Promoting health equity in European children: design and methodology of the prospective EPHE (Epode for the Promotion of Health Equity) evaluation study

BMC Public Health. 2014 Apr 2;14:303. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-303.


Background: Reducing health inequalities is a top priority of the public health agendas in Europe. The EPHE project aims to analyse the added value of a community-based interventional programme based on EPODE methodology, adapted for the reduction of socio-economic inequalities in childhood obesity. The interventions that will be implemented by this project focus on four energy balance-related behaviours (fruit and vegetable consumption, tap water intake, physical inactivity, sleep duration) and their determinants. This article presents the design of the effect evaluation of the EPHE project.

Methods/design: This is a prospective two-year follow-up evaluation study, which will collect data on the energy balance-related behaviours and potential environmental determinants of 6-8 year olds, depending on the socio-economic status of the parents. For this purpose a parental self-reported questionnaire is constructed. This assesses the socio-economic status of the parents (5 items) and the dietary (12 items), sedentary (2 items) and sleeping (4 items) behaviour of the child. Alongside potential family-environmental determinants are assessed. The EPHE parental questionnaire will be disseminated in schools of a selected medium-sized city in seven European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Portugal, Romania, The Netherlands).

Discussion: This study will evaluate the effects of the EPHE community-based interventional programmes. Furthermore, it will provide evidence for children's specific energy balance-related behaviours and family environmental determinants related to socio-economic inequalities, in seven European countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Diet
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity
  • Parents
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Schools
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Social Class*
  • Social Environment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires