Healthy Eating, Active Living


Name of project

Evaluating two healthy eating and active living support programs for parents of 2 – 6 year old children: Time2bHealthy (online) and Healthy Habits (telephone based).

Lead Local Health District


Research Project

The two-year study from July 2018 to June 2020 is a collaboration between five NSW Local Health Districts: Murrumbidgee LHD (Lead Agency) and Southern NSW, Illawarra Shoalhaven, South East Sydney and Hunter New England LHDs; two universities: University of Wollongong and University of Newcastle; and the NSW Office of Preventive Health.

The study addresses a gap in evidence as to the preferred method of parents receiving information in order to influence healthy eating and active living for their families. It employs a three-arm parallel-group randomised preference trial design of a telephone-based intervention (modified Healthy Habits), an online intervention (modified Time2bHealthy) and educational material intervention (which will serve as a minimal intervention comparison).

The research questions are:

(1) What is the relative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of an online behaviour change program (Time2bHealthy) and a telephone-based support program (Healthy Habits) targeting parents of 2-6 year olds in improving child diet in accordance with Australian recommendations?

(2) What is the relative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the Time2bHealthy and Healthy Habits programs on child physical activity, sedentary behaviour (including screen time), sleep and weight status?

(3) What are the most optimal approaches to maximise recruitment to and retention of parents in both interventions?

The expected outcomes are that one or more programs will be identified for parents of children aged 2-6 years that are effective in improving their child’s health behaviours (nutrition, physical activity, sedentary time and sleep). If shown to be successful then this research will contribute to the NSW Premier’s Priority target of reducing childhood overweight and obesity by 5% by 2025.

Project team contacts

Christine May –

Amanda Green –