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Healthy start

Which lifestyle interventions work best for young people with a low socio-economic status and other disadvantages? This question is central to the Healthy Start theme. The research will include looking at the added value of innovative technologies such as gamification and virtual reality.

Almost 17% of Dutch children grow up in poverty and social exclusion, according to the website of the national (population health) expertise centre, the Pharos Foundation. Children’s health is related to their parents’ socio-economic status, (labour) participation and well-being. With the knowledge and expertise available at Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research, Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht, we intend to help narrow the low and high socio-economic status gap between young people. 

In line with our vision, the goal is to contribute to reducing the health gap between the lowest and highest socioeconomic groups by 30% by 2040. The Healthy Start theme focusses on children and families from conception until they leave home, with a specific focus on vulnerable groups with low socio-economic status (SES). It addresses societal challenges such as socioeconomic health gaps, peer pressure, limited access to healthy lifestyle options, and mental health issues through research and technology that promote healthy behaviors and support a successful transition into adulthood.

Related projects

  • LIFTS. Promoting a sustainable healthy lifestyle among low-literate teenagers in practical education using accessible and engaging technologies such as games.
  • Vital@2040. Developing and evaluating interventions that increase physical activity amongst groups of children with lower activity rates.
  • FLOW! Ensuring optimal growth and development of babies, by preventing parents from prematurely stopping breastfeeding.

Interested in collaboration?

Engagement with public and private stakeholders ensures dissemination of evidence-based practices and support for policies that promote health equity. Are you a student or researcher at Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research, Utrecht University and University Medical Centre Utrecht, and would you like to join our research within the Healthy Start theme? Or do you have an idea for a new project? Please contact us.