obese and Heavily Overweight Children from Socially Disadvantaged Families. Physical Activities, Eating Habits, Problem Awareness and Resources. A Qualitative Study.

Third-party funded project financed with resources from the Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony

Severe overweight and obesity can be detected more and more often in early childhood, which reduces the quality of life with increasing age. Under pressure to act, intervention programmes have been widely implemented, largely without specific differentiation of target groups. These programmes focus on physical activity and nutrition, although hardly any empirical findings on the living conditions of the 3 to 6 year-old age group are available.
The aim of this research project is to gain differentiated insight into the daily routine of severely overweight and obese preschool children and to disclose the significance and impact of physical activities and nutrition, as well as the problem awareness of those affected and their educative environment. Special research interest is directed toward vulnerable groups, for the most part socially disadvantaged families. The investigation is qualitative and multimethodal based and is conceptually oriented on Grounded Theory. Central to the study are the participant observations (field visits with the families and in the kindergartens of the selected children), guided interviews with parents and teachers, as well as child-centred impulse interviews.
Based on the findings, sub-group specific, resource-oriented and setting-applied measures will be developed with the aim to promote health-relevant behaviour in terms of integrated perspectives. Various offers with a focus on the body and physical activity will make up a crucial element of these measures.

Direction: Prof. Dr. Ina Hunger

Research Assistants/Associates:
Mareke Beninga
Anna-Lena Meyer
Nils Heise
Christiane Adler

Student Assistants:
Anja Blaschek
Susanne Prehn
Annika Utermöhlen
Semra Ülger
Jennifer Girschick
Christin Viets